Rafael Villalobos, program coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, visits with a sponsored child and his mother.
May 11 2015

The work of Unbound

Rafael Villalobos, program coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, visits with a sponsored child and his mother.

Rafael Villalobos, program coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, visits with a sponsored child and his mother.


In the United States we still have a few months before we celebrate Labor Day, but many countries, including Costa Rica, the Philippines, Kenya, El Salvador and others, observed the holiday on May 1. In honor of Labor Day, Rafael Villalobos, coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, shared a reflection about his own work at Unbound.

I want to start by sharing a quote from Confucius, who said, “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

This has been my work experience with Unbound.

It’s not just a job, it’s a mission, a lifestyle, something that inspires and gives meaning to life.

For me it is wonderful because it allows me to fulfill myself existentially.

Unbound provides the opportunity to find meaning through work. It isn’t simply about starting and finishing work, completing a schedule and getting paid for it, but rather it’s about vitally committing with values that perhaps seem intangible but are very real and important.

That undoubtedly fulfills those of us who work at Unbound, and fulfills and involves family and those we share our lives with.

I look at my job with Unbound as an opportunity to go through life humanizing, feeling in solidarity with others and bringing compassion, tenderness, brotherhood, company, fellowship and dignity, giving and receiving hope, and all the while experiencing for myself the liberating power of love.

Pope Francis recently said to “become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference.”

It’s wonderful how this vision matches with what we believe at Unbound. Because in a magnificent and wonderful world, many times we have dehumanized, we have been blind and deaf, avoiding, eluding and excluding. At Unbound we find a profound compromise in that love and kindness accompany and free those who suffer most.

I so much admire the social workers who work directly with the families. It’s impressive to watch how they have internalized the spirit of Unbound and how they spare no effort and sacrifice to ensure that the poorest people can experience life, their own value, their dignity and their freedom.

This spirit leads the social workers to be up very early every day until late at night and also work on weekends — to walk along dusty roads, climb mountains, cross rivers, all under a scorching sun or pouring rain. All this to visit the sponsored friends and their families, provide benefits, promote community unity and bring a light of hope in their lives, communicating the affection and solidarity of the sponsor who might never have a chance to be there in person.

A sponsored elderly woman once told me, “I so much appreciate all that I receive from Unbound, but what I appreciate the most is that the social worker visits me. Because I am sick and live alone, no one visits me. When she comes we have coffee together and she listens to me and embraces me.”

I would like to encourage everyone who has the privilege of working at Unbound to keep going down this road. We all know that this isn’t easy, but we have the certainty that it is worth it.

We are collaborating in building a world more humane, more just, more brotherly, more inclusive, where, without putting importance on races, cultures or creeds, we’re forming a community of gracious acceptance, a community of worldwide compassion.
I deeply thank the sponsors; without them none of this would be possible.

Become part of this worldwide community. Sponsor today.

One thought on “The work of Unbound”

  1. Having had the honor to meet Rafael and many of the social promoter colleagues he mentions during our MAT trip two years ago, I can 1000% vouch for his comments. They are not just words– what my wife and I SAW with our our eyes was the ministry, “mercy” and love that literary oozed from their pores. No one could fake the compassion that we witnessed. We are sponsors of 5 children, two in Costa Rica (Adrian and Richany)– and writing to them, praying for them and in a small way helping them, has enriched our lives beyond measure. We can’t wait for our next visit –hopefully next March. <3 <3 <3 UNBOUND.
    la aventura apenas comienza!!!!!

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