Category Archives: Central America

A small group traveled to Guatemala in 1988 to meet sponsored friends and see our work firsthand. The program continues today, coordinating trips to 15 countries for nearly 1,000 travelers a year.
Nov 9 2016

Did you know: You can travel with Unbound

A small group traveled to Guatemala in 1988 to meet sponsored friends and see our work firsthand. The program continues today, coordinating trips to 15 countries for nearly 1,000 travelers a year.

A small group traveled to Guatemala in 1988 to meet sponsored friends and see our work firsthand. The program continues today, coordinating trips to 15 countries for nearly 1,000 travelers a year.

By Jordan Kimbrell, writer/editor for Unbound

After 35 years, we have a lot of stories to tell. As we lead up to our anniversary on Nov. 20, we want to tell you a little bit about our history. We hope you’ll learn something new about who we are and how we work. So far we’ve shared about one of the ways we connect with the church community and how our headquarters used to be a bowling supply company.. This week, we’ll learn about Unbound’s awareness trips which give travelers the chance to witness the work we do firsthand.

One of my favorite stories I’ve written about awareness trips started with a quote from Jesse Fabian, a traveler who didn’t really want to go. He thought it was going to be just another mission trip where they, “put a lot more religion down my throat”, but his wife insisted on going to visit their sponsored friend. And, according to Jesse, that trip to the Philippines in 2010 ended up changing his life.

Though, initially, he may have been more reluctant than others who travel with Unbound, Jesse’s experiences on the trip gave him a better understanding of the work we do and a better connection with his sponsored friend, something we hope all awareness trip participants go home with. But he’s not alone in having misconceptions about what an awareness trip is all about.

Some history

Unbound has been providing sponsors and other travelers with the opportunity to see our work firsthand since 1988. That first trip included a group of seven sponsors who accompanied our late co-founder Bob Hentzen to Guatemala so they could meet their sponsored friends.

Today, hundreds of individuals travel with Unbound to 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Some countries, like Guatemala, have multiple trips a year, while other countries only have trips at certain times of the year or every other year.

You can visit unbound.org/trips for our full schedule.

It’s life-changing

After returning from his first awareness trip, Jesse told his wife it was the best trip he’d ever been on.

“I said, ‘I could not go to a five-star hotel and be fulfilled as much as I am now,'” Jesse said. “I went home, I looked, and things were different. I had much more appreciation for what we had.”

Traveling with Unbound, you’ll gain new insights into the realities of sponsored friends and their families around the world. Returning travelers often share stories of something they learned, even if they’ve been on awareness trips before.

You’ll also have the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture. That can mean seeing wildlife in Kenya or learning a new dance in Colombia. You’ll see beautiful landscapes, try local foods and visit the homes of sponsored friends while learning more about how the Unbound program works from our local staff members in each country.

It’s affordable

Traveling internationally can be expensive, but traveling with Unbound is one of the more affordable ways to experience another culture. Fees are $650 for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, $800 for South America and $1,200 for Africa and Asia. This covers meals, lodging, activities with sponsored friends, interpreters and in-country ground transportation for one person. Airfare is not included.

It’s your turn

Our 2017 schedule is starting to fill up, so make sure to contact our trips team at trips@unbound.org or (800) 875-6564 to get on the list to travel or request more information.

Check out unbound.org/tripstories to read more travelers’ experiences.

Maria, 92, is a sponsored elder in El Salvador who enjoys performing folkloric dance for sponsors who visit on awareness trips.
Nov 7 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 15-21

One of the ways we are celebrating our 35th anniversary coming up on Nov. 20 is by hearing from sponsored friends and staff around the world. We asked them how Unbound has changed them, what their favorite thing is about being sponsored or what greeting they have for us at this milestone. We’re featuring 35 snapshots of our global community over the next several weeks leading up to Nov. 20, right here on the blog. Check out the next set of snapshots in the series, and stay tuned!
Maria, 92, is a sponsored elder in El Salvador who enjoys performing folkloric dance for sponsors who visit on awareness trips.
See more photos!

Maria, 14, is a sponsored youth in Guatemala who wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
Oct 31 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 8-14

One of the ways we are celebrating our 35th anniversary coming up on Nov. 20 is by hearing from sponsored friends and staff around the world. We asked how Unbound has changed them, what their favorite thing about being sponsored is or what greeting they have for us at this milestone. We’re featuring 35 snapshots of our global community over the next several weeks leading up to Nov. 20, right here on the blog. Check out the second set of seven snapshots in the series, and stay tuned!
Jackeline, 14, is a sponsored youth from Guatemala who enjoys science and dreams of becoming a chef because she loves food.
Read the rest

Leonila (left), 67, a sponsored elder in Philippines who has six children and used to be a massage therapist, and Esperanza (right), 85, a sponsored elder in Philippines who is thankful for her co-sponsored elders because one of them loaned her a dress for this photo shoot.
Oct 24 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 1-7

One of the ways we are celebrating our 35th anniversary coming up on Nov. 20 is by hearing from sponsored friends and staff around the world. We asked them how Unbound has changed them, what their favorite thing about being sponsored is or what greeting they have for us at this milestone. We’re featuring 35 snapshots of our global community over the next several weeks leading up to Nov. 20, right here on the blog. Check out the first seven snapshots in the series, and stay tuned!

Sava, 22, a sponsored youth in Kenya who is studying cosmetology
Check out the photos

Carmen Alicia Perez has been an Unbound social worker in Guatemala for 22 years and is truly making a difference in the world.
Oct 21 2016

Social worker still making a difference after 22 years


It’s Unbound’s 35th anniversary, and many members of our staff have been with us for most of those three-and-a-half decades. Carmen has been a social worker with Unbound in Guatemala for 22 years. She took some time to share her story with Luis Cocón, Unbound communications liaison.
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Gilberta (front), her mother, Cristina (center), and sisters Nicolasa (left) and Juana are a close-knit family.
Oct 10 2016

Girl wants to be a lawyer to help women like her mom


On this fifth annual International Day of the Girl Child, we join in calling attention to global efforts to ensure equality, offer opportunities and provide safe environments for the world’s 1.1 billion girls, so they may grow up happy, healthy and ready to meet the future.

For this observance, we highlight one girl’s story and her future goals.

Read about Gilberta

A mother and daughter smile for the camera in Kenya.
Oct 3 2016

Celebrating health on National Child Health Day

A mother and her daughter smile in front of their home in Kenya.

Cynthia (right), pictured with her mother, Pamela, has been sponsored by Donna in Arkansas since 2012. Sponsorship benefits help children like Cynthia stay healthy through good nutrition and durable homes.


Families around the world work hard to keep their children healthy and Unbound is committed to partnering with them. From daily nutrition to recovery from major illnesses, the health benefits that result from Unbound sponsorship are many. On National Child Health Day Oct. 3, we celebrate the efforts of the Unbound community in improving the health of children around the world.
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Yami is a sponsored youth in El Salvador.
Sep 19 2016

No distance will keep her from school

Yami is a sponsored youth in El Salvador.

Yami is a sponsored youth in El Salvador.

For some Unbound families, there are more obstacles to receiving an education than just the cost. For 18-year-old Yami, it has been a struggle to complete her education because her family lives in a remote, mountainous village in El Salvador.

After finishing the 9th grade, Yami temporarily stopped attending school. The nearest high school is hours away, and the transportation cost and distance became too overwhelming for the family.

The trek to the highway is an hour walk or a 40-minute horseback ride. It goes along a deserted path and across a river. On top of all this, it’s not safe for Yami to travel alone, so her father, Jaime, accompanies her.

However, she is determined to finish school.

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