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.
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.
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.
A mothers group in Guatemala elects its new president or “guide.”
Unbound believes in the wisdom of mothers. Our mothers group model operates from the basic belief that mothers are capable, resourceful people and helps mothers gain self-confidence.
We met with a mothers group in Guatemala who shared the process of electing a president for the group and how this process helps empower each woman.
From left: Gregoria, Amparo, Magda and Teresa are mothers working together to make shampoo and detergent.
It all started with a workshop at Unbound.
That’s what Teresa, a mother from Guatemala said about the shampoo and detergent business she created with three other mothers from her community. It also got started thanks to the determination of these mothers to provide for their families.
Jose, a sponsored child in Guatemala.
Rosa gave birth to Jose at her home in Guatemala. When he was just 2 weeks old, she realized something was wrong.
“His skin seemed fragile and it did not look normal,” she said. “It looked like nylon skin. … We decided to take him to see a doctor. They said he was born with this dry skin illness named ichthyosis.”
Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.
Jorge’s favorite spot is the hammock on his front porch.
“I spend the afternoon right here,” he said. “I read the Bible — I stay here until about 8 at night. We eat something, and we go to bed.”
Jorge is 68 years old and lives in Guatemala. Those relaxing afternoons in the hammock are much needed after his long mornings selling clothes in the marketplace.
Jorge and his wife, Reyna, wake up at 5 a.m. every day and try to sell clothes to provide for their daily needs. They may earn $4 or $5 on a good day, but many times they can’t sell anything, leaving them with no money for food or transportation home from the market.
Luis Cocón, communications liaison, shares a laugh with sponsored children.
By Luis Cocón, Unbound’s communications liaison in Guatemala
“They should have never been born.”
“It’s the mothers’ fault that our country is the way it is — so underdeveloped.”
“She doesn’t understand that giving birth to one child after another only multiplies poverty. Now there is yet another digit in malnourished children statistics.”
Typical comments from some of the very powerful in my country.
Salvadoran mother Maria with sons Diego (left) and Osacar (right), who is sponsored through Unbound.
Happy Mother’s Day from Unbound! As you get ready to celebrate your mom on Sunday, take a moment to check out all these amazing moms from around the world. They are overcoming great odds to give their children better futures.
And don’t forget to share your Mother’s Day photos with us on Monday. Post a photo on Instagram of your mom or a photo of you with your mom, tag @Unboundorg and use the hashtag #MotherMonday.
Alicia, from the Dominican Republic, is an Unbound scholar and mother of a sponsored child. She studies hard so she can get a better job to support her family.
Though Esteban, from El Salvador, may be taller than his mother, Lucely, he will always be her baby boy.
These Guatemalan mothers work together on livelihoods to earn money to support their families.
Widowed mom Nida with her five children at their home in the Philippines.
These moms in Peru are proud to be leaders in their community and speak out against violence in the home.
Bolivian mom Florencia and her three oldest kids in their urban garden.
Indian mom Maan Devi makes anklets and sells them to support her children.
Mary with her two youngest kids, Veronica and Elijah, who are sponsored through Unbound in Kenya.
Looking at this photo, you might see a work of art. A sculpture carefully crafted, textured and painted to convey a new meaning for each new angle it’s viewed from. Or maybe, and more accurately, you see a mushroom farm.
For Guatemalan mother Ana, this mound of chopped corncobs, corn husks and mushroom cultures represents another step toward economic self-sufficiency.