A lawn visited by the Woodmont youth group’s “flocking flamingos.”
You wake up one morning, and as you’re going about your normal routine you glance out at your front lawn. But it looks a bit different than usual. Somehow, a flock of plastic flamingos has made its way to your lawn.
Over the last few months, members of the Woodmont Christian Church in Tennessee have experienced “flockings” courtesy of their youth group. It’s not a prank but one of the fundraising strategies the youth group developed for their “Guats Up” initiative.
Their goal? To build a house in Guatemala for a family that needs one.
Fernando and his mother, Maria.
by Alexandra Stonestreet, project manager for Unbound
In recent years, Honduras has become known for corruption, gang violence and drug trafficking. It holds the unfortunate distinction of being home to some of the worst statistics imaginable. Amid the poverty and mounting violence, a bright spot emerges.
His name is Fernando.
Read Fernando’s story
Doña Jesus started raising turkeys about seven years ago to help support her family. It was right around the time her son Diego was sponsored through Unbound. When all of her turkeys got sick and died, she received lots of encouragement from the Unbound staff not to give up. She also got seven turkeys from Unbound to help her restart her business.
To say thank you for all the support and encouragement her family has received, Doña Jesus shared her recipe for turkey stew, which she makes for her family every Christmas.
Get Doña Jesus’ recipe
A Guatemalan cemetery decorated on Day of the Dead.
Guatemalans celebrate Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and 2, coinciding with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The celebrations are a way to remember loved ones who have passed away.
“We celebrate with a mixture of traditions from the Maya and the Spaniards,” said Norma, whose son, Rodvin, is sponsored through Unbound in Guatemala. “My mother showed me to offer fruits, food, flowers and any other things that our deceased liked when alive. We believe that they visit us on this day to share the offerings that we prepare for them. We also believe in prayers as a way of talking with them and asking God for their eternal rest.”
Selvin holds up a handful of cocoa beans.
Margarita (left) helps lift a roaster full of cocoa beans off the fire.
Happy (almost) Chocolate Day! Tomorrow, Oct. 28, is National Chocolate Day. To celebrate, we’re sharing the story of Margarita in Guatemala. Chocolate is an important part of Margarita’s life. And not just hers, but her community’s as well.
“[Chocolate is] the way that I earn for my family’s food expenses and my children’s school expenses,” Margarita said. “When customers place an order, I know how much I will earn for my children. …”
Chocolate is also important for others in my community because sometimes I need help and I give them work. I ask for their help to peel and roast cocoa beans. It takes about 10 people to peel 100 pounds of cocoa beans in one or two days.”
Continue reading Margarita’s story
Heymi, 10, from El Salvador
Step inside 10-year-old Heymi’s house and you immediately take in the smell of wet wood. The sounds of chickens clucking and dogs barking outside fill the room.
The house, made of adobe and sheet metal, is home to seven people. But they only have three beds.
Heymi and her sister Esmerelda have one doll to share between them. The biggest challenge in life, Heymi said, is that “sometimes we don’t have food.”
Caitlyn meets Ever and his family for the first time.
By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador
Caitlyn had the opportunity to meet her sponsored friend, Ever, on an awareness trip to El Salvador. She is 16 years old, likes to read and enjoys sharing time with her family. They are very close to their faith and frequently attend church.
Although she is young, she has a very strong feeling about helping others. She babysits to pay for Ever’s sponsorship.
“[Sponsorship] makes me feel I need and want to be involved,” Caitlyn said. “It’s a great feeling. I love Ever. It’s about forming a bond with someone from another culture.”
Read more about Caitlyn’s journey