Upset About What’s Unfolding on Our Border? Help a Child in Guatemala

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding on our border. And despite what President Trump is saying at his rallies, these people walking thousands of miles towards the United States are not criminals. They are fathers, mothers, and children desperate to escape the violence and poverty in their home countries. Does this crisis make you feel helpless? Well, there is something you can do.

For more than 30 years, I have been making donations to an organization, Unbound, to sponsor a child in Guatemala. You might know that Guatemala is one of the countries in chaos. While some from Guatemala are in that caravan, others are staying in their home country and depend on support. Over the years, I have sponsored numerous children. Once the child I have been sponsoring becomes an adult, I receive another child to help. Each month, I receive letters and photos of the child I’m sponsoring. The letters are written in Spanish and translated into English. I am always touched by what these letters contain. Each child is thankful for the simple things that so many of us take for granted – water, food, clothes, and education.

My current child is named Carmelina, and because my mother’s name was Carmela (and my niece’s adorable daughter is named after my mother), I am not surprised that this young woman from Guatemala has now been entrusted to my care. Her most recent photo shows her staring very seriously at the camera, perhaps uncomfortable that she is being asked to pose. She looks well cared for and I can only hope that once she becomes an adult and is no longer eligible for Unbound’s program, that she will be able to read, write, and have the courage to take care of herself and her future family.

I don’t know what will happen on the border if President Trump holds to his promise to call out the military to prevent these tired and frightened people  to come into our country. I think about my grandparents who survived what I imagine was a horrific ocean voyage to make it from Italy to America, all for the promise of a better life. And I think of what would have happened to them if someone from Homeland Security had ordered them back on that boat and sent back to their country. They wouldn’t have put down roots in America and been able to help their children and grandchildren participate in the American dream. 

If you would like to sponsor a child in Guatemala or another country, go to the website for Unbound.

Top photo: Cuidad Vieja,, Guatemala – December 7, 2017: Traditionally dressed indigenous girls in parade celebrating Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Day in town near Antigua, Guatemala.

About Charlene Giannetti (389 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that completed filming on February 1, 2020. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.