Ten-year-old Maria from Guatemala.
By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director for Unbound
“My name is Maria and my favorite thing in life is going to school.”
The simple, straightforward statement from a third grader in Guatemala represents the dream of children in the developing world.
Maria lives in a small house in a rural area of Guatemala. Her father is sick and hasn’t been able to work. Her family survives because of the kindness of neighbors, friends and their church. On most days, meals consist of salted tortillas and water.
Like many kids who live in poverty, Maria is lacking in nutrition. But she has plenty of energy for life.
Read more about Maria
By Jordan Kimbrell, writer/editor for Unbound
Unbound works with families from many different cultures and traditions. Inspired by New York Fashion Week, we want to explore the different fashions that are found within those cultures. Today we’re sharing photos depicting the many different fashions found in Unbound communities.
View the photos
Josefa and her parents are proud of their cultural heritage.
By Jordan Kimbrell, writer/editor for Unbound
Unbound works with families from many different cultures and traditions. Inspired by New York Fashion Week, we want to explore the different fashions that are found within those cultures. Today we’re sharing an interview with Josefa and her parents from the Santiago Atitlan area in Guatemala.
Luis Cocon visits a home in El Salvador.
Guatemalan farms like this one are affected by the ongoing drought.
By Luis Cocon, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala
The other day while waiting for the bus I saw a little girl about the age of 6 crying. Her cry sounded desperate. Her cry troubled some people. Others just ignored it.
“She is thirsty,” her mother said, as a young woman on an old bicycle stopped and gave the little girl some soda. After a couple of sips a smile appeared on the girl’s face.
Her cry for water reminded me that it is essential for life. I thought of places where people die of hunger and thirst. Not in some faraway country, but right here in my own country of Guatemala.
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.