Members of a mothers group in Guatemala sit in front of baskets they produce to generate income. Pictured are Ana (foreground) and (in back, from left) Maria, Dora and Maria Eva.
Several smaller mothers groups come together in Warangal, India for “Pratibhautsav,” a traditional celebration of light and splendor. This particular gathering was dedicated to the initiative of the women.
Perhaps nothing says more about Unbound’s culture of learning than our movement toward small, community-based groups within our programs. The families themselves taught us that when those who are systemically disadvantaged come together, great things can happen.
Local Unbound program staffs discovered early on that small peer groups were ideal for building trust and an environment of mutual support within a larger community. They found that the ideal size was about 25 members — large enough to feel empowered but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy.
Hugo and Maria with four of their children. Sons Jairo and Cesar (from left) are in the background, while the parents hold twin babies (from left) Ethan and Adler.
This is the last in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ve been posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.
Read Hugo’s story
Marcelo with two of his six daughters, Maria (left) and Estela (center).
This is the first in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ll be posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.
Read Marcelo’s story
Carlos Lopez, a former sponsored child and now Unbound staff member, stands in his home in Guatemala.
Carlos Lopez has seen his life transform from humble roots to a bright future.
With the help and encouragement he received from Unbound and his longtime sponsor, today Carlos serves as a legal adviser for Unbound’s Hermano Pedro program, supporting the very community that that helped him grow up. He recently completed law school.
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.