Nov 8, 2013

Permaculture Gardening @ Mariposa Center for Girls

Dear Friends,

We are so excited to share news of our latest collaborative effort – a permaculture garden! In our last update, we shared news about the successful fundraising campaign we ran to renovate and open our swimming pool in time for summer camp.  Not only were our swim lessons fantastic, but they were truly lifesaving as well.

During the summer, one of our wonderful long-term volunteers partnered with Taino Organic Farms to institute an Eco studies program. The idea in mind was to create a permaculture garden. Gardening has served as an experiential learning tool as our girls themselves are planting, harvesting and maintaining the seeds. The hands-on experience that our girls get through permaculture gardening allows them to better understand where food comes from, the benefits of organic gardening, and the processes of gardening and farming.

A large part of this project is our “seed library.” Through this library, our girls will harvest and maintain both seeds and seedlings. They can then bring their skills and knowledge back to their families, thus creating true garden-to-table food options for themselves and their families. 

An example of garden-to-table success has been our use of the Moringa tree. This tree, which is native to the Dominican Republic, is hardly used in any capacity. However, it has gained newfound fame as a super food! This is great news for our girls, as they have learned how to utilize the Moringa tree leaves to make delicious, healthy Moringa-lime juice. 

Moringa juice is just one example! Our vision for the future is that our garden and our budding gardeners will provide healthy, fresh food to all of our Mariposa girls and their families. We are creating our own edible schoolyard here at Mariposa!

We are so pleased to continue to share our work with you, knowing that your support and interest are paramount to our continued success!

With gratitude,

Las Mariposas

Moringa Juice!
Moringa Juice!
Enjoying the fruits of their labor...
Enjoying the fruits of their labor...
Working!
Working!
Nov 5, 2013

The Pool at the Mariposa Center for Girls is Open!

Swimming lessons!
Swimming lessons!

Dear friends,

Because of your generosity we met our goal and the pool at The Mariposa Center for Girls is open! We've just finished our first week of summer camp and the swimming program is a big hit. In Cabarete, a small beach town where water sports rule, swimming is one of the most important skills we can teach our girls. Teaching them to swim is empowering. They can learn to surf, kitesurf, kayak, windsurf and feel more like a part of their unique community. The economy in Cabarete thrives on water sports related tourism. If a girl learns a water sport this will enable her to participate in community events and could possibly lead to gainful employment opportunities.

We've seen the impact this can have on several girls that have learned to swim through our programs over the years. We've had girls who started out being afraid of the water who are now strong swimmers and are now surfing and kite boarding. Just last week, a 15 year old named Carola was able to save her sister's life because of the swimming skills she learned at Mariposa. She saw her nine year old sister sinking to the bottom of the pool and was able to save her. She has become a hero in her family and her community and most definitely a powerful force for change!

Because of you, the Mariposa girls now have their very own pool. A place where they can learn, grow, feel safe and have fun being together. This will be an unforgettable summer for the Mariposas and it's only possible because of you.

With gratitude,

The Mariposas

Safety first!
Safety first!
Summer camp is off to a great start!
Summer camp is off to a great start!

Links:

Aug 7, 2013

A great summer at The Mariposa Center for Girls!

Carola
Carola

Dear Friends,

Our 4th annual Girls Summer Leadership Program has just ended and we had an amazing few weeks. Our first summer on our very own land! In our last update in May, we were raising funds to get our pool open for swimming lessons in time for the summer. Well, we have great news! We were able to fund the project and our pool opened in time for camp!

This summer all the Mariposa girls were able to have swimming lessons and enjoy their very own pool every day. Swimming is an important life skill that builds confidence. Our community is a beach town where learning to swim is critical to ensuring that every child is safe.

We'd like to tell you an amazing story about 15 year old Carola. Carola was one of the original 15 Mariposa girls when we began the group almost four years ago. When we first started our swimming program, Carola was terrified of the water. Over the past three years, thanks to donor support and hours of volunteer dedication, she has conquered her fear and become a great swimmer.

On the first day of camp this year, Carola passed out from post-traumatic stress. The stress was brought on because she was worried about her younger sister who had almost drowned the day before at a local hotel pool, and had to be rushed to the hospital. It was 15 year old Carola who saw her sister sinking to the bottom, pulled her out and saved her life, using the skills she learned from the Mariposa swimming program. You'll be happy to know that Carola's sister is okay and was able to join our program this summer and begin learning to swim.

The next few weeks we will be focused on getting our center ready for fall. We're hoping to finish the electrical wiring and windows and doors. It will be our first full academic year in our very own space and we have so many exciting things planned. None of this would be possible without you and we thank you again for your support.

More updates soon!

With gratitude,

The Mariposas

Links:

 
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