Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.
Adilia, a sponsored youth in El Salvador.
Yuda, now 27, holds two economics textbooks he authored.
Manish and his mother, Shakuntla.
Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team, from left: Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, Lydia Leffelman, Clair Paul, Laurel Harrold and Maureen Ortiz.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, we thought it would be good to have an encore presentation of some of the stories we featured on the Unbound blog in 2015.
Each of these stories reflects gratitude, expressed in many ways and for a variety of gifts. They represent just a few of the hundreds of stories we have presented over the years about people for whom thankfulness is not just an occasional sentiment but a virtue that marks every day of their lives.
Today is Universal Children’s Day. The United Nations chose November 20 as the observance date to mark the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It was created to make a promise to the children of the world — that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, learn and grow, and that we would make their voices heard and help them reach their full potential.
Elvira shares a smile with her daughter, Escarleth.
For many, the mother is the heart of the family. She’s often the one who kisses scraped knees, soothes fevers and offers a shoulder to cry on. The importance of a mother’s role was on the minds of Unbound staff members in Santa Barbara, Honduras, when they realized mothers in rural areas were not receiving adequate health care.
Carlos practices his cello in the courtyard outside his home.
Walking down Guatemalan streets lined by cinderblock homes with iron sheet roofs, you might not expect to hear the warm, deep tones of a cello playing Bach or the sometimes accompanying lilt of a violin. But, most evenings, if you visit Carlos’ neighborhood, that’s exactly what you’ll hear.
El Día de los Muertos
From left: Leti and her daughter Norma sell handmade decorations for Day of the Dead.
, Day of the Dead, is a popular holiday in Latin America when people visit the gravesites of loved ones. Headstones are painted, cleaned and adorned with flowers. It’s a time for families to come together to honor their loved ones who have passed on.
Moisés studying at home.
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.”
Gumercinda, a 79-year-old sponsored elder in El Salvador, and Gustavo Aybar, Unbound communications services manager.
By Gustavo Adolfo Aybar, communications services manager for Unbound Sponsor Services
As a native Dominican, raised in the United States the majority of my life, I believed my summer vacations, plus my connection to the island — both personal and through my studies — kept me culturally aware and prepared to serve as an ambassador for families struggling in poverty. That was before I traveled to El Salvador to participate in an Unbound staff awareness trip.
Adilia, a sponsored youth in El Salvador.
Adilia is in her last year of college in El Salvador studying business with an emphasis in tourism. She knows that her key for success is education.
She said her challenge is to overcome her reality, and she opened her arms wide to show her home.
“We are a family living in poverty,” she said.
We’re excited to embark on our second annual blogger trip next week, and we hope you’ll follow along.
Five extraordinary bloggers and social media specialists will travel with Unbound to Guatemala where they’ll meet children, families and elders in the Unbound program. The bloggers will post stories and photos about their experiences on their blogs and social networks.
Want to help spread the word? You can follow the journey and share their stories on your own social media channels. Maybe you know someone who will be moved to sponsor a child!
Meet the team of bloggers traveling with us to Guatemala.
Want to learn more about our blogger trips? Read blog posts and meet the bloggers from our blogger trip to El Salvador in 2014.
Our third blogger trip will be in Merida, Mexico, in February 2016. Where should we travel for our fourth blogger trip? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.