Luis Cocón, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala, laughs with sponsored children while taking a break from a photo shoot.
Around the world, Unbound communications liaisons and correspondents are hard at work collecting inspiring stories of sponsored children and elders to share through Unbound publications, blog posts, social media and other channels.
In Guatemala, communications liaison Luis Cocón works with 16 correspondents in three countries (Mexico, Guatemala and Bolivia). He utilizes Skype and webinars to hold training meetings with new correspondents.
Staff members learn how to identify stories, collect information and conduct interviews. He also teaches photography skills, from the technical aspects of camera function to composing an image.
But most importantly, Luis always starts his training with the “why” behind his work with Unbound. He believes the voiceless need to be heard and desires to create connections for those willing to listen.
Sponsored child Cindy from Guatemala reads a letter from her sponsor.
An interruption in Guatemala’s postal services has delayed the delivery of letters to children and elders sponsored through Unbound.
Mail services in Guatemala halted May 18 as the company that operates those services attempted to negotiate a new contract with the Guatemalan government, local news agencies reported.
Sponsors should expect delays in their letters reaching children and elders even after mail service resumes, since Unbound offices will have a backlog of letters to process.
The disruption in mail service will not affect the delivery of letters from sponsored children and elders in Guatemala to their sponsors, however, since Unbound uses a private delivery service for correspondence sent to the U.S.
We encourage sponsors, especially at this time, to communicate with their sponsored friends in Guatemala using our convenient eLetter option. Visit unbound.org/eletter to learn more.
Maria (right) and her mom, Mirna.
Maria’s many things. She’s a daughter, a granddaughter and a big sister. She’s a sponsored youth, an Unbound scholar and a hard worker.
She’s also someone who knows an opportunity when she sees it.
Myra (right) meets with sponsored child Sindy (center) and Sindy’s mom, Rosalina, and baby sister, Vivian, outside their home in Guatemala.
Myra is an exuberant, kind woman driven by a deep desire to make the world a better place. Born in Guatemala and raised in a strict but lovingly tight-knit family, her rigorous education has shaped her into a disciplined and focused individual. These traits make her a valuable member of the Unbound family.
“My greatest satisfaction is being with the people,” Myra said. “I have a personal desire to see others reach their potential. I believe that every day and every person that touches your life is a learning opportunity.”
Bryan, 12, from Guatemala.
Beaming with pride and a smile that constantly says, “I can do it,” 12-year-old Bryan enjoys a grand accomplishment for a boy his age.
For the third year in a row, Bryan has earned the distinction of being valedictorian at his grade school in Guatemala, a feat that is even more impressive when you consider only one student gets to have that honor each year.
Excelling at school might be difficult for a lot of students, but not many have faced the sort of obstacles that Bryan has had to overcome.
Cecilia, Josefina and Walter.
Seven years ago, Walter’s family grew a whole lot bigger when they requested 12 baby chicks as part of their sponsorship benefit from Unbound.
Walter and Cecilia live in Guatemala with their five children, including their 13-year-old daughter Josefina, who is sponsored through Unbound. After learning about Unbound through their niece, who is also sponsored, Walter and Cecilia approached Unbound to see if Josefina was eligible for the program.
Ingrid (right) and her mother Maria in their home.
Ingrid lives in Guatemala, where, according to the World Bank’s source Barro-Lee, on average girls complete about six years of schooling. In 2015, she graduated as a certified bilingual education teacher. Luis Cocon, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala, had the opportunity to meet Ingrid and hear her story during her final year of school before graduation.
A woman wears a sign saying, “I am a drunkard,” as part of a mothers group discussion about discrimination and words that hurt.
Fat. Illiterate. Drunk. These are just some of the words a group of mothers in Guatemala called each other during a recent workshop. But there was no malice behind their words. Rather it was an exercise created to open up discussion about how words like these can affect a person.
There are more than 10,500 Unbound mothers groups around the world. When children are sponsored through Unbound, their mothers have the opportunity to join a group of women from their communities. The groups provide a space for mothers to connect with others who face similar challenges and find solutions together.
Mayra, an Unbound scholar, at home with her mother, Patricia, in Guatemala.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the true impact of your contribution, especially when you contribute to a program helping many, like our Education program
, without knowing who will actually benefit from your contribution.
With a sponsorship, you have the chance to pick the person you want to help, and you can build a relationship through photos and letters. But when you make a contribution to the Education program, who gets to continue their schooling?
Mayra from Guatemala and Cristian from Colombia are just two of the many students who receive scholarship assistance from Unbound’s Education program to continue their schooling.
Briana, left, and Megan, right, hold photos of Ana, the child they’ve sponsored together for more than four years.
Best friends Briana Murphy and Megan McLaughlin wanted a way to stay connected when they graduated from high school and went away to different colleges.
They also felt motivated by their faith to contribute for the good of others, so they decided to sponsor a child through Unbound as a way to do both.