This week, four Unbound staff members from our Kansas City office will travel to Orlando, Fla., to represent Unbound at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference. NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., and Unbound is proud to participate in the conference, connecting the Latino community in the U.S. with families served by Unbound in the 13 Spanish-speaking countries where we work.
This will be the second time Unbound has had a presence at the NCLR conference, beginning last year when the gathering was held just down the road from the main office in Kansas City. Unbound will be set up at booth #908 in the exposition hall and host a drawing for a free awareness trip to Guatemala.
“We want the NCLR community to know that [Unbound] does a lot of work in Latin America, so it’s a great opportunity for people to get involved, make connections and give back,” Unbound’s volunteer outreach manager, Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, said. “The impact that [sponsorship] makes and the results we have is something that needs to be out there in all kinds of communities.”
Previously involved with NCLR on her own, Claudia paved the path for Unbound to participate in last year’s NCLR conference. This year, four other Unbound staff members will attend, forming an experienced, passionate and bilingual team.
One of those four is Paola Moreno, who first heard of Unbound at last year’s conference when she helped out at a booth for a radio station.
“Claudia came to talk to us about Unbound,” Paola said. “And out of nowhere, I said, ‘Are you hiring?'” Paola had a job at Unbound within a few weeks as an outreach volunteer coordinator, and now is returning to NCLR to represent Unbound.
Like Paola, the other Unbound staff members attending NCLR are deeply passionate about Unbound’s work with families living in poverty and love to tell its story. From talking about the connections sponsors make with their sponsored friends to passing out Unbound materials, the team is excited to engage with people of all backgrounds.
At the Unbound booth in the expo hall, the team will share Unbound’s work and encourage attendees to participate in the giveaway for an Unbound Awareness Trip to Guatemala, which includes airfare. Following and sharing about Unbound on various social media platforms will generate entries into the drawing, and a lucky winner — who will get to see Unbound’s work firsthand — will be announced in coming weeks. The contest will spotlight those at the NCLR conference, but will be open to anyone on social media who would like to participate.
In addition to the booth and the trip giveaway, the Unbound team will also have the fun opportunity to meet with Unbound sponsors who live in the Orlando area. Local sponsors are invited to join them at the booth so the staff can hear about their experiences as sponsors and personally thank them.
Unbound is honored to be a part of this year’s NCLR conference. Learn more about Unbound’s work in Latin America by visiting our blog.
Learn more about the giveaway and enter to win the trip to Guatemala!
With 2015 officially here, there’s a whole year of birthdays ahead. To jazz up your birthday wishes throughout the year, watch this video of sponsored children from El Salvador teaching you how to say happy birthday in Spanish.
Make birthdays special for all sponsored friends by donating to the Birthday Fund.
Para servir mejor a nuestros amigos que hablan espaÒol, °ahora tenemos una versiÛn en espaÒol de nuestro p·gina web! Para tener acceso, simplemente visite nuestro sitio en www.cfcausa.org.
En la parte superior de la pantalla hay una bandera que indica el idioma. Haga clic en la bandera para elegir “inglÈs” o “espaÒol”.
Si usted tiene un navegador en espaÒol, la p·gina web detectar· el idioma y mostrar· la versiÛn en espaÒol de forma autom·tica.
CFCA tiene una fuerte presencia en AmÈrica Latina con m·s de 183.000 amigos apadrinados sÛlo en CentroamÈrica y AmÈrica del Sur. TambiÈn, un 3 por ciento de nuestros padrinos hablan espaÒol.
Y no es raro que muchos de nuestros padrinos, amigos apadrinados y personal de CFCA hablen dos o m·s idiomas.
En nuestra p·gina web en espaÒol, puede manejar su cuenta de apadrinamiento en lÌnea, hacer donativos, escribir eCartas a su amigo apadrinado, asÌ como ver la foto de su amigo y su fecha de nacimiento.
Esperamos que nuestros amigos que hablan espaÒol encuentren muy ˙til esta nueva versiÛn.
øTiene preguntas? Por favor, com˙niquese con nuestro personal de Servicios al Padrino al (800) 875-6564 de lunes a viernes de 8 de la maÒana a 5 de la tarde tiempo central o por email a email@example.com.
To better serve our Spanish-speaking friends, we now have a Spanish-language version of our website! To access, simply go to our website, www.cfcausa.org.
At the top of the screen is a flag indicating the language. Click on the flag to choose “English” or “EspaÒol.”
If you have a Spanish browser, the website will detect your language and display the Spanish version automatically.
CFCA has a strong presence in Latin America, with more than 183,000 sponsored friends in Central and South America alone. We also have 3 percent of our sponsors who are Spanish-speaking.
And it’s not uncommon for many of our sponsors, sponsored friends and staff members to speak two or more languages.
On our Spanish-language site, you can manage your online sponsorship account in Spanish, make donations, write eLetters to your sponsored friend and view your friend’s photo and birth date.
We hope our Spanish-speaking friends find this new feature helpful.
Questions? Feel free to contact us at (800) 875-6564 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time Mondays through Fridays, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Kristin Littrell, freelance writer
Students in St. Joseph Academy’s Spanish class raised $100 for CFCA in one day through a bake sale. The inspiration came from their teacher, Lauren Marquis, who sponsors a child in Guatemala.
Teaching Spanish to middle school students can be challenging, but teacher Lauren Marquis knows how to engage her students.
During a letter-writing unit, Marquis assigned the students a task: write a letter ñ in Spanish ñ to her CFCA sponsored child, Ana, in Guatemala.
As the students worked on their letters, they began to ask questions about Anaís life. They looked at pictures Marquis received and noticed that Ana was standing near a trash heap. Ana’s parents didnít have shoes.
This was eye-opening for the students of St. Joseph Academy, a small rural school in Walton, Ky.
As they learned more about Anaís living conditions and international poverty, the St. Joseph Academy students wanted to help Ana and her family build a better life.
So, on their own initiative, the sixth-grade students organized a bake sale during lunch.
They contributed baked goods and raised $100 for CFCA in one day.
ìI was amazed,î Marquis said. ìI took the money to the bank and it was about seven cents short of $100, so I contributed the seven cents. Iím in awe of these kids.î
Now, theyíre anxious to hear back from Ana. Even the tough eighth-grade boys canít wait to receive a letter back from their new friend in Guatemala.
ìIíll definitely do this assignment again,î Marquis said, ìand maybe next year weíll have another bake sale!î
By Allison Kline, student at Missouri State University
My mission awareness trip to Costa Rica was one of the most unique experiences of my life. I got the chance to practice my Spanish and meet my sponsored child, Allison.
Before my trip to Costa Rica, I had never left the United States, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I have studied Spanish in school for the past six years, but I had never spoken it outside the classroom. But, on my first day in Costa Rica, that changed.
My mom, who works in communications for CFCA, was taking pictures of families at the La Estrella subproject, and she needed to tell them that the pictures she was taking were for CFCA. She asked me to tell the parents what the pictures were for, using my Spanish. I was really nervous, but surprisingly, they could understand me, and they seemed happy that I communicated with them in their own language.
The highlight of my trip was the day that the sponsors and sponsored children got to spend together. We spent the whole day at a beautiful park area playing games and getting to know the kids. Allison, who is 7, really enjoyed jumping on the trampoline that was set up. She would have spent the whole day jumping if she could.
I taught her how to use my digital camera and showed her how to look at the pictures she’d taken. She caught on quickly, and she took a bunch of pictures of the children and their sponsors playing and having a good time. My mom and I really enjoyed spending the day with Allison. She was quiet, but the whole day she had a big smile on her face.
The next day, my mom and I went with three social promoters and a translator to visit Allisonís house. When we got to their neighborhood, we had to climb up a muddy hill that the promoters told us was almost impossible to climb during the rainy season. We could imagine that: we were having problems climbing it in the dry weather.
Allisonís house was made of tin and had cardboard walls. Seeing the house was sad, but it made me happy when we walked inside and saw Allison and her older brother and sister coloring with the coloring books and colored pencils we brought them. Allison’s mom showed us Allisonís school notebooks filled with her schoolwork, and we got to see some of the food benefits and the bunk beds that the family received from CFCA.
Going to Costa Rica was one of the best experiences of my life, and I especially enjoyed getting to know Allison and her family. A mission awareness trip is a really eye-opening experience, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to participate in one.
Q. I do not speak the same language as my sponsored friend. Would it help if I wrote my letter using translation software?
A. We truly appreciate your desire to communicate with your friend in her or his native language. This language may be Spanish, Swahili, Hindi or one of many hundreds of indigenous languages.
CFCA employs translators to translate your letter into your friendís language. Although the translations may be less than perfect, the translators try very hard to convey the sentiments of sponsors and sponsored friends.
We prefer that you do not use translation software. Using such software often results in an unintelligible translation because the software is incapable of recognizing context and common phrases and expressions. For example, the word ìMassî can be translated as ìlumpî in Spanish. That is only one example among many. Sometimes, the translations are so poorly constructed, the letter must be returned to the sponsor.
If you do decide to use translation software, please include the English version of your letter so the translator can use it as a reference.
Thank you for writing to your friend. Letters are an important part of the sponsorship relationship and a sign of your love.