Historical and conceptual issues related to community psychiatry as an innovative approach to clinical assistance across the world, precede a more or less detailed examination of its presence, role and current accomplishments in Latin America, particularly related to child and adolescent subpopulations. Information about transition processes from the traditional hospital-centered model to the community-based approach, applicable mental health policies, levels of implementation and quality of the available reports in different countries, are duly evaluated. The situation in Perú, a country considered representative of the Low and Middle Income (LMIC) group in the subcontinent, is studied, with particular emphasis on a recently established community-based mental health centers program across its territory. Encouraging results about personal, family and identity empowerment, focus on integrated care, clinical outcomes and community relations, need to be carefully followed-up to avoid extremes of rigidity and reductionisms. Adolescents represent the unique future of socio-culturally diverse Latin American countries, and must be the target population of well-conceived, cohesive community mental health policies and programs.