Category Archives: Central America

Ambrocia displays one of the finished blankets with the Unbound logo.
Jul 29 2016

A stitch ahead

Ambrocia embroiders blankets with the Unbound logo to support her family.

Ambrocia embroiders blankets with the Unbound logo to support her family.

Ambrocia learned how to embroider when she was just 10 years old.

“My neighbor Emilia showed me the skills,” Ambrocia said. “I remember her words, ‘Learn because you never know when it may come in handy.'”

And at the age of 47, this Guatemalan mom is using the skill she learned all those years ago from a kind neighbor to support her family.

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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.
Jul 27 2016

Small groups offer empowerment and support


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.

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Jul 20 2016

Making connections in the Latino community

Four Unbound staff members are headed to the NCLR Annual Conference to share their love for Unbound with the Latin American community. Pictured, from left, are Barclay Martin, Gustavo Aybar, Dora Tiznado and Paola Moreno.

Four Unbound staff members are headed to the NCLR Annual Conference to share their love for Unbound with the Latin American community. Pictured, from left, are Barclay Martin, Gustavo Aybar, Dora Tiznado and Paola Moreno.

This week, four Unbound staff members from our Kansas City office will travel to Orlando, Fla., to represent Unbound at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference. NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., and Unbound is proud to participate in the conference, connecting the Latino community in the U.S. with families served by Unbound in the 13 Spanish-speaking countries where we work.

This will be the second time Unbound has had a presence at the NCLR conference, beginning last year when the gathering was held just down the road from the main office in Kansas City. Unbound will be set up at booth #908 in the exposition hall and host a drawing for a free awareness trip to Guatemala.

“We want the NCLR community to know that [Unbound] does a lot of work in Latin America, so it’s a great opportunity for people to get involved, make connections and give back,” Unbound’s volunteer outreach manager, Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, said. “The impact that [sponsorship] makes and the results we have is something that needs to be out there in all kinds of communities.”

Previously involved with NCLR on her own, Claudia paved the path for Unbound to participate in last year’s NCLR conference. This year, four other Unbound staff members will attend, forming an experienced, passionate and bilingual team.

One of those four is Paola Moreno, who first heard of Unbound at last year’s conference when she helped out at a booth for a radio station.

“Claudia came to talk to us about Unbound,” Paola said. “And out of nowhere, I said, ‘Are you hiring?'” Paola had a job at Unbound within a few weeks as an outreach volunteer coordinator, and now is returning to NCLR to represent Unbound.

Paola Moreno, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

Like Paola, the other Unbound staff members attending NCLR are deeply passionate about Unbound’s work with families living in poverty and love to tell its story. From talking about the connections sponsors make with their sponsored friends to passing out Unbound materials, the team is excited to engage with people of all backgrounds.

Gustavo Aybar, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

At the Unbound booth in the expo hall, the team will share Unbound’s work and encourage attendees to participate in the giveaway for an Unbound Awareness Trip to Guatemala, which includes airfare. Following and sharing about Unbound on various social media platforms will generate entries into the drawing, and a lucky winner — who will get to see Unbound’s work firsthand — will be announced in coming weeks. The contest will spotlight those at the NCLR conference, but will be open to anyone on social media who would like to participate.

Dora Tiznado, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

In addition to the booth and the trip giveaway, the Unbound team will also have the fun opportunity to meet with Unbound sponsors who live in the Orlando area. Local sponsors are invited to join them at the booth so the staff can hear about their experiences as sponsors and personally thank them.

Barclay Martin, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

Unbound is honored to be a part of this year’s NCLR conference. Learn more about Unbound’s work in Latin America by visiting our blog.

Learn more about the giveaway and enter to win the trip to Guatemala!

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.
Jun 17 2016

Hugo’s story: learning from life

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.

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

CarlosFeaturedImage
Jun 3 2016

Law student gives back through his work with Unbound

Carlos Lopez, a former sponsored child and now Unbound staff member, stands in his home in Guatemala.

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.

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A water barrel belonging to a sponsored family in El Salvador.
May 30 2016

The high cost of being poor

A water barrel belonging to a sponsored family in El Salvador.

A water barrel belonging to a sponsored family in El Salvador.

By Henry Flores, director of the communications center in El Salvador

The more I learn about people living in poverty, the more I discover how expensive it is to be poor and how their fragile personal economy forces them to face high costs of living and social prejudice.

We all know that the less you earn the more expensive getting credit becomes. You have to pay more in interest for being a “risk” to the creditor, as earning less makes you a higher risk to default on your loan.

Something similar happens to poor people. Most of them don’t have a steady income, so they aren’t eligible for credit, and since they live off daily earnings, they can only make small payments daily. How do you conduct business in such a fragile economy? How do you make products and services available for people in such economic conditions?

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Luis Cocón, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala, laughs with sponsored children while taking a break from a photo shoot.
May 25 2016

Creating connections in Latin America

Luis Cocón, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala, laughs with sponsored children while taking a break from a photo shoot.

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.

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Sponsored child Cindy from Guatemala reads a letter from her sponsor.
May 20 2016

Guatemala mail stoppage delays sponsors’ letters

Sponsored child Cindy from Guatemala reads a letter from her sponsor.

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.