Antonio outside his home in Mexico.
Jan 11 2016

Wisdom of the aging: Antonio

Meeting Antonio, you just know he’ll have something interesting to say.

At 74 years old, Antonio has been sponsored through Unbound’s program in Mexico for 10 years. Tending to his garden and raising chickens are some of his hobbies. He has a lot of life experience and leans toward the simple life. And that’s something many of us could learn from him.

Antonio grew up working in the fields and raising cattle. He never learned to read or write but speaks two languages, Mayan and Spanish. And although he lost his eyesight many years ago and now needs assistance getting around, Antonio continues to work alongside his wife, Leonida, as they harvest corn.

Antonio has graciously shared some of his wisdom with the Unbound staff so we could pass it on to you.

Q: What is one of the most important things that your mother taught you?
The most important thing that she taught us was to work hard to earn a living with dignity, effort and dedication. She taught us to respect others and to not take things that don’t belong to us. She showed us family values.

Q: What advice could you give the youth?
Don’t fall into addictions because they bring many problems, not only for your life, but also for the life of your family, friends and relationships. Take advantage of your education and prepare for life and for a career. This will be useful for getting a good job.

Q: Tell us something special, unique, about you.
I can´t see but it doesn´t stop me from helping my wife in our corn field. I help weed and I help harvest, I will always do this.

Q: Tell us one thing that has changed in the world from when you were young to today?
Before, the world was more quiet but today we have news all the time. Unfortunately many times the news is bad. We hear about wars, drug trafficking and addictions. We must go back to our family values, our customs and traditions to save our communities from these problems.

Q: What is your secret to a long life?
You need to go back and eat healthy food that you grow with your own hands, food that comes from the earth, food that you cultivate in the fields. This will help you stay healthy. And don´t drink alcohol or smoke; this really hurts your body.

Q: What do you like most about Unbound?
That it helps so many people, and I love our sponsors because they are very supportive. They have a big heart.

As part of the Unbound community, we are constantly learning. It’s part of our culture, not only in the Kansas City headquarters but throughout our programs in the 20 countries where we work.

We learn from our staff members who work with our sponsored members daily, from our communications liaisons who travel to interview and photograph people in different Unbound programs and, especially, from our sponsored members and their families.

Learn more from an elder waiting to be sponsored today.

Alexandra Stonestreet

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