Cristabel has big dreams for the future. She wants to graduate from high school, go to college and, someday, teach kindergarten.
At 12-years-old, Cristabel still has many years of studying before achieving her dreams, but she takes things one day at a time.
Cristabel’s family has already come a long way since she was sponsored eight years ago by Donna from Colorado. Before the family joined the program in Honduras, Cristabel’s father, Mauro, worked as a mason and her mother, Lilian, worked in a factory.
Even though both parents worked, their incomes were nominal. The family of three lived with Lilian’s parents, as they couldn’t afford their own home.
“I like having a sponsor and knowing that she worries about me,” Cristabel said. “Every month she supports me. My favorite part about Unbound is receiving letters from my sponsor.”
Since joining the program, Cristabel has welcomed a brother, Yester, who is now 5. With the help of sponsorship, her parents have moved the family into their own home. Mauro continues to work as a mason, and Lilian has left the factory and started a business with her mother, Berta, selling tortillas out of Berta’s home.
Cristabel said her mother is “a loving, affectionate, supporting and enterprising woman; she shares with me and teaches me a lot of things.” Cristabel also shared what one of her typical days looks like, and it’s clear she’s learning how to be a hard worker from her mother’s example.
“The first person that wakes up in our house is my mother,” Cristabel said. “She gets up at 4:30 a.m. to start preparing everything for making tortillas.
“I get up at 6 a.m., and usually the first thing I do is pray. Then I brush my teeth, I take a shower and get ready for school. I take about 20 minutes to do this.
“Then I drink a cup of coffee with a piece of bread. Before school I help my mother to make tortillas. I start school at 8 a.m.”
The school Cristabel attends is a little more than half a mile from her home and is in session for half a day. It’s during their recess period that Cristabel’s passion for becoming a teacher comes out.
“Sometimes I like to play in my classroom with my friends during our break,” she said. “We play that I’m the teacher and I like to write on the chalkboard.”
After school gets out at 11:30, Cristabel walks to her grandmother’s house to meet up with her mother and little brother for lunch. After lunch, she walks her brother home and helps with chores around the house.
Once her chores are done, Cristabel normally has time play with her best friend, Glenis, who is also sponsored through Unbound. Glenis and Cristabel are part of the same Unbound study group, which is called the “Eagles of Unbound.”
When they have free time together, they like to play jump-rope and draw. Cristabel shared that her favorite color is pink because it “is a happy and cute color.”
Cristabel’s evenings are spent on schoolwork and family time.
“At 4:30 I do my homework and study every day,” Cristabel said. “After this activity, I have dinner and all my family gets together.
“Every night I visit my grandma and I help her with some house chores. Then I go back home and prepare my uniform for the next day. Then I say a prayer and go to sleep.”
Even though she’s only 12, Cristabel is already leading a busy life. Her focus on the future gives her the drive to keep going.
“My motivation is to one day be a kindergarten teacher,” Cristabel said. “That’s something that motivates me to attend school and start college. I also find motivation in nature, my family and God.”
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