Flor starts her day at 4 a.m. She wakes up, brushes her teeth and then grinds corn so her grandmother can make and sell tortillas. She then works as a nanny from 6 until around noon. After that she tries to spend some time with her family before she heads out again for her night classes from 6 until around 10. After class, she takes the bus home and gets ready for bed.
“That’s my daily routine,” she said. “That’s how my beautiful days are.”
In the United States we still have a few months before we celebrate Labor Day, but many countries, including Costa Rica, the Philippines, Kenya, El Salvador and others, observed the holiday on May 1. In honor of Labor Day, Rafael Villalobos, coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, shared a reflection about his own work at Unbound.
I want to start by sharing a quote from Confucius, who said, “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
This has been my work experience with Unbound.
It’s not just a job, it’s a mission, a lifestyle, something that inspires and gives meaning to life.
Autism affects one in 68 children, and it’s one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the last 20 years.
April is Autism Awareness Month — a month dedicated to educating the public about autism and helping to create a safer, happier world for those challenged by this disorder. Unbound sponsorship offers support to families around the world who are impacted by autism.
Ulises is a 22-year-old sponsored youth who has autism. He lives in Costa Rica with his mother, Marjorie, who takes care of him.
“My dream is that one day he would do things on his own, so he would be independent when I’m no longer with him,” Marjorie said.
“Do you feel poor?”
That’s how Henry Flores, director of the Unbound communications center in El Salvador, began his conversation with Ashley, a sponsored 15 year old from Costa Rica.
A difficult question to ask; an even tougher one to answer.
How could a teenager living in a poor community behind one of the largest shopping malls in the area, where she and her mother, Juana, can only see the walls that hide their reality from the beauty and fantasy of the department stores, answer a question like that?
By Jennifer Afflerbach, Unbound sponsor
Eight simple words of encouragement: “I can tell you are a good mother.”
That’s what I wrote to Sirlen, the mother of Bryan, the child I sponsor in Costa Rica. Little did I know what a profound effect it would have on her — and on me.
“Thank you for saying that,” she wrote back. “Your letter brought tears to my eyes.”
And her letter brought tears to mine, as I envisioned this strong, courageous mother of four children under the age of 8 being buoyed by such a small gesture on my part.
I knew I had to meet this woman. So I went on an awareness trip to Costa Rica the next year. When we met face to face, it was as if we were old friends — we connected instantly.
And my instinct had been right — she is a very good mother.
After the visit, when I wrote and inquired about their long journey home on mountainous roads, she replied that the trip wasn’t the most difficult part, the goodbye was.
Again, she brought tears to my eyes.
Sponsorship may cost $30 a month, but you can’t put a price tag on the relationship.
Start the journey of sponsorship today.
Diego faced many challenges when he decided to go to college and study teaching. Classes were far from home, and transportation costs as well as food and education fees began to add up. Although difficult, Diego stuck with it.
“I kept telling myself, ‘this is hard because it is worth it. It will be fruitful someday,'” Diego said.
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.
By Nicole Miller, support specialist for Unbound
Recently Nicole Miller traveled to Costa Rica on an awareness trip. Nicole has worked for Unbound for 10 years, and this was her first time visiting an Unbound program office. She shared with us her experiences during the trip.