Category Archives: Central America

Don Quique
Dec 15 2014

‘Money goes away. Encouragement fills my spirit’

Don Quique

Luis Enrique shows off piñatas he made for birthday parties to celebrate other sponsored members.

By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager

Meet Luis Enrique from Costa Rica, better known as Don Quique.

An active man with a big heart, Don Quique is a former construction worker and father of four adult children and grandchildren. He spends his days cultivating his garden with natural fertilizers and making piñatas that he donates to Unbound for birthday parties.

You could say Don Quique isn’t your typical sponsored friend. He’s neither a child nor an elderly man, but he is sponsored. Why?

Unbound does not limit itself when it comes to helping people in the communities we serve. We invite people of goodwill to be part of the Unbound program. This includes those who find themselves in need of assistance because of a disability — physical, mental or otherwise — regardless of their age.

And Don Quique needed that support.

After a brain tumor, two aneurysms and complications from surgery, Don Quique lost his sight several years ago.

He discovered Unbound through one of his grandchildren.

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Favorite photos of 2014
Dec 12 2014

14 favorite Unbound photos of 2014

Each year we share hundreds of photos from our staff members around the world. A window into another person’s life, each photo tells a unique story.

We shared a ton of amazing photos in 2014. Here are 14 of our favorites.

Click here to see our favorite photos!

Honduras awareness trip
Dec 8 2014

Honduras offers lesson in perspective

Massachusetts sponsor David Scarpello has gone on three Unbound awareness trips to Honduras since 2007. On his latest visit earlier this year, he decided to take his 13-year-old son, Nick. From his own previous experience, David knew the awareness trip could be a good learning tool.

“I wanted [Nick] to have an appreciation and better understanding of what growing up in poverty is,” David said. “I hoped it would give him a greater appreciation of what he has and the advantages he has growing up in the United States.”

Unbound awareness trips offer travelers the opportunity to meet the people they sponsor and see first-hand the impact our program has on individuals and communities. David started sponsoring in 2001, but it was the letter he received in 2007 from his sponsored friend Reyna that gave him the final push he needed to go on his first trip.

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Flocking flamingos
Nov 14 2014

Building homes with the help of pink flamingos

Flocking flamingos

A lawn visited by the Woodmont youth group’s “flocking flamingos.”

You wake up one morning, and as you’re going about your normal routine you glance out at your front lawn. But it looks a bit different than usual. Somehow, a flock of plastic flamingos has made its way to your lawn.

Over the last few months, members of the Woodmont Christian Church in Tennessee have experienced “flockings” courtesy of their youth group. It’s not a prank but one of the fundraising strategies the youth group developed for their “Guats Up” initiative.

Their goal? To build a house in Guatemala for a family that needs one.

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Sponsor a youth
Nov 10 2014

Fighting to be a good person in Honduras

Sponsor a youth

Fernando and his mother, Maria.

by Alexandra Stonestreet, project manager for Unbound

In recent years, Honduras has become known for corruption, gang violence and drug trafficking. It holds the unfortunate distinction of being home to some of the worst statistics imaginable. Amid the poverty and mounting violence, a bright spot emerges.

His name is Fernando.

Read Fernando’s story

turkey stew
Nov 3 2014

Guatemalan mother shares turkey stew recipe

Doña Jesus started raising turkeys about seven years ago to help support her family. It was right around the time her son Diego was sponsored through Unbound. When all of her turkeys got sick and died, she received lots of encouragement from the Unbound staff not to give up. She also got seven turkeys from Unbound to help her restart her business.

To say thank you for all the support and encouragement her family has received, Doña Jesus shared her recipe for turkey stew, which she makes for her family every Christmas.

Get Doña Jesus’ recipe

Day of the Dead
Oct 31 2014

Guatemalan families honor their dead

Day of the Dead

A Guatemalan cemetery decorated on Day of the Dead.

Guatemalans celebrate Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and 2, coinciding with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The celebrations are a way to remember loved ones who have passed away.

“We celebrate with a mixture of traditions from the Maya and the Spaniards,” said Norma, whose son, Rodvin, is sponsored through Unbound in Guatemala. “My mother showed me to offer fruits, food, flowers and any other things that our deceased liked when alive. We believe that they visit us on this day to share the offerings that we prepare for them. We also believe in prayers as a way of talking with them and asking God for their eternal rest.”

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Chocolate day
Oct 27 2014

Happy Chocolate Day!

Happy (almost) Chocolate Day! Tomorrow, Oct. 28, is National Chocolate Day. To celebrate, we’re sharing the story of Margarita in Guatemala. Chocolate is an important part of Margarita’s life. And not just hers, but her community’s as well.

“[Chocolate is] the way that I earn for my family’s food expenses and my children’s school expenses,” Margarita said. “When customers place an order, I know how much I will earn for my children. …”

Chocolate is also important for others in my community because sometimes I need help and I give them work. I ask for their help to peel and roast cocoa beans. It takes about 10 people to peel 100 pounds of cocoa beans in one or two days.”

Continue reading Margarita’s story

sponsor a child
Oct 20 2014

Hardworking family finds it hard to get ahead

sponsor a child

Heymi, 10, from El Salvador

Step inside 10-year-old Heymi’s house and you immediately take in the smell of wet wood. The sounds of chickens clucking and dogs barking outside fill the room.

The house, made of adobe and sheet metal, is home to seven people. But they only have three beds.

Heymi and her sister Esmerelda have one doll to share between them. The biggest challenge in life, Heymi said, is that “sometimes we don’t have food.”

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Unbound Awareness Trips 2014
Oct 13 2014

A learning journey

Unbound Awareness Trips 2014

Caitlyn meets Ever and his family for the first time.

By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador

Caitlyn had the opportunity to meet her sponsored friend, Ever, on an awareness trip to El Salvador. She is 16 years old, likes to read and enjoys sharing time with her family. They are very close to their faith and frequently attend church.

Although she is young, she has a very strong feeling about helping others. She babysits to pay for Ever’s sponsorship.

“[Sponsorship] makes me feel I need and want to be involved,” Caitlyn said. “It’s a great feeling. I love Ever. It’s about forming a bond with someone from another culture.”

Read more about Caitlyn’s journey