By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager
Meet Luis Enrique from Costa Rica, better known as Don Quique.
An active man with a big heart, Don Quique is a former construction worker and father of four adult children and grandchildren. He spends his days cultivating his garden with natural fertilizers and making piñatas that he donates to Unbound for birthday parties.
You could say Don Quique isn’t your typical sponsored friend. He’s neither a child nor an elderly man, but he is sponsored. Why?
Unbound does not limit itself when it comes to helping people in the communities we serve. We invite people of goodwill to be part of the Unbound program. This includes those who find themselves in need of assistance because of a disability — physical, mental or otherwise — regardless of their age.
And Don Quique needed that support.
After a brain tumor, two aneurysms and complications from surgery, Don Quique lost his sight several years ago.
He discovered Unbound through one of his grandchildren.
“At the beginning, I was not able to attend the meetings, but the staff members were so kind to deliver my benefits at home,” he recalled.
After losing his sight, he said, “I was angry because I used to be very active. Not being able to do things was the hardest for me. I´ve always been able to overcome my obstacles and find a way to solve my problems.”
One thing he hasn’t been able to overcome is how much he misses the sight of his family.
“I don’t know my youngest daughter. She was in kindergarten the last time I was able to see her,” he said. “I don’t know how her face is.”
Since losing his sight, Don Quique has learned many things. He’s learned to accept himself and his condition by relearning how to do tasks such as walking on his own, washing dishes and sweeping.
Though he can no longer see the face of his youngest daughter, Melissa, he has been able to learn from her. She taught him how to make the piñatas using newspaper, thin rope and a ruler.
He’s also learned about the impact Unbound has on those who are sponsored.
“There are two impacts. One is the economic impact,” Don Quique said. “But the most important impact is the words we hear and receive.
“You could give me cash, but money goes away, it gets spent, whereas the words of encouragement we receive — they stay with me forever. It fills up my spirit.”
The joy that Don Quique gets from giving back through donating his piñatas to Unbound for the kiddos is something that can’t be measured — it can only be shown. In doing so, he feels “that one needs to be grateful for what we receive and this is a way for me to give back.”
Sponsor someone like Don Quique today.