The Mariposa Cycling Program educates, empowers, and employs girls living in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic-putting them on the path to healthy and independent lives. Our cycling program will empower the Mariposa girls through knowledge of bike safety, maintenance and repair, the skills to engage in fun outdoor activities, and freedom of movement within their community.
In the Dominican Republic 41% of girls marry by age 18 and the education system ranks last in the region. Girls are not valued and are expected to spend most of their time doing domestic chores, often missing school and not having the chance to play outside. Being a girl can be dangerous, as gender-based violence is the 4th highest cause of death among young women and street harassment is waiting on every corner.
To overcome these obstacles Dominican and Haitian girls in our community need education, empowerment, and employment. The Mariposa Cycling program is part of our holistic programming to help girls take control of their lives and realize their full potential. The girls will learn to ride bikes safely as a form of exercise and transportation. They will also learn to maintain and repair the bikes and guide bike tours, a form of potential employment in our touristic community.
The Mariposa Cycling Program will empower over 250 girls to take life by the handlebars and lead healthy, independent lives. They in turn will lift their entire families out of poverty and become agents of positive changes in their communities.