Conviven is a NGO in Argentina. It is oriented to promote and favour social and community development for children, teenagers and families living in one of the most impoverished neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires called the Hidden City.

The name Hidden City, derives from the government’s decision in 1978 to build a wall around the villa in anticipation of the upcoming World Cup being hosted in Buenos Aires, so visiting journalists and tourists would not see the impoverished reality of life in the capital.

Conviven was founded in 1994 by Valmir S. Vieira, a Protestant Church missionary who continues to devote his time running the Centre with the help of Carmen and volunteers from all over the world.

Educational desertion, delinquency, juvenile prostitution, drug addiction and alcoholism are very common in this part of Buenos Aires. The majority of people living in the shantytown are unemployed, very few have permanent jobs, and the most common occupation is the “cartoneo.”

The cartoneo goes out at night, rummaging through the rubbish of the streets in search of cartons, paper, metal, and anything that can be recycled. Each night, this is the occupation of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people from the Ciudad Oculta. Their efforts are rewarded by a wholesaler at 7 or 8 pesos (less than 3 pounds) per delivery.

Many people living in this area are addicted to a highly toxic form of cocaine called paco which is raw coca paste mixed with kerosene or another solvent and then smoke it.

Conviven is like a beautiful flower growing in the desert which keeps growing and blossoming even though it is located in the harshest of environments. The charity provides these kids with education, food, moral and emotional support. Carmen and Valmir are amazing human beings and incredible role models for these children.They stress the importance of education, honesty, respect and hard work.

After Peru' and Bolivia, I spent two months volunteering in Conviven and it has been an incredible experience. The kids are adorable and the staff at Conviven are dedicated and make a difference to these kids lives.

If you wish to know more about Conviven, want to join them as a volunteer or make a donation you can either purchase the charity ebook "Over the Rainbow" by Lela De Silva or click here:

My time with Conviven


Martiniano Leguizamón 2974 
CABA- Codigo Postal 1439
Buenos Aires,

Tel/Fax: 0054 114686-5995
Contact Valmir 

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