Hour by hour: A sponsor visit brings families together

What’s it like to visit your sponsored child? Come along as we share photos of one family's visit to meet their sponsored children in Ecuador.

The Bravo family — husband and wife Warren and Cynthia and daughter Lauryn Isabella (“Bella”) from La Mirada, California — have visited their sponsored children in Quito, Ecuador, several times over the past 6 years.

During their visit in 2014, the day started at the kids’ local community center, where they shared gift bags that contained jackets, T-shirts, pajamas, socks and candy.

Next, the families went to lunch at Tony Roma’s. The kids had never eaten hamburgers or pizza before, so Bella helped them master these American standbys.

Sponsor and kids posing in front of community center.

The Bravos truly love the experience of being sponsors so much that they’ve expanded from five to nine sponsored kids since visiting Quito in 2014!

The kids enjoy opening their bags.

One of the highlights of the visit was gift-giving. Cynthia says she starts shopping months in advance of visiting their sponsored kids.

Warren and Miguel share a smile.

Warren shows off a gift for Miguel, who looks pretty thrilled. (In fact, he wore the shirt for the rest of the visit!) 

Boy enjoys a trip through the supermarket.

Most sponsor visits include a shopping trip. The Bravos picked up the tab for necessities like rice, beans, powdered milk and canned goods. 

Man helps kids with menu decisions.

Since the kids weren’t familiar with hamburgers or pizza, they turned to the Bravo family to give them some help ordering — and eating — different foods. 

Cynthia helps Nicole with an activity.

Just like any mom, Cynthia stepped in to help the kids out with their meals.

Bella smiles while Jeremy waits to dig in.

Bella helped guide the kids on the best technique for devouring a hamburger.

“The kids had never seen what a hamburger or pizza looked like,” Cynthia says. “My daughter was teaching the kids how to hold a hamburger. They loved it.”

Warren and Nicole share a parting hug.

Saying goodbye was everyone’s least favorite part of the visit. They might live thousands of miles apart, but the kids were already looking forward to seeing their sponsors again! 

The kids give Bella a hug before saying goodbye.

Bella got one last squeeze before leaving. Heartfelt hugs are apparently cross-cultural. No instructions or translations needed!

Farewell but not goodbye

Cynthia says she, her husband and daughter were extremely moved by meeting the families. At the end of the day, she adds, “When its time to go, thats when I start crying.”

But the visit only increased their committment to their kids and CI. Seeing their impact in person led them to grow their family of sponsored kids from five to nine. And they’ve already returned — just this summer — for another trip.

Plan a visit to your sponsored kid

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