Our Work

Codeni participants live in some of the most marginalized neighborhoods of the metropolitan area and are at a high risk of abandoning school and home. when they enter codeni, they tend to have a consciousness of poverty and perceive themselves as individuals who are unable to make changes to improve their living conditions. such a consciousness causes inconsistency in their development processes and contributes to their dependence on the streets and welfare services. through codeni’s programs, participants become empowered, making efforts to overcome their dependence on the street and break the cycle of poverty in their families with personal ‘life projects’.

CODENI History

In august of 2003, a second generation of students completed the graduate studies program in the rights and necessities of children at the iteso university. during the eight months of the program, a group of students developed a firm commitment and determination to promote and defend the rights of children through a new grassroots initiative. they envisioned a collective: professionals from different areas of the government and ngos that focused their actions on the promotion and defense of the rights of children.

In 2004, the group began operating under the name of ‘codeni’ (children’s rights collective), filing complaints and publicly protesting against cases of children’s rights violations. codeni thus began transforming from a vision to an active project, integrating more people with diverse skills and experience.

Since its beginning, codeni has distinguished itself by participating in public policy and having a voice in the media. the first actions of the collective included the coordination of public festivals to promote children’s rights with other civil associations, the government and local businesses. codeni also began to speak out in cases of children’s rights violations, establish dialogues with public security authorities regarding police brutality towards street populations and organize local and national forums on chidren’s and street population’s rights.

In september of 2004, the work of codeni took a new turn with the inception of the ‘education program for child laborers in downtown guadalajara’. A group of eight boys and girls started to meet with codeni members for assistance with homework, basic literacy classes and recreational activities.

The project operated with volunteers while codeni carried out the steps to become legally recognized as a civil association and to become a tax-exempt organization, which they achieved on september 8, 2005 and october 26, 2007 respectively.

In 2006, Codeni received its first grant from the government, through the program de la calle a la vida (from the street to life). With this financial aid, the project with child laborers grew to include children’s rights workshops, monthly field trips, family events and a soccer team.

During the next two years, 80 boys and girls began participating in codeni’s activities at the downtown library of the university of guadalajara.


In 2009, with the support of rotary international, vectra forum (a group of entrepreneurs from calgary, canada) and other benefactors, the project obtained a building, now known as ‘casa codeni’. With the activity center, in addition to the street outreach program, codeni has grown to offer computer classes, psychological therapy, empowerment classes with mothers and art, music & dance workshops.

In 2013, with a grant from a group of local architects and engineers known as grupo 100 and corporativa de fundaciones, casa codeni grew to include a gym, with the purpose of maintaining the involvement of adolescents in the programs and preventing their involvement in gangs or delinquent activity.

Codeni continues to be active in public policy on the issues relating to marginalized children and street populations, but the focus of the organization has evolved to engage participants in these actions, along with personal initiatives to overcome their dependence on handouts and/or the informal economy. currently, more than 120 children and teens from 60 families in street situations participate in codeni, thanks to the commitment of ten fulltime staff members and more than 80 volunteers each year.

two 3d humans with puzzle piece in hands


To empower children and families in street situations in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, through educative, formative, recreational and psychological projects that promote the development of life projects to overcome dependence on the street and the circumstances of vulnerability and poverty in which they live.


To be a collective that promotes critical and participative consciousness in children, adolescents and families in circumstances of vulnerability and poverty, promotes life projects off the streets, and influences public policy in favor of a culture that respects children’s rights.


CODENI participants survive off the informal commerce of the streets of guadalajara. They live in some of the most marginalized neighborhoods of the metropolitan area and are at a high risk of abandoning their schools or homes. When they enter codeni, they tend to have a consciousness of poverty and a self-perception as subjects who are unable to make significant changes to improve their living conditions.

Such a conscience causes inconsistency in their developmental processes, causing them to remain on the streets and depend on social services. Through codeni’s programs, participants develop a conscience of empowerment, reflected in their efforts to overcome their dependence on the street and break the cycle of poverty in their families.