CFCA stories

Sponsorship helps change Salvadoran boy’s life

March 1, 2011

CFCA President Bob Hentzen is walking 8,000 miles through Latin America to highlight the heroic families struggling to build a path out of poverty and to promote sponsorship as a viable program to support their efforts.

Hilario and his dad in El Salvador
Hilario's father, Pablo, and Hilario credit CFCA sponsorship
with helping Hilario to stay in school. Sponsorship also helps
with medical care, therapy and nutritional food.

Sponsorship improves the lives of children such as Hilario, 13. Hilario has been sponsored for about a year through CFCA's Hope for a Family program in Santa Ana, El Salvador. In that short time, he has made strides physically and emotionally.

“I like going to school because I like learning and my teacher is very nice,” Hilario said. “She always tells me to stay in school.”

Hilario’s father, Pablo, was struggling to raise his son alone after Hilario’s mother died. But Pablo encouraged Hilario to stay in school because he did not want Hilario to have to resort to backbreaking physical work like he did to earn a living.

School was not easy for Hilario.

“Hilario had some learning and language problems,” Pablo said. “He had been in the first grade for three years.”

Pablo and Hilario were living in a small shack Pablo cobbled together from scraps. Their original home had burned down. Hilario and Pablo slept on a used mattress salvaged from the street.

Caring outreach brings improvement

After Hilario was sponsored in 2010, a group of students on a mission awareness trip coordinated by CFCA built a new house for the pair. Sponsorship provided Hilario and Pablo with new beds, and it helped pay for Hilario’s medical checkups, medicine, therapy and food.

“Being sponsored is good,” Hilario said. “It has helped us very much.”

Hilario and his dad in El Salvador
Pablo is proud of the improvements Hilario has made
in a year. "I feel that he has improved very much now
that he is visiting the doctor," he says.

Pablo is hopeful about the improvements he sees in his son.

“I feel that he has improved very much now that he is visiting the doctor,” Pablo said. “Now he can write words. He can’t write his name yet, but I am giving him homework so he can advance.”

Pablo helps Hilario write to his sponsors, Larry and Gwen Ulibarri from California. The Ulibarris write Hilario often.

“His father says that Hilario is very happy and grateful for the help I have given him,” Larry said.

The Ulibarris met Hilario and Pablo on a mission awareness trip in 2010.

“The best gift they have given me is a hug,” Hilario said. “I want to tell them that I love them very much.”

Hilario’s goal is to improve his reading and writing so he can write his sponsors on his own, to pass all his subjects and make it to the next grade.

“I think I can do it,” he said.

Read the Ulibarris' perspective on meeting Hilario.

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