We're excited to tell you about a new addition to The Mariposa Center for Girls. The "Snack Shack" is a fully operating business, completely run by the Mariposa girls themselves! With the help of a dedicated group of students visiting from Lawrence Academy in Groton Massachusetts, this past spring we constructed a small roadside stand where the girls are selling fresh juices, smoothies, sandwiches and snacks. Many of the ingredients come straight from our on site permaculture garden and outdoor learning space where Mariposas are growing their own food. This exciting project at the Center provides a great opportunity for our girls to gain real world work experience in a safe, learning environment. Volunteers are working side by side with the girls, helping them to develop business skills including inventory managment, basic accounting, customer service, teamwork and leadership.
One Mariposa in particular has taken a very special interest in working at the shack. Vivianna is 13 years old and has discovered her passion for the restaurant business. "I learned how to garden and grow food here at the Center last year. I can now grow the food, make recipes and create the menu and I want to own a restaurant when I graduate - or run the cooking school right here at Mariposa!"
As we grow, our goal is to become more self-sustaining. The Snack Shack brings visitors to the Center, allows our girls the opportunity to earn their own income and provides them with great resume building experience. Because of your generosity we are creating an interactive learning environment and our girls are not just thriving, they are excelling. Amazing things are happening at The Mariposa Center for Girls and we look forward to sending you more updates soon!
The girls, families, volunteers and staff at The Mariposa DR Foundation
It's the first day of school this week for our youngest Mariposas! The opening of the public school in our town is delayed for an entire month due to construction, but thanks to you, our girls will not miss a day. For two years our scholarship program has consisted of sending all of our high school students to CADIN, a private school in the neighboring town of Islabon. This year we were able to expand the program and send 100 girls to three of our partner schools, CORAL, CADIN and 3 Mariposas Montessori.
We invest a tremendous amount of resources in sending our girls to private schools because we want them to have access to the best educational opportunities available. In the public school system, the classrooms are overcrowded and there are not enough teachers and staff to give each child the individual and small group attention they need and deserve. Girls are even more likely to get lost and fall through the cracks. By establishing partnerships with smaller, private institutions, we can provide each and every one of our girls with a higher quality education, more individual attention and instill them with pride.
At CORAL there are currently 225 students in K-9th grade of which 70 are Mariposa girls. Because we make up 30% of the student body, it has been beneficial for both the girls and the school to form a working partnership with the director to ensure that our girls are getting the support they need to achieve success. Not to mention, the parents of our girls are absolutely thrilled! Herodita, mother and aunt to three girls who are receiving scholarships to CORAL in the Mariposa program says, "I dropped out of school and never learned to read. I worry because I can't help them and I am afraid they will drop out too. With Mariposa, the girls in my family have the extra support and I know they will do much better".
Summer is coming to an end and we are so excited to kick off what is sure to be a great school year! Giving 100 girls the opportunity to go to private school is only possible because of thoughtful, generous people like you and we can't thank you enough for your ongoing support. We look forward to updating you on their progress soon.
The stove in our kitchen is gassed up this summer and we're cooking more than 1,000 healthy meals and snacks per week for all of our girls and volunteers. Your contribution to fund our cooking gas is helping us to fuel the brains and bodies of our girls for swimming, basketball, reading, math, circus classes, dance, art, music, waters sports, cooking, sewing, English, vocational training and much, much more!
Many of our girls depend on the meal program at The Mariposa Center for Girls as they cannot always count on breakfast or lunch at home. By providing healthy, filling meals and snacks for our girls we are also relieving some of the burden to families, giving the parents peace of mind that their children are well fed. Mother and caretaker to 13, Maria says, "With so many mouths to feed I do not always make enough money to put three meals on the table each day. Sometimes we skip a meal or the older ones fend for themselves. I have 5 girls that are in the Mariposa program and it makes me happy to know they are having so much fun and are getting the food they need to grow up strong and healthy."
These things are only possible because of generous, thoughtful people like you and we thank you for your support. Wishing you a happy and healthy summer!