In Guatemala, there are many ways to say happy birthday. With Spanish as the official language of the country, feliz cumpleaños is one option. But with more than 20 indigenous Mayan languages, there are many to choose from.
Kakchiquel is one of the Mayan dialects in Guatemala, and some of our sponsored friends who speak it wanted to share with you how they say happy birthday.
Help make Unbound birthdays special by donating to the Birthday Fund.
David Ziegler and his sponsored friend, Mimi, give a thumbs up to David’s 2006 visit to Guatemala.
“After meeting Mimi and her family my life was different. I learned it doesn’t take much to be happy. Edgar’s family had next to nothing but had the biggest smiles.” —David Ziegler, Minnesota
At 17, David Ziegler had the opportunity to travel with a church group to build a school in Guatemala. He wasn’t expecting to build a friendship that is still growing eight years later.
Read more about David’s journey.
Pictured front row, from left are sponsored youth Lusbin, Mary Kim Tadda and sponsored youth Dulce. Back row: Lusbin’s parents, Jacinto and Concepcion, Connie and Bernie Tadda and Dulce’s mother, Natividad.
Bernie and Connie Tadda have been Unbound sponsors for 16 years. They and their daughter, Mary Kim, recently participated in an Unbound Awareness Trip to Guatemala and shared their experience with us.
Meeting our two sponsored friends was like taking a two-dimensional relationship and turning it into 3-D. The love and graciousness we experienced were overwhelming.
Tomorrow, June 21, marks the official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer is a time for many people to spend outdoors and soak up the sun. To celebrate the season, here’s a photo gallery of sponsored children around the world showing you what they love to do in warmer weather.
Geraldine, a sponsored child in Mexico, relaxes with her teddy bear in her hammock at home. Lounging in a hammock is the perfect summer activity, don’t you think?
Sponsored children Chantal, second from left, and Lisandra, third from left, take a stroll with their family on the beach of Livingston, Guatemala. Now that’s a nice way to stay cool in the summer heat.
Sponsored children in Guatemala say hello to summer, swing sets and fun times with friends.
“I live near to the beach but we never go there because my family does not have money to take the bus. I want to go in the ocean, but I don’t know how to swim. I want to see the landscape and the ships.” — Andres, a sponsored child in Cartagena, Colombia. Sponsored children in Cartagena visited the beach for a kids’ day out.
Leidy, a sponsored child in Guatemala, jumps rope in her yard — a great game for a single player.
Recess! Sponsored girls in Hyderabad, India, take a break from their schoolwork to have some fun on the playground.
Sponsored children play in the Pamucutan River of the Philippines to escape from the heat of the sun.
Leidy, a sponsored child in Guatemala, shows her little brother Melvin how to ride a bicycle.
Sponsored friends in Cartagena, Colombia, traveled to the beach for a recreational outing. Some of them had never visited the ocean before, and they loved every minute of it!
Bouncy castles and summer are just plain meant for each other, and it looks like Madhusha, a sponsored child in India, agrees with us. Sponsored children and their families get a day of fun and excitement for their annual family fun fest.
Football, soccer or kickball, whatever you call it, this outdoor game is perfect for a summer day. Sponsored children in Kenya are organized into teams and play each other on the field.
Although many sponsored children in Cartagena, Colombia, live near the beach, some had never visited before because of the transportation costs to get there and the high-priced tourism nearby. They said visiting the ocean was like a dream — feeling the warm water and playing games with their friends.
Graduation season is here, and we couldn’t be more proud of all of those who are achieving their dreams of education. Whether it’s finishing high school or completing a higher education, all of these grads have a lot to celebrate.
Valedictorian Rizalyn stands with her mom after giving a commencement speech in the Philippines.
Rubilyn stands with her son Jeff after he received his bachelor of science in information technology in the Philippines.
Ugandan graduates share their success stories.
Jyoti from India completed her master’s degree.
Salvadoran scholar Maria graduated with a teaching degree.
After graduation, Ugandan scholar Veronica got a job as a teacher.
Jeff and his classmates are excited to have earned their degrees.
Mary Grace and her proud parents at home in the Philippines.
Guatemalan scholar Rudy with his diploma.
Indian scholar Annie earned a degree in biotechnology.
These Filipino scholars celebrate after graduation.
Graduates in Uganda enjoy a celebratory picnic put on by Unbound.
Jozel from the Philippines stops for a photo after receiving her diploma.
Feresian is a graduate in Uganda who is now working as an Unbound social worker.
Sisters Diana and Annie from the Philippines completed teachers college together.
Rene graduated from junior high in El Salvador.
Help students like these achieve their dreams. Sponsor today!
Sponsored friend Adriana laughs with Rockhurst University students Alex and Alli.
By Rebecca Keeven, Rockhurst University student and Alpha Sigma Alpha member
In March, I traveled with a group of fellow Rockhurst University students to San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala, for a weeklong service-immersion trip. While preparing for this trip, I did the usual: packed, attended pre-trip meetings and made sure I was caught up on shots and vaccines.
During this time, I also filled out paperwork for an individual sponsor visit through Unbound. Four other women and I were going to have the opportunity to visit the child our sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, sponsors. We filled out our paperwork, communicated with Unbound, and set up a date and time to meet our sponsored child, Adriana.
Celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 11, with a photo of your mom on Twitter and Instagram!
Every Monday on Instagram, we celebrate mothers of sponsored children and their efforts to create a better life for their families. Our #MotherMonday hashtag game shows the faces of mothers around the world, and we want you to add to our collage.
Post a photo of your mom or a photo of you with your mom, tag @Unboundorg and use the hashtag #MotherMonday.
Esther and baby Alex from Kenya. Esther’s older son Samuel is sponsored through Unbound.
Ann and her daughter Sophia, an Unbound sponsored youth, are part of the Maasai tribe in Kenya. The Masssai are known for their beautiful artisan beadwork.
Here we have Graciela and her two daughters, Gloria, left, and Viviana. Both girls are sponsored through Unbound in Colombia.
Maria Luisa, center, and her adorable children outside their home in Bolivia. Looks like she’s got her hands full!
From left: Cecilia helps her daughters Karol and Karen with their homework. The girls are part of the Unbound sponsorship program in Colombia.
Berta holds her daughter, Idalia, in one arm and “ensarta” in the other. Ensarta is the thread of fishes. The main way to create income in Berta’s area of El Salvador is through fishing and other activities from the lake.
This is Estela and two of her 10 children, Edwin and baby Carlos, in Guatemala. So cute! “I am proud of my children because they are good children and they are good students,” Estela said.
This is Meena with her daughter Kushi. Meena is part of an Unbound mothers group in India. She purchased the sewing machine with a microloan provided by the group.
Here we have Olga and Marvin and their little boy, Anderson, in El Salvador. While Marvin works as a bricklayer, Olga stays at home with Anderson and also breeds and sells chickens to add to the family’s income. What a hard-working family!
Elizabeth (second from right) is part of an Unbound mothers group in Kenya. She took out a loan from her group and now runs a successful poultry business with her husband and two sons. Way to go, Elizabeth!
From left: This is Maria and her two daughters, Emili and Lizbeth, who live in El Salvador. Maria stays home with the girls while her husband works hard in the fields to provide an income for the family.
Meet Wendy and her son Carlos, who live in El Salvador. Wendy is a hard-working, single mom who takes care of Carlos and her younger son, Byron, who has cerebral palsy and needs special care. Along with taking care of her boys, Wendy makes and sells traditional Salvadoran treats to earn extra income for the family.
Meet Anita and her son, Abhishek, who is sponsored through Unbound. This family lives in India where Anita is a housewife and takes care of her three young children.
Meet Maria Auxiliadora and her two daughter’s Maria Isabel and Kathiela Vanessa! This family lives in Nicaragua where Maria is a housewife and she is also in the “Blessings from God” mothers group where they prepare and sell nakatamales. Her husband, Juan, is a hard-working truck loader. They are a humble family.
From left, three generations of sponsors: Mary Ellen, Sandy and Amanda.
Meet your sponsored friend day!
Unbound staff member Amanda Burian recently went on an awareness trip to Guatemala along with her mother and grandmother. All three shared short reflections on their experiences. Read more