By Amanda Bucci - Program Coordinator and Director of Art & Culture
In the midst of the global pandemic, when the world was already facing so many challenges, the Dominican Republic faced yet another immediate emergency situation at hand as hurricane Isaias passed through the Caribbean. Directly in its destructive path, we experienced severe weather that caused dangerous conditions and storm surges throughout the island. The coastal town of Cabarete saw flooding in some of its most vulnerable areas, power outages throughout the community and damage to already susceptible building structures in precarious places.
In 2014, we successfully took on the challenge of refurbishing the Center from an abandoned building to a first rate facility that invokes inspiration and change in our community and the girls who attend programs there. Our beloved Mariposa Center that serves as a second home for all of the Mariposa girls for the last 6 years, also experienced considerable damage during the storm. A number of large trees came down, causing secondary building damage. Fencing fell over and general reparations will have to be made in order for the Center to be back functioning, of course, once it is safe to bring girls back to programs. Though Isaias caused considerable damage, we know that as an organization we are prepared and skilled to overhaul any destruction that occurred.
On the ground in our community we were able to immediately reach out to all families to check in via telephone, confirming the safety of the Mariposa girls. Additionally, our team members did individual home visits and community walk throughs that gave us a clearer understanding of the extent of the damage and what individual families will need to be able to get back on their feet again. Without saying, 2020 has been a year of incredible challenges throughout the world. Now more than ever, we know the importance of working together as a community for a common goal and supporting each other to rise up after every storm that we are faced to confront.
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