By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador
Caitlyn had the opportunity to meet her sponsored friend, Ever, on an awareness trip to El Salvador. She is 16 years old, likes to read and enjoys sharing time with her family. They are very close to their faith and frequently attend church.
Although she is young, she has a very strong feeling about helping others. She babysits to pay for Ever’s sponsorship.
“[Sponsorship] makes me feel I need and want to be involved,” Caitlyn said. “It’s a great feeling. I love Ever. It’s about forming a bond with someone from another culture.”
Accompanied by her mother, Cathy, they visited communities in El Salvador. Most of these communities are in rural areas, with rocky roads and houses made of adobe and metal sheets.
“I heard from a mothers group how women work in the field, that really impresses me,” said Caitlyn.
Caitlyn`s mother helped her meet her sponsored friend. Cathy thought having the opportunity to know a different reality and appreciate the beauty of people living in poverty could be a good experience for her daughter. Caitlyn and her mother felt and saw the impact that Unbound has on sponsored families.
“Seeing these people happy with the few things they have and so proud of what they have, I wish I could be like that,” said Caitlyn.
When Caitlyn met Ever, she said her legs were shaking from nervousness. After a short time, they were jumping, laughing and hugging each other.
“He said he loves me and he wants to spend every day with me, and I felt the same way,” Caitlyn shared. “We became that close in less than a day. It was awesome.”
Caitlyn wishes to be there for Ever. Both of them enjoy the letters they write to one another. They share their daily lives through words. And just like Ever, Caitlyn has dreams of her own. She would like to be a teacher for little children or kids with special needs.
“This trip really changed me,” Caitlyn said. “I just can’t wait to see Ever growing up and see that he can accomplish so many things.”
Make your own connection. Learn more about Awareness Trips.