Fe y Alegria: Jesuit Innovation

Fe y Alegría is a private non-profit organization for integrated education in Central and South America that follows the tradition of Jesuit education.


Founded in 1955 by José María Vélaz, Fe y Alegría is a federation of the local organizations in each of 13 countries, providing primary and secondary school administration and facilities, as well as teacher training. Each organization works with the local governments to create policies that further the goals of Fe y Alegría.
In Central America, Fe y Alegría is actively supported by the Jesuits.


About one million students are registered in over one thousand campuses with 38,000 workers (plus volunteers) and over fifty radio stations. Country organizations and year of founding are:

  • Argentina 1996
  • Bolivia 1966
  • Brasil 1980
  • Chad 2007
  • Chile 2005
  • Colombia 1971
  • Dominican Republic 1991
  • Ecuador 1964
  • El Salvador 1968
  • Guatemala 1976
  • Haiti 2006
  • Honduras 2000
  • Italy 2001
  • Nicaragua 1974
  • Panama 1965
  • Paraguay 1992
  • Peru 1966
  • Spain 1985
  • Uruguay 2009
  • Venezuela 1955


Fe y Alegría also cooperates with organizations having similar goals, including:

  • The main partner of "Fe y Alegría" is the Spanish NGO Entreculturas (es).
  • AECID (Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo)

The Fe y Alegría School serves about 1,700 children from the Canto Grande area on the outskirts of Lima. The area is one of the many enormous and poor suburbs that have grown up around the mega-city in the past two decades. After some troubled years of terrorism and political unrest, Perú has settled down more recently into democratic ways. However there continues to be a huge and ever widening gap between the richest people and the majority of the people. This division can be seen along geographical lines as you move out of the historic city and away from the commercial district. In the barrios like Canto Grande millions of families continue to struggle for survival, working informal jobs, and living in precarious housing on the sides of the dusty hills of this desert region.

Fe y Alegría School offers an oasis of learning in the midst of this neighbourhood. Five Christian Brothers work in the school and are involved in diverse activities including teaching at both primary and secondary level, involvement with sports, the school band, pastoral activities and Christian formation. They are helped by a staff of lay-people who for the past 30 years have shown their commitment to offering the children the best possible educational opportunity despite their humble origins.

There are three innovative projects going on at Fe y Alegría that are integral to its success:

a. Project “Buen Gusto”: This project provides a very cheap lunch for over 100 children each day.

b. Sexual Health Programme: To counter the abundance of under-age pregnancies among students, the school has established a sexual education programme in the past few years. Led by health professionals, the programme seeks to educate students in healthy attitudes towards their sexuality.

c. Summer Programme: This project seeks to help the children during the summer holidays. Through a range of academic and recreational activities, the children are encouraged to value their educational opportunities as a means to a better future.

Fe y Alegria Peru is an Integral Educational Movement for the underprivileged, originally founded in 1955 in Venezuela by the Society of Jesus. It creates and leads public educational institutions for disadvantaged children and youth, seeking to promote quality and equitable education and prepare youth for life and employment.


Fe y Alegria
Implementer Status: 
Year launched: 
Total number of learners served: 

Location Data

Region(s) for additional countries if different from launch country region: 
Loreto, Amazonas, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash, Huanuco, Ucayali, Lima, Callao, Junin, Huancavelica, Ica, Cusco, Ayacucho, Puno, Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna
Geography type: 
Program Description: 
Fe y Alegría  was founded in 1955 by the Society of Jesus in Venezuela as a movement to promote popular, comprehensive education and social development. It works to strengthen education for the poorest and most marginalized populations by training teachers, integrating technology into the classroom, providing vocational training and supporting schools from pre-primary to post-secondary levels. Fe y Alegría has expanded into 18 countries in Latin America as well as Italy, Spain, and Chad, currently serving more than 570,000 students and 26,000 teachers. This program profile will focus specifically on the case of Fe y Alegría Peru, founded in 1965.  
The program seeks to bring quality public education to vulnerable populations of Peru, focusing on providing an integral and high quality education. Currently, Fe y Alegría Peru is running 79 high schools, 161 schools organized in 6 rural networks, 268 technical schools and workshops, 7 Institutes of higher technology, and 20 centers of technical and production education. Fe y Alegría seeks to contribute to the formation of responsible and successful citizens through instilling leadership skills and encouraging students to further identify with their faith. Fe y Alegría's schools are all public schools, where teachers are government teachers whose salaries are paid for by the Ministry of Education. Currently, Fe y Alegría Peru implements the following key activities: 
Teacher Training: Ongoing training and sensitization is provided for teachers and school directors, including in computer technology. Training is provided in-person and through distance learning. 
Technical Education: Fe y Alegría Peru's technical schools provide youth with technical training that prepares them for the workforce, with the aim of promoting sustainable development. Youth are trained in various occupations, including carpentry, clothing design and production, secretarial work, electronics, hotel management and tourism, jewelry design and production, and agriculture. 
Higher Technological Education: Fe y Alegría's Institutes of Higher Technology provide training in technical careers that respond to the needs of the local/regional economy in which the institutes are located. Professional training is provided through a "learning by doing" and hands-on approach. 
Rural Education: Fe y Alegría operates educational networks in rural areas. It provides capacity building to one-teacher schools in rural areas of Peru, working to develop educational materials suitable to the needs of the local region and provide bilingual and intercultural education. 
Basic Alternative Education for Adults: This provides the option to adults who were unable to complete their school studies to pursue elementary and high school-level studies through distance learning. 
Inclusive Education: Fe y Alegría seeks to promote the participation and integration of children with disabilities in the education system. It does so through awareness campaigns, teacher training and sensitization to the issue, and the development of learning materials catered to the specific needs of disabled students. 
Social Responsibility: Fe y Alegría works to engage civil society in its educational work, through organizing campaigns and fundraising events, as well as through establishing partnerships to strengthen citizens' commitments to public education.