Category Archives: Unbound

Henry Flores, communications center director for Unbound in El Salvador, takes a moment to play with Dulce, who's sponsored through Unbound in Guatemala. Henry was in Guatemala to help shoot a series of commercials featuring Dulce and her family.
May 4 2016

Being the eyes and ears of Unbound in Latin America

Henry Flores, communications center director for Unbound in El Salvador, takes a moment to play with Dulce, who's sponsored through Unbound in Guatemala. Henry was in Guatemala to help shoot a series of commercials featuring Dulce and her family.

Henry Flores, communications center director for Unbound in El Salvador, takes a moment to play with Dulce, who’s sponsored through Unbound in Guatemala. Henry was in Guatemala to help shoot a series of commercials featuring Dulce and her family.

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

Communications in our day can be challenging. Everything is fast. Many prefer short videos, fast-scrolling in their social media. They get bored with stories with a lot of words.

These same people, however, still appreciate true, honest, life-changing stories from real people, videos that capture the dignity of the person and natural photos depicting the true beauty of the humans of our world.

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Maria delivers a freshly prepared elote loco to a young customer.
May 2 2016

Wise enough to capitalize on a ‘crazy’ opportunity

Maria (right) and her mom, Mirna.

Maria (right) and her mom, Mirna.

Maria’s many things. She’s a daughter, a granddaughter and a big sister. She’s a sponsored youth, an Unbound scholar and a hard worker.

She’s also someone who knows an opportunity when she sees it.

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Yvonne and her sponsor, Bridget.
Apr 29 2016

Poem reflects the power of relationship

Yvonne and her sponsor, Bridget.

Yvonne and her sponsor, Bridget.

A poem can relay emotion and meaning in a very distinctive way, and in honor of National Poetry Month, we want to share with you the poetic words of an Unbound sponsored youth and the effect they had on her sponsor.

On a recent Unbound awareness trip to Kenya, sponsor Bridget Burpee was presented with a poem written just for her. Visiting her sponsored friend, Yvonne, for the second time in her eight years of sponsorship, Bridget was warmly welcomed in Nairobi by Yvonne and her mother, Lucy.

This trip was different from her first visit eight years before. Yvonne had just lost her father in a car accident when Bridget came to visit shortly after beginning the sponsorship. At that time, Yvonne and her mother, Lucy, were hesitant about this new person coming into their lives.

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Mayra and Mirna grind coffee beans to sell. They're part of the same mothers group livelihood initiative in Honduras.
Apr 27 2016

Without limitations

Mayra and Mirna grind coffee beans to sell. They're part of the same mothers group livelihood initiative in Honduras.

Mayra and Mirna grind coffee beans to sell. They’re part of the same mothers group livelihood initiative in Honduras.


While in the hospital recovering from surgery on her hand, 45-year-old Mirna decided she could do more with her inherent potential.
She took inspiration from her favorite book, “The Pursuit of Excellence” by Ted W. Engstrom. The book follows an eagle raised with the mentality that it couldn’t fly, until one day it sees other birds flying.

“I think I’m like that eagle,” Mirna said. “During so many years I thought I wasn’t able to do many things, until one day I decided to leave all that behind and decided to pursue my dreams and [support] my family.”

And that’s exactly what she did.

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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

Brothers Ever (left) and Marvin with their mother, Mercedes.
Apr 20 2016

‘Invention comes from a need’

Brothers Ever (left) and Marvin with their mother, Mercedes.

Brothers Ever (left) and Marvin with their mother, Mercedes.

Creativity can help you accomplish your dreams, but the ambition to follow your dreams can take you even further. For Salvadoran brothers Ever and Marvin, the drive to chase their dreams runs in the family.

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Malou Navio (center), coordinator for Unbound in Antipolo, speaking at a parent leader training session.
Apr 18 2016

Impact of gentle, balanced leadership

Malou Navio (center), coordinator for Unbound in Antipolo, speaking at a parent leader training session.

Malou Navio (center), coordinator for Unbound in Antipolo, speaking at a parent leader training session.


In our Antipolo program in the Philippines, like in many of our Unbound communities around the world, staff members represent a leadership style we call Gentle, Balanced Leadership or GBL, which supports not only their fellow coworkers, but also extends to the families they serve. Staff members in Antipolo worked together to create this reflection outlining how GBL manifests itself in their program.

“With this form of leadership, we believe the pilgrim family of Unbound will continue at a sustainable pace to be a liberating force of love in our world today.”
— Bob Hentzen, co-founder of Unbound

Unbound’s Antipolo teams work with 8,400 families in marginalized urban, rural and indigenous communities. The families are organized into small neighborhood groups called kapitbahayans. More than 1,000 parents of sponsored children are leaders in their communities.

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Gaby spends part of her volunteer time with Unbound in the correspondence department in El Salvador.
Apr 15 2016

Unbound scholar overcoming the odds

Gaby spends part of her volunteer time with Unbound in the correspondence department in El Salvador.

Gaby spends part of her volunteer time with Unbound in the correspondence department in El Salvador.

Many obstacles keep children living in poverty from reaching their full potential.

Gaby was raised by a single mother in a rural region of El Salvador, so the odds were already against her.

Gaby’s father passed away, leaving her mother, Dina, as the sole provider for Gaby and her four siblings. Dina’s income as a baker fluctuates, as her wages depend on how many orders she gets and how much bread she sells daily.

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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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Madelline, 7, and her family in El Salvador share a love for music.
Apr 11 2016

Swept away with song

Madelline, 7, and her family in El Salvador share a love for music.

Madelline, 7, and her family in El Salvador share a love for music.

Love was in the air 14 years ago in El Salvador when John swept Arely off her feet with his soulful serenades.

And the singing hasn’t stopped since.

“When we were dating, he used to sing for me every night under a tree that was next to my house,” Arely said. “When our first child was born, he played the guitar as a lullaby.”

John’s love for music has been passed down to his three children: Franklin, 13, Madelline, 7, who is sponsored through Unbound, and Cristian, 4.

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