Category Archives: South America

taxi-FEATIMG
Aug 26 2015

Driving positive change

Luisa stands outside the taxi she drives in Bolivia.

Luisa stands outside the taxi she drives in Bolivia.

A taxi driver’s life can be dangerous. Unknown passengers, unsafe locations, heavy traffic, severe weather and the time of day can affect the outcome of each fare. But when the taxi driver is a woman living in Bolivia, accepting fares on a graveyard shift, the danger is much greater.
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chile-FEATIMG
Aug 17 2015

Unbound in Valparaiso, Chile

The Unbound office in Valparaiso, Chile.

The Unbound office in Valparaiso, Chile.

Amanda Heter, Ximena Pacheco-Diaz and Paul Pearce, employees at Unbound headquarters in Kansas, traveled to Chile to meet the Unbound team in Valparaiso and to meet the families in our program. They shared a few highlights from their trip, photos and told us about some of the things happening in Chile.
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Rufino
Aug 14 2015

A thousand kisses from Rufino

Rufino, right, with his wife, Teresa.

Rufino, right, with his wife, Teresa.

Rufino is an elder in Bolivia waiting for a sponsor, and he’s ready to send his sponsor some love.

“I would appreciate, respect and be forever grateful to my sponsor,” Rufino said. “I would say to come here, I would like to hug you and give you a thousand kisses.”

Rufino is 69 years old and lives with his wife in a small one-room home. He is blind in one eye and his wife has hip problems. Because of their health concerns, the pair is unable to work and find it difficult to meet their basic needs. At times, they don’t even have enough to eat.

“I try to visit the [Unbound] office to see if I already have a sponsor,” Rufino said. “I think receiving someone’s friendship and support brings great joy to the heart.”

Rufino likes taking care of his plants and his wife, Teresa. On the weekends he watches soccer games at the local field. Since he’s lost much of his vision, though, he’s no longer able to read, an activity he used to enjoy.

Rufino dreams of living the rest of his life happy with his plants and his wife. He just needs a sponsor to help him through his twilight years.

A sponsor for Rufino would mean he and his wife would have a meal on the table, medical care and emotional support from their community and sponsor.

Editor’s note: Since this blog was published, Rufino has found a sponsor. Click here to find other elders waiting for a sponsor.

ElSalvador
Jul 22 2015

What does your sponsorship contribution provide?

Sponsored child Rodrigo gives his mother, Elizabeth, a kiss outside their home in El Salvador.

Sponsored child Rodrigo gives his mother, Elizabeth, a kiss outside their home in El Salvador.

Unbound’s sponsorship program is unique. We empower families to have the primary voice in making decisions that will impact their lives. Our program is so personalized you might even say we have more than 300,000 sponsorship programs — one for each individual sponsored through Unbound.


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cindy
Jul 15 2015

Cindy needs a sponsor

Some little girls dream about being a princess, but Cindy in Bolivia dreams of becoming a teacher when she grows up. With a sponsor, Cindy’s dreams can come true.


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Karen and her children inside their home.
Jul 13 2015

Female security guard finds safety in Unbound

Karen and her children inside their home.

Karen and her children inside their home.

Karen has experienced much trauma in her life — from domestic violence and a near fatal attack from her first husband to being abandoned by her second husband. Now the 31-year-old single mother of three in Colombia is raising her children alone in a humble home made of bamboo sticks and rusted sheet metal.

Karen’s strength and hope for her children’s future shines brightly. Her daughter is sponsored through Unbound, and while the tangible benefits help her family, the sense of belonging and hope she feels from the Unbound program is just as meaningful.

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John, former sponsored child and scholar.
Jul 8 2015

Former Unbound youth proves sponsorship works

What happens when sponsored friends graduate from school and leave the program? Do they make better lives for themselves and their families? Are they working? What are they doing to contribute to their communities? Today on our blog, John, a teacher and former sponsored child, answers these questions.


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Florencia and three of her children inside her vegetable garden.
Jun 29 2015

Urban gardening in Bolivia

From left: Florencia, her daughters Carina and Mikaela and her son Giancarlo, center.

From left: Florencia, her daughters Carina and Mikaela and her son Giancarlo, center.


Florencia used to beg her husband for enough change to purchase a small amount of vegetable so she could make soup for her children.

“Most of the time, I just prepared it with water and very few vegetables,” Florencia said.

Florencia is the mother of four children, two of whom are sponsored through Unbound in Bolivia. Florencia participates in the Unbound urban agriculture program in her area, which means begging for spare change is no longer part of Florencia’s routine.

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Rolando and his youngest daughter, Nataly, enjoy spending time together.
Jun 19 2015

The dreams of a father

Rolando and his youngest daughter, Nataly, enjoy spending time together.

Rolando and his youngest daughter, Nataly, enjoy spending time together.

Rolando didn’t have a father growing up in Cartagena, Colombia. His dad died in a car crash when he was just a baby, and his mother died from diabetes when he was only 3 years old.

“I don’t recall much of my parents,” Rolando said, “but I remember my mother being a hard-working woman, and remember her selling fried food downtown. … The one thing I remember from her is the big love she gave us; that is something that I still have inside me.”

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Maria Elena (right) embraces her daughter Maria Angelica.
May 13 2015

Donating the gift of life

Maria Elena (right) embraces her daughter Maria Angelica.

Maria Elena (right) embraces her daughter Maria Angelica.

Maria Angelica has grown up around nurses and hospitals.

Born almost three months early, she spent much of her first four years in the hospital before being diagnosed with kidney failure and a tumor in her liver. Though the doctors were able to remove the tumor, Maria Angelica’s health continued to worsen. She needed a new kidney, but the waiting list was long and knowledge about organ donation was almost nonexistent in Bolivia in the late 90s.

“It is too difficult to find a donor,” said Maria Elena, Maria Angelica’s mother. “When they went to sign up my daughter, she was number 600 on that list. It is very difficult; there is no awareness to donate organs here.”

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