When Moisés describes his typical day, it doesn’t sound too different from what you might expect from a 19-year-old living in the United States.
“I get up in the morning and, logically, I get a hot cup of coffee. I practice a little with my guitar and use the computer a bit.
“Not every day is the same for me. I ride my bike, I run errands, I work, etc., and at night I go to school.”
Living in a rural community in Costa Rica, the actuality is a bit different. His morning caffeine intake was, until recently, brewed over a wood stove. The jobs he works are informal, and he uses the money he earns to help buy food for his family.
And though Moisés was too young to remember what life was like before he was sponsored through Unbound just a couple of weeks after his second birthday, he can still recognize the impact it’s created for his family.
Moisés recalled his mother telling him that times were difficult.
“But she always found a way to feed us. The one who was always helping was my grandpa [on my dad’s side]. He would bring milk and food. He passed away about five years ago.
“Our home was made out of wood and some old rusted metal sheet roof. The floor was dirt and the beds were made out of wood, built by my grandpa and my dad.
“My mother would cook with firewood. Raising three of us was hard, and sometimes my mother would not have food to eat, but my grandpa always had a bit of food for us.”
Moisés’ parents separated about 10 years ago, and he now lives with his mom, stepdad and one of his brothers in a home provided for the family through a government housing program. Their house is small and simple, and recently they were able to purchase a gas stove and fuel with help from Moisés’ sponsor.
Moisés lives in a small indigenous community. The community faces issues such as drug addiction, violence, alcoholism, high rates of school dropouts and family division.
Despite the challenges in his community, Moisés remains focused on the positive, like going to school and working to help support his family.
“I do different kinds of jobs, like cutting grass for example,” Moisés said. “The jobs aren’t steady, maybe three to four hours a day. What I make isn’t much, but it provides enough to cover part of our food.
“I am also attending night school and currently studying in seventh grade. I have basic subjects like Spanish, science, social studies, English, mathematics, civism and psychology. I still don’t know what I really want in my future; God is the only one that knows what is ahead for me.”
Though traveling at night can be dangerous in Moisés’ community, his cousins are also going to school and they travel together to stay safe.
For Moisés, the most impactful part of his sponsorship has been the relationship he’s formed with his sponsor, Donald Conway, over the past 17 years through letters and the occasional awareness trip visit. And the experience has been just as positive for his sponsor.
“The expression on his face and the content of his letters, to me, abundantly dictate the extent of his gratitude,” Donald said. “I couldn’t be more happy to have him as a sponsored child.”
Moisés is most grateful for the encouragement he receives from Donald.
“[My sponsor] writes to me every two or three months,” Moisés said. “He always encourages me to continue studying so I can achieve my goals. He tells me not to give up in school because it is very important. He has been good with me and has come to know me better.”
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