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Jul 8, 2020

Mariposa Girls Rise Up

In April of 2013, Nicole began programs with Mariposa and entered as a shy, introverted young girl, yet, always with a remarkable openness to learn and discover new things. As every girl who begins programming with us, Nicole first learned how to swim in our onsite pool and later, once comfortable in the water, she was taken to the ocean to learn how to navigate the sea and read the oceans currents. Nicole’s early exposure to swimming and our water sports programming at such a young age, allowed her to discover that her passion lies in the sea. After participating in our summer camp surf program for several years in a row, she has proven to be an incredible, innate surfer with a deep love and passion for the ocean. Through the Mariposa DR Foundation, Nicole had the unique opportunity to participate in a special surf program, where she spent a week surfing and mentored alongside with some of the top surfer women in the world. Most recently, she pushed her swim skills by taking an introductory lifeguard and water safety course in our community; giving her the opportunity to hone in on the development of her skills in a practical way.  

Today, Nicole continues to be a very well-rounded, active teen. As one of the founding members in our musical group, Nicole has developed a love for performing and shines on stage as she has learned to play several different instruments. In the summer of 2019, Nicole was a pioneer in our UWC Summer Short course program and pushed herself to begin to learn English as she befriended students from around the world. During the 2019-2020 school year Nicole received a full scholarship at a local international school where she sharpened  her English skills and developed herself more on both an academic and social level. Every semester her teachers commented on her continued progress and her notable drive to succeed. The pandemic did not stop her from learning remotely from home and advancing her technical abilities, ultimately preparing her for her next step in life.  

We are happy to announce that Nicole has been officially accepted to study at the prestigious United World College Costa Rica in the fall!  Raised by a supportive, single mother, Nicole has been taught to be persistent and to always rise after falling down. Most importantly, she has learned that she can achieve whatever she puts her mind to and that her openness to learn and try new things is the key to her success. We have no doubt that Nicole's embracing of new experiences will follow her as she begins her journey as a Rise Up Scholar abroad.  

Apr 23, 2020

Addressing the Current Situation

As humanity faces unprecedented obstacles, we at the Mariposa DR Foundation are working on the ground with our families and girls. By listening to them, we can better support them in these challenging times. We are writing today to give you, our advocates and supporters, an update on how we are addressing the current situation in Cabarete.

We are assisting the more than 100 families of our Mariposas based on their specific needs. This includes:

  • Saving Lives by Social Distancing: Educating about the importance of social distance and modeling what that looks like. We are sharing best practices for staying healthy. Public health posters are being made by the girls and displayed on the outside of their homes.
  • Feeding Families: Supporting some of our highest need families by creating accounts for them at local corner stores (colmados) and grocery stores.  Families have ownership on what to buy, as they know their needs best. This also will help to stimulate the devastated local economy.  We are also supplying some families in high need with clean water for drinking.
  • Distance Learning: Offering distance learning materials and access to iPads as well as ensuring Mariposas have resources to complete distance learning offered by their schools at the elementary, high school, and university levels.
  • Women’s Health: This can be an especially scary time for the pregnant women in our community. We are connecting with our Mariposa graduates who are pregnant and offering them support and resources. We are also working in collaboration with CEPROSH to deliver medication to HIV+ community members in Cabarete and Sosua. We are distributing sanitary pads, soap and hand sanitizer. 
  • Making Masks: Mariposa Upcycled Sails seamstress Maria Alexandra is making 200 masks out of old spinnaker sails to deliver to families. Additional funding will allow us to pay our second seamstress to expand the mask making and share them with the greater Cabarete community.
  • Nurturing the mind: We are giving the Mariposas journals to write in and lending books from our library.  We will be offering virtual yoga classes when they are able to connect to the internet. 
  • Musical Instruments: We have delivered several musical instruments to the Mariposas’ homes so they can keep practicing and for their enjoyment.
  • Environment: Two new environmental workbooks created by our girls “Eco - Heroes” and “Our Oceans” will be printed once printers are open again and delivered to 2,000 children in Cabarete.
  • Supporting our Rise Up Scholars in the US: We are extremely lucky to have three “madrinas” supporting our three Rise Up Scholars who are stuck in the US and finishing their second semester of freshman year remotely. Thank you to Sherry Herdman, Staci Darmody, and Jen Furigay for opening their hearts and their homes.

We know as a global community we face challenging times. On the day that the Mariposas can return to their schools, to the Mariposa Center for Girls, and to the ocean and the mountains, we will be ready. But the path to recovery and their future depends on the financial support and commitments we are able to secure today. Those of you who have donated this month, whether it be $10, $100, or $1,000, please know it lifts us up as we navigate uncharted waters.

We hope you all are hanging in there and we are holding you in our hearts.

Mar 15, 2020

La Promesa

We wanted to share our promise, la promesa, to the Mariposas as they learn to lead in their community and throughout the world.  As always, thanks so much for your support of this project and for helping to unleash the leader in a girl!

The Promise – The Offer – Our Pledge

We will provide you with an education filled with experiences to last a lifetime. On field trips and through environmental education you will see, smell, and taste things that you never dreamed existed. You will learn skills that will land you jobs and some that will become hobbies. You will play sports, dance, sing and laugh.  You will be safe in our home, because it was built to be your home, too. 

You will learn about other cultures and about your own rich culture, knowledge you can pass to your children one day when you are gown up and if you decide to have them. You will attend a private school where you will stay until you are eighteen years old. We will provide tutors and academic assistance along the way. If you are committed to going to college we will help you to get there.

You will learn languages to enable you to communicate with people from around the world.  You will serve your community and communities with people you do not know. You will march for peace, for change, and for justice for all. You will be a leader who commands respect.

We understand that if your teeth ache or your mother is ill or your siblings are hungry you may not be present, and you need to be present, both physically and mentally. Therefore we will make sure you receive health care and learn to advocate for your health and wellness. If your family needs assistance, financial or emotional, we promise we will look for resources to help them, so that they will also remain determined to help you break the cycle of poverty by receiving a quality education that was not offered to them. We recognize that you cannot do it alone, none of us ever have.  

Our wings are fashioned by many hands.  

The Know

You began your life many miles behind the starting line, and that was not fair. But this has given you a better understanding of how to be compassionate and patient and we trust you will use this compassion and patience to help others who may stumble or need the wisdom of someone who has had to overcome so many obstacles. You will remain committed and will not give up. You may get used to hearing no, but you will never accept it when it is about your well-being or your own dreams or the well-being and dreams of your community, since we don’t belong to ourselves alone.

The Ask

To achieve these goals, you must show up.  You must contribute your time and devotion.  Dream big, work hard.

You must never forget your cradle, where you came from and that you will share your knowledge and love with all that you come into contact with.

You will care for your mother earth and for your mother who birthed you as well as the many mothers and fathers who helped raise you. You will be proud and remain a reader, a problem solver, and a good communicator. You will never stop trying. You will not condone violence or discrimination in any form or intentionally hurt others. You will not judge others as we did not raise you to be judges but to be peacemakers.  You will teach others to love the earth and the sea and the air. 

You are a Mariposa. Your wings were fashioned by many hands. Use them to soar.


La promesa, la oferta, nuestro compromiso

Te proporcionaremos una educación llena de experiencias para toda la vida. En excursiones y a través de la educación medioambiental verás, olerás y sabrás cosas que no imaginabas que existían. Ganarás habilidades que te ayudarán a conseguir trabajo y algunas que se convertirán en pasatiempos. Jugarás deportes, bailarás, cantarás y te reirás. Estarás segura en nuestro hogar, porque fue hecho para ser el tuyo también. 

Aprenderás sobre tu propia cultura y otras, conocimiento que pasarás a tus hijos un día, si tu decides y estés lista para tenerlos. Asistirás a una escuela privada donde estudiarás hasta los dieciocho años. Te proporcionaremos tutores y ayuda académica en el camino. Si estás comprometida para ir a la universidad te ayudaremos a llegar allí. 

 Aprenderás idiomas que te permitirán comunicarte con personas de todo el mundo. Servirás a tu comunidad y a comunidades de personas que no conoces. Marcharás por la paz, por el cambio y por justicia para todos. Serás una líder que inspira respeto.  

Entendemos que si te duele un diente o tu mamá está enferma o tus hermanos tienen hambre tal vez no estarás presente, y tienes que estar presente, tanto físico como mentalmente. Por lo tanto nos aseguraremos de que recibas atención médica y aprendas a defender tu salud y bienestar. Si tu familia necesita ayuda financiara o emocional, prometemos buscar los recursos para ayudarles para que ellos también sigan determinados a ayudarte a acabar con el ciclo de pobreza a través de una educación de calidad que no les ofrecieron. Reconocemos que no lo puedes hacer sola, nadie lo ha hecho solo. 

La Comprensión

Comenzaste la vida muchas millas atrás de la línea de inicio, y eso no es justo. Pero eso te ha dado un mejor entendimiento de cómo ser compasivo y paciente y confiamos que usarás esta compasión y  paciencia para ayudar a otros que pueden tropezar o necesitar la sabiduría de alguien que hasuperado tantos obstáculos. Seguirás comprometida y no te rendirás. Tal vez te acostumbrarás a oír “no,” pero nunca lo aceptarás cuando tiene que ver con tu bienestar o tus sueños o el bienestar y sueños de tu comunidad, porque no nos pertenecemos a nosotros solos.

Lo pedido

Para alcanzar estas metas, tienes que venir. Tienes que contribuir tu tiempo y devoción. Soñar grande, trabajar duro.

Nunca debes olvidarte de tu cuna, de donde vienes, y compartirás tu conocimiento y amor con todos con quien tengas contacto. 

Cuidarás la madre tierra y la madre que te dio la luz y todos las madres y los padres que ayudaron a criarte. Serás orgullosa y serás una lectora, una buena comunicadora y solucionadora de problemas. Nunca dejarás de intentar. No condonarás ni la violencia ni la discriminación en ninguna forma ni hacerle daño a otro a propósito. No juzgarás a otros porque no te criamos para ser jueces sino pacificadores. Enseñarás a otros a amar a la tierra y el mar y el aire. 


Eres una Mariposa. Tus alas fueron hechas por muchas manos. Pero solo tú puedes ponértelas y volar por todo el tiempo que estés en la tierra.


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