Category Archives: Colombia

A young man in Colombia wearing a running shirt.
Jan 2 2017

A resolution to run

A young man from Colombia wearing a running shirt.

Brayan has lost 44 pounds since joining a running group in his community in Colombia. His newfound love for running has also helped boost his self-esteem and taught him valuable life lessons.

It’s a new year, and resolutions for health and happiness abound. A few years ago, Brayan from Colombia resolved to get healthy and lose weight, and he’s sure come a long way since.
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Florelia Delgado of Colombia was the first person sponsored through Unbound. She's pictured here in her home city of Bogota.
Nov 18 2016

Meeting the first sponsored child

Florelia Delgado of Colombia was the first person sponsored through Unbound. She's pictured here in her home city of Bogota.

Florelia Delgado of Colombia was the first person sponsored through Unbound. She’s pictured here in her home city of Bogota.

The following post includes reflections from Judith Bautista, coordinator of Unbound’s program in Bogota, Colombia, on meeting Florelia Delgado, the first person sponsored through Unbound. It also includes excerpts from an interview Judith and members of her team conducted with Florelia. The interview served as the basis for a story in our 35th anniversary edition of Living Unbound.

Her name evokes flowers. Florelia Delgado is a woman born in Bogota, Colombia. She’s intelligent, brave, creative, sweet and inspiring. She’s a mother, daughter, sister, friend and worker. But for Unbound, she also represents the beginning of sponsorship.

Florelia, almost 35 years ago, was selected to initiate a program that today has a presence in 20 countries, and has more than 310,000 sponsored around the world and more than 260,000 sponsors. She was the first person sponsored in the Unbound world, and her sponsors were Robert [Bob] Hentzen, the late co-founder of Unbound, and his wife, Cristina.

Being the 35th anniversary of the birth of Unbound, we in the Bogota project felt inspired and motivated to work on finding the first sponsored girl. We thought it would be lovely to be able to contact her, especially since the first project that opened was precisely in Bogota.

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Griselda plays wind instruments in a popular all-women's music group called Enclave. She listened to the group on the radio as a child and later fulfilled a dream of playing with them. She's now the group's youngest member.
Sep 2 2016

Youth use music to better their worlds

Griselda plays wind instruments in a popular all-women's music group called Enclave. She listened to the group on the radio as a child and later fulfilled a dream of playing with them. She's now the group's youngest member.

Griselda plays wind instruments in a popular all-women’s music group called Enclave. She listened to the group on the radio as a child and later fulfilled a dream of playing with them. She’s now the group’s youngest member.

From traditional folkloric music to hip-hop, sponsored friends around the world are practicing their favorite forms of music and using music to better their worlds and bring peace of mind.

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Sponsored children take part in an Unbound activity in Colombia.
Aug 22 2016

Unbound, a shelter of hope in times of war


By John Fredy Arango, Unbound staff member in Medellin, Colombia

The Colombian government has been in conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest guerrilla movement, since the 1960s, as well as other armed groups. More than 50 years of violence has had an impact on people from all parts of the country. Unbound staff member John Fredy Arango reflects on the recent evolution of the conflict.

I was barely in my mother’s womb when the echoes of war were already shaking my body. I was born and grew up, I became a young man and I heard those sounds of war again, but this time they were stronger. I saw how they were numbing the hopes and neutralizing the dreams of those around me.

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Jul 6 2016

Trip stories: ‘I was the one receiving the greatest gift’


Jim and Ellen Storey have been Unbound sponsors for 19 years. They sponsor four children in Colombia, where they recently visited on an Unbound Awareness Trip. Jim took some time to describe his experience with Unbound.
Read Jim’s insightful trip reflection.

Jacqueline keeps a binder with her sponsor's letters.
Apr 25 2016

Great tips for writing letters

Jacqueline keeps a binder with her sponsor's letters.

Jacqueline keeps a binder with her sponsor’s letters.

Jacqueline Castiblanco Suarez, who was sponsored through Unbound from the time she was a young girl until she began a career in social work, and Judith Bautista, Unbound’s coordinator in Bogota, Colombia, know a lot about what goes into a good letter. They shared their expertise and gave several tips for writing a letter to your sponsored friend.

Read their writing tips

Franceny, 17, from Colombia, dreams of becoming a doctor.
Apr 13 2016

Family finds sweet successes

Franceny, 17, from Colombia, dreams of becoming a doctor.

Franceny, 17, from Colombia, dreams of becoming a doctor.

Some of the sweetest things in life are born out of adversity.

When Franceny’s father passed away when she was a little girl, she and her mother, Olga, moved from their home in another part of Colombia to Medellin, Colombia, to live with her grandparents.

Olga had to improvise to feed her family after her husband’s sudden death. She learned to make desserts and began selling them in her neighborhood and to bakeries.

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Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.
Mar 18 2016

The power of personal goals

Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.

Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.


Over the last decade Unbound has been shifting more and more of the decision-making power into the hands of the families we serve. We believe that families know best what they need and when, so creating a program that is personalized to each family just made sense.

As part of that shift, our local staff have focused on providing guidance to the families on making budgets and goals for how they want to utilize their sponsorship benefits.

Personal program goals put into action a belief in the decision-making power of individual sponsored members. For this reason, goal setting and goal orientation are an important part of living out many other Unbound program characteristics. A personal goal is simply a specific dream about how someone’s life or situation will be in the future. A goal could be related to someone’s future career, education, health status or economic situation.

Staff members from our office in Antioquia, Colombia, came together to share the process they went through when transitioning to the method of using personal program goals.

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