Nutre Hogar, in English, means nourishment home. This title is a very appropriate name since Nutre Hogar is a collection of seven non-profit medical care facilities located throughout Panama. Founded in 1988 by Monsignor Rómulo Emiliani, Nutre Hogar has saved the lives of hundreds of dying and malnourished children each year by providing nutritional meals and long-term medical care. These facilities provide care specifically for medically at-risk Panamanian children from low income homes. Each facility is staffed by a team of nurses and caretakers that spend months, and sometimes years, nursing each child back to health. In the centers, children receive a balanced diet, therapy, stimulation, and attention that they are often unable to receive at home during early infancy. In coordination with these recuperation efforts, parents are educated about proper nutrition and how to better care for their young children. Since the children in the facility are primarily from indigenous and low income households, they would not otherwise have access to similar medical care. To date, Nutre Hogar has provided a healthy, stable, and loving environment for more than 12,000 infants and toddlers throughout Panama.


Nutre Hogar's Four Primary Objectives:

Objective 1 - Provide assistance to children from low income families who suffer from severe malnutrition by offering appropriate nourishment, medical attention, stimulation, and proper care.

Objective 2 - Provide education to the assisted children's parents on nutritional issues and, if needed, provide them with complimentary food once the child leaves the center to help them get back on track.

Objective 3 - Support national preventative efforts in nutrition through adequate education, including the provision of complimentary food to pre-school and school-aged children when necessary.

Objective 4 - Provide support to existing organized groups that are interested in developing solutions to malnutrition-related problems.

The administrators and caregivers of Nutre Hogar (taken July 2011).  The Santiago Center's director, Maria Name is on the far right.

Measured Impact of Nutre Hogar (as of 2009):

  • 7 Nutritional Community Centers constructed in inaccessible and impoverished zones.  These Centers are oriented toward the prevention of infant malnutrition by means of community organized programs, the development of gardens, training, nutrition, and early childhood stimulation.
  • In 2008, more than 150,000 rations of nutrients were served in children's dining rooms, preventing the severe malnutrition of more than 5,000 preschoolers in 23 poor districts of Panama.
  • More than 5,000 beneficiaries have received de-parasites and micro-nutrients, contributing to the preservation of health conditions in the communities.
  • More than 3,000 families have been trained by Nutre Hogar in subjects of nutrition, community organization, early childhood development, prevention of disease, and techniques for cultivation of gardens and installations.
  • More than 8,000 children have recuperated from childhood malnutrition in the seven Nutritional Recuperation Centers located in centers of the provinces.
  • More than 5,900 young children below the age of five who reside in 165 communities have been identified as impoverished by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The children receive an afternoon snack and a lunch or nutritional cookie as well as cream on a daily basis.
  • The Nutritional Community Centers rely both on water provided by aqueducts in the community and water supplied by wells. The wells are sufficient for the supply of water for the installation of rural stoves, toilets, and solar plants that benefit more than 3,000 families and contribute to the preservation of the environment.
  • The installation of community gardens with diverse plant life and the breeding of small species (rabbits, iguanas, birds, fish, pigs) will increase the availability of nutrients in the children's diets.
  • The above statistics were provided by Nutre Hogar in 2009 and are translated from their original Spanish.


Please read more about this wonderful organization here: