By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor at Unbound
Bob Hentzen walks with families in Guatemala in 2009, at the start of his second marathon walk. His wife, Cristina (far right) walks with them.
People are capable of more than they think they are.
Our late co-founder Bob Hentzen shared that wisdom with me in a December 2009 interview at the start of his extraordinary walk from Guatemala to Chile, a trek that crossed 12 countries, 18 months and nearly 8,000 miles. He’d answered a question I asked him about parallels between the long haul of the walk and our work with families in poverty.
Jaileen works on a project for Communications as part of her internship.
By Jaileen Guadalupe Escalante, a junior at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School and an Unbound intern
I am 16 years old, love the color pink, volleyball, track and field, and traveling.
I’m a very active, happy person, always smiling and caring for others. I don’t like being bored; in fact I believe you should try to have fun 24/7, even if things aren’t going right. That way you’ll get through everything, because being yourself makes you special.
You’re getting to know so much about me, now let’s talk about what I do at Unbound!
By Gustavo Adolfo Aybar, Sponsor Services communication manager
Gustavo Aybar, Unbound’s Sponsor Services communication manager, performed a poetry reading at booth #Unbound908 of a poem titled “Solo of Hope” by Pedro Mir. He read, “… La esperanza es la esperanza de reanudar la juventud del pueblo”, which means, “Hope is hope to renew the youth of the people.”
As we move closer to the observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, I think of how I strive to honor my history, my culture. As a native Dominican, having lived most of my life in the United States and in large Latino communities, I never gave much thought to the annual celebration of Hispanic heritage, since how every day I was fully aware and living among my people.
I’ve lived in Los Angeles, New York and Miami Beach, and though I’ve been in the Midwest for nearly a quarter of my life now, my lifelong personal mission remains to better educate myself about the history and the complexities of what it means to be from the Dominican Republic. Both my B.A. and M.A. degrees resulted from this strong desire to gain more knowledge about the European (Spanish), African and Taino bloodlines that make up Dominicans, and in most of my pursuits, I search for contributions from underrepresented voices.
By John Fredy Arango, Unbound staff member in Medellin, Colombia
John Fredy Arango, an Unbound staff member in Medellin, Colombia, walks though one of the neighborhoods he serves.
Sponsored children take part in an Unbound activity in 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.
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.
By Larry Livingston, senior writer
In Catholic tradition, a holy year is a time of special prayer, pilgrimage and grace. They normally occur every 25 years, but there can be exceptions for special occasions.
2016 is one of those exceptional years, with Pope Francis proclaiming this The Holy Year of Mercy. During this time, the pope has invited not only Catholics but all people of goodwill to enter into deeper reflection on the concept of mercy.
So let’s reflect a bit, through the lens of Unbound.
Deepiga, 10-year-old sponsored child in India.
Dan Pearson on a visit to India.
Dan Pearson, director of international programs, recently gave an inspiring webinar talk to Unbound staffers around the world. He told a story about a sponsored child he met in India, and how helping one child now could affect millions in the future.
By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager
There’s something about Unbound that has always puzzled me.
Not about how sponsorship works better when both parties involved write to each other. Not about where the money goes. Not about why this works. But why Kansas?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Kansas. Midwestern values, sunflowers, Jayhawks, BBQ — I love it all. But as the hub of an international organization that brings hope and empowerment to kids and elderly across the world? Probably would not have been my first thought.
I’m not the only one to ask this question. It seems like such an interesting location for the headquarters to be. Of all places in the country or the world, how did Kansas get in the mix? Other than the founders being from the area, how did Kansas become the right place for Unbound?
After a year of working here, it finally hit me: Kansas’ state motto, “Ad astra per aspera,” or “To the stars through difficulty.”
Martin Kraus (second from right), director of finance for Unbound, with his family
By Martin Kraus, director of finance for Unbound
“You must become the change you want to see.”
As I walked through the Mumbai airport in India, I couldn’t help but notice this quote on a huge banner hanging overhead. Most of us, whether from India or not, easily recognize this quote as being from Mahatma Gandhi, one of India’s most influential and respected leaders. What struck me are the many ways in which I am privileged to see Gandhi’s quote being put into action all over the world.
At Unbound, our sponsors take this quote to heart by taking action. Their sponsorship allows them to “become the change” that this world so badly needs, and in doing so, they make significant changes in the worlds of others. Recently, while performing an audit of Unbound’s office in Manila, Philippines, I met two beautiful examples.