Category Archives: South America

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound, on an awareness trip in Guatemala.
Feb 3 2016

Zika and traveling with Unbound

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound, on an awareness trip in Guatemala.

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound, on an awareness trip in Guatemala.

By Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound

As concerns grow about the spread and potential effects of the Zika virus, some of our sponsors have asked whether Unbound will cancel any of our planned trips to the field. Many of these sponsors are traveling with Unbound on an awareness trip and are excited to meet their sponsored friend for the first time.

I am happy to say that we have no plans to cancel any of our upcoming trips.

As part of our standard procedures, the awareness trip coordinators and I monitor current events that could impact travelers. Here is some of the key information we are reading from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding Zika virus:

  • “Until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.”
  • “Pregnant women (should) consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.” Read more.
  • A WHO committee advised on Feb. 1, 2016, “The Committee found no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus. At present, the most important protective measures are the control of mosquito populations and the prevention of mosquito bites in at-risk individuals, especially pregnant women.”

Regardless of what is or isn’t making headlines, we urge all our travelers to read the CDC’s Traveler’s Health page and speak with a medical professional regarding travel and their health. We provide information useful for that conversation such as the elevation of the areas they’ll visit and whether or not the lodging is air conditioned. We also require pregnant travelers to obtain medical clearance from their doctor in order to travel with us.

Many illnesses can be avoided by preventing mosquito bites. We refer travelers to the CDC’s Mosquito Bite Prevention PDF for guidance on preventing mosquito bites. A favorite prevention method of our team is using Permethrin to treat clothing as directed by the CDC.

If you have questions or would like more information about the trips Unbound offers, please visit unbound.org/trips or email trips@unbound.org.

Thank you!

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound

Madelen, a former sponsored friend from Colombia.
Jan 15 2016

Faces of empowerment — photo essay

Madelen, a former sponsored friend from Colombia.
Joy in culture

Madelen, a formerly sponsored child, participates in a traditional dance with the Unbound community in Quibdo, Colombia.

See more photos

Ana and Katherin go for a walk in their neighborhood.
Jan 8 2016

Colombian mother’s journey of transformation

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions: eat healthy, get organized, save more, forget less. Even with the best of intentions, many resolutions fall by the wayside. If you’ve made a resolution, we want you to achieve it. Let the story of one mother’s personal transformation inspire you to succeed in your own goals for 2016.

Get inspired

Mayra, an Unbound scholar, at home with her mother, Patricia, in Guatemala.
Jan 6 2016

The true impact of an Unbound scholarship

Mayra, an Unbound scholar, at home with her mother, Patricia, in Guatemala.

Mayra, an Unbound scholar, at home with her mother, Patricia, in Guatemala.


Sometimes it’s difficult to see the true impact of your contribution, especially when you contribute to a program helping many, like our Education program, without knowing who will actually benefit from your contribution.

With a sponsorship, you have the chance to pick the person you want to help, and you can build a relationship through photos and letters. But when you make a contribution to the Education program, who gets to continue their schooling?

Mayra from Guatemala and Cristian from Colombia are just two of the many students who receive scholarship assistance from Unbound’s Education program to continue their schooling.

Keep reading

Making Christmas cards.
Dec 21 2015

Cards full of love

Every year, sponsored friends of all ages gather to make Christmas cards to send their love and holiday wishes to their sponsors. Check out these photos to get a glimpse at the work that goes into making the Christmas cards.

Send your sponsored friend a Christmas greeting today!

PERU-FEATIMG
Dec 11 2015

Standing up for and promoting justice

"Defensora de la Familia," or "Defender of the Family."

“Defensora de la Familia,” or “Defender of the Family.”


Although the map says it’s not far from the Unbound coordinating office, it takes nearly two hours to reach the dusty Manchay region outside of Lima, Peru.

The community is situated on a steep hill, and when the wind picks up the dust swirls in a fury.

Several women begin to gather outside a small office and their bright red vests stand out as the group gets larger. Stitched prominently on the back of each vest are the words, “Defensora de la Familia,” or “Defender of the Family.”
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UCD-FEATIMG
Nov 20 2015

Let kids be kids

meru2

Today is Universal Children’s Day. The United Nations chose November 20 as the observance date to mark the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It was created to make a promise to the children of the world — that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, learn and grow, and that we would make their voices heard and help them reach their full potential.
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Tabata-FEATIMG
Nov 9 2015

Working in solidarity

Tabata, front row, middle, and her family with the mothers group that reached out to help them. They are standing in front of the family's home.

Tabata, front row, middle, and her family with the mothers group that reached out to help them. They are standing in front of the family’s home.


Families who are part of the Unbound sponsorship program are often found at the frontlines of creating positive change in their own communities. And one such example exists in Ecuador.
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Yira-FEATIMG
Nov 4 2015

Unbound scholar dreams of adventure at sea

Yira loves her home by the sea and dreams of working on a cruise ship.

Yira loves her home by the sea and dreams of working on a cruise ship.

People who visit seaside resorts enjoy the warm waters, beautiful beaches and the various amenities such places have to offer. But they might not think much about the lives of the people who provide those services – people like Yira and her family.
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dayofthedead-FEATIMG
Oct 30 2015

Celebrating Day of the Dead

From left: Leti and her daughter Norma sell handmade decorations for Day of the Dead.

From left: Leti and her daughter Norma sell handmade decorations for Day of the Dead.


El Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a popular holiday in Latin America when people visit the gravesites of loved ones. Headstones are painted, cleaned and adorned with flowers. It’s a time for families to come together to honor their loved ones who have passed on.
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