Carlos Lopez has seen his life transform from humble roots to a bright future.
With the help and encouragement he received from Unbound and his longtime sponsor, today Carlos serves as a legal adviser for Unbound’s Hermano Pedro program, supporting the very community that that helped him grow up. He recently completed law school.
Born in San Martin Jilotepeque, a small, rural town in Guatemala, Carlos is the youngest of 10 brothers and sisters. His parents struggled to provide education for their children, with Carlos’s nine older siblings unable to continue on after middle school.
In primary school, Carlos worked in the local market selling clothes in order to contribute to his family’s expenses. By the time Carlos finished primary school, his parents were frustrated that they were unable to provide enough for Carlos to continue his education, so they spoke to local Unbound staff and Carlos received an Unbound sponsor in 1994.
Carlos and his family immediately felt the benefits of an Unbound sponsorship. With a monthly provision of food supplies plus tuition and school costs covered, their family began to thrive. Letters from his sponsor provided encouragement and happiness for him as well.
“Unbound and my sponsor was like having someone close to me in spite of the physical separation,” Carlos said. “This feeling kept me uplifted in a spiritual and emotional way. Today I believe I have the chance to give others the type of support I got as a child and young man.”
Carlos was sponsored for 10 years, graduating from the program in 2004 in tandem with his high school graduation at age 18. Within a few years, he became a social worker for Unbound in his hometown and soon started law school.
But it doesn’t stop there — after four years as a social worker, Carlos became the coordinator for the Unbound program office in his hometown, and, upon finishing his law school course work in 2012, became the legal adviser for Unbound’s Hermano Pedro program.
He dreams of continuing his work with Unbound, having a family and someday opening his own legal office — things he couldn’t have imagined before partnering with Unbound.
“When I look back at some of my pictures, I see a malnourished, barefoot child who may have never dreamed of going to college,” he said. “But Unbound has helped me make it possible.”
Carlos still thinks fondly of his Unbound sponsor. He continues to pray for her, saying, “I will forever be grateful for [my sponsor’s] love and support for so many years. Because she believed in me, now that barefoot child she saw in that first picture is working to make a difference in his country.”