Unleash the Leader in a Girl

by The Mariposa DR Foundation
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Surfers collect trash after catching waves
Surfers collect trash after catching waves

Dear Friends, 

This summer, the Mariposas have been making a splash land, air and sea! Many new volunteers arrived for our Summer Leadership Camp to share their talents and passions, and the girls are thriving as they take on new endeavors. During camp this year, the butterflies practiced their math and reading skills, cycled around Cabarete, learned to swim or took their water skills to the next level surfing and stand-up paddling! With your support, we are able to provide this amazing programming for our summer camp.

The middle and high school Mariposas once again commenced their mountain biking program with triathlete volunteer, Myia, and recent Mariposa graduates. Biking gives the Mariposas the unique ability and freedom to explore parts of their town that they may never have visited otherwise. Together, they rode trails alongside beaches and mountains on their daily biking excursions. These strong young women biked as many as 20 kilometers in one day! As their endurance strengthens, we see their patience, grit and spirits growing as big as their muscles. 

Not only are the Mariposas dominating Encuentro Surf Beach as they catch the big waves, they are also setting an example for all by protecting the ocean. Each day, after their surf lessons, the surfistas use recycled cacao sacks to collect trash from the beach. This environmental stewardship helps to ensure that the Mariposas will be able to enjoy surfing at Encuentro for years to come. One of the Mariposa surfers, Viviana, age 15, shared, “When I surf I feel really powerful because when I catch a wave, I feel like I have the power to change the world!” 

Alongside summer fun, quality education is a key part of our Summer Leadership Camp. The Mariposas practiced their math and reading skills daily to prepare for the coming school year. In math class, the girls created bouquets of “multiplication flowers.” These flowers helped them to visualize multiplication sets and apply their math skills in a creative way. Our staff also used the extra time in the schedule to devote one-on-one time to those girls needing the most academic support.

Our summer programs also serve as a safe, nurturing place for the Mariposas to spend their summer. By spending their days surrounded by friends and supportive staff, engaged in stimulating activities, the Mariposas continue to develop as strong leaders. In addition, they are able to concentrate and take full advantage of all the opportunities with a full, happy stomach! Your generous contributions make it possible for our programs to provide breakfast and lunch to our girls each day during camp. Surrounded by a robust and holistic support system, we can’t wait to see the heights these butterflies fly to! 

Thank you for all the crucial support you give to girls’ education and empowerment. We could not have done it without you!

With gratitude,

The girls, families, staff and volunteers at The Mariposa DR Foundation

Mariposa bikers exploring Cabarete
Mariposa bikers exploring Cabarete
Our girls also practice SUP in the river!
Our girls also practice SUP in the river!
A fun way to practice multiplication
A fun way to practice multiplication
Keirimi and Rosa Alva are excited for math!
Keirimi and Rosa Alva are excited for math!
Healthy snacks taste the best!
Healthy snacks taste the best!
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Erika, age 15, reads aloud during book club
Erika, age 15, reads aloud during book club

Dear Friends, 

At the Mariposa Center, we are creating a deep love for reading, writing and books! Reading and literacy is one of the main points of emphasis in our programming because with strong literacy skills, our girls are more equipped to interrupt the cycle of generational poverty. As the United Nations reports that two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female, we believe this is one of the most foundational, yet transformational skills with which we can equip our girls.

This year we welcomed 14 new girls into our programs. These eight-year-olds arrived  from public school with little to no experience reading and writing. Most struggled to correctly identify letters of the alphabet. To meet their needs, educator Mary Jane works to create dynamic and holistic lessons that get the Mariposas excited about learning. She says, “Many of our visitors and volunteers express that they are impressed with the love and connection to the books that Mariposas have. Through books, are girls our discovering how to learn, how to feel, and how to do.” Mary Jane is not afraid to use unlikely strategies to help her students develop a passion for learning. Her focus is learning through play so that alongside reading and writing, the Mariposas develop other important values and skills. This year, seven Mariposas who were previously illiterate learned to read and write. We are so proud of their hard work!

Some of the games the literacy teachers use as educational tools are actually games the girls play in their home and neighborhood. Activities such as Bingo reading, tongue twisters and hangman become ways of teaching both academic content and key life skills. Esmeralda, age 11, reveals the many things she learns in literacy classes: “I love literacy class and reading because I learn about so many important things like tolerance, how to treat a person with respect, diversity and friendship.” By using already well-loved games as a means to learn, the Mariposa teachers accelerate the learning process and plant the seeds in the girls for a life-long love of studying, exploring and learning.

We see that our model is working. The Mariposas excitement for literature continues long after their first literacy classes as eight and nine year olds. With the help of their teachers, the oldest Mariposas organized a bi-weekly book club after each submitting a letter about their desire to be in the club. Our pride beams for their initiative, enthusiasm and continued commitment to literacy! 

We are so grateful to all you who make this project possible through your donations. Thanks to your generous support, our butterflies are bookworms! 

With gratitude,

The girls, families, staff and volunteers at The Mariposa DR Foundation

Teacher Mary Jane and her book lovers
Teacher Mary Jane and her book lovers
The newest and youngest Mariposas
The newest and youngest Mariposas
Fernanda inspires her class with a new story
Fernanda inspires her class with a new story
Kenia, age 12, volunteers at local preschool
Kenia, age 12, volunteers at local preschool
A Mariposa mother reads to girls
A Mariposa mother reads to girls
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Rosa Emilia shares her story with poise and pride
Rosa Emilia shares her story with poise and pride

Dear Friends,

We had a very exciting winter full of empowering and inspiring projects for the Mariposa girls! In December, the Mariposa DR Foundation was honored to receive special guests Elizabeth Acevedo and Laura Peña, two artists with Dominican-American backgrounds. These vibrant women served as incredible role models for our girls and shared their crafts through dynamic workshops and mentoring.

Liz, an acclaimed spoken-word poet and inspirational speaker, has garnered much success for her work in the areas of identity and reclamation of word and story. As a descendent of the Dominican diaspora, through her writing she has worked to preserve her heritage and roots, while affirming her own unique space in the world. Similarly, the Mariposa girls are carving out room for their identity as an unprecedented generation of educated, empowered Dominican and Haitian girls interrupting the cycle of poverty. Liz helped the girls to transform their personal histories into powerful pieces of spoken-word poetry. At our year-end presentation in December, the high school aged girls were able to present their new written works with pride, affirmation, and strength!

We were also very excited to host Laura, a motion art designer and founder of a NYC-based design lab which is focused on storytelling through motion graphics, design, and technology. The oldest Mariposa girls learned and applied this cutting-edge art technology in their various workshops with Laura. With her help, the girls created imagery, wrote dialogue, and recorded videos of themselves to produce a short film. Their final product complemented the oldest girls’ activism campaign #nosoytumamcita in their affirmation of identity and empowerment. Katiana, aged 15, said, “The experience making the video was so cool and educational. I loved it because I was able to learn more about animation. With my photos and expressions, I got to show my strength and independence.” We are so excited to unveil this creative video, made by girls, for girls!

Seeing the girls embody their work so passionately on the stage and on the screen in December was incredible. The video produced with Laura will help share the Mariposa story for years to come, and empowering the Mariposa girls to know the value of their own stories and voices is priceless! Thanks to your generous support, empowerment takes center stage in our work!

With gratitude,

The girls, families, staff and volunteers at The Mariposa DR Foundation

Liz Acevedo performs her spoken word poem "Hair"
Liz Acevedo performs her spoken word poem "Hair"
Jafreisy & Laura Pena hug after inspirational week
Jafreisy & Laura Pena hug after inspirational week
Laura & Liz support the #nosoytumamacita campaign
Laura & Liz support the #nosoytumamacita campaign
Sory's personality shined through in the spotlight
Sory's personality shined through in the spotlight

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
We need your help to spread the word!
We need your help to spread the word!

Dear Friends,

We have some exciting news, and we need your help!

For the past several months, Mariposa staff, volunteers, and girls have been working to create our own social media campaign for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. We had the chance to collaborate with girls’ rights activist and Girl Rising producer, Holly Gordon, and Talía Tavárez, granddaughter of heroine Minerva Mirabal.

The 16 Days of Activism Campaign begins on Friday, November 25th. This day is the anniversary of the assassination of the Dominican national heroines, the Mirabal sisters, and has been declared the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Mirabal sisters, also known as the Mariposas, risked and lost their lives to fight for freedom. Their murders, ordered by dictator Trujillo, symbolize the violence women experience worldwide, but the proximity of their death inspires the Mariposa girls as leaders in the movement against gender-based violence.

Mariposa girls, staff, volunteers, friends, and community supporters will be participating in the campaign. We are working hard to spread the word and make it go viral, and we need your help!

We have created the hashtag #nosoytumamacita (I am not your mamacita) as a way of speaking back against the violence that is invoked upon women and girls daily. This hashtag addresses one of the most prevalent forms of gender-based violence: the street harassment that women around the world face every day. However our campaign will address other forms of violence and culminates on December 10th, International Human Rights Day.

We are encouraging girls and women around the world to post photos of themselves affirming their identities.  For example, a woman could create a sign that says “I am a doctor and save lives. #nosoytumamacita”. Men are welcome to join in on the campaign too, and can post affirming messages such as “I don’t support violence against women #nosoytumamacita” or “She is more than a statistic #nosoytumamacita.”

Below, you will find a pre-made poster that you can print and fill out. Take a picture with your sign and make it your profile picture! Get your friends, family, classmates, co-workers, etc. to join in as well! On Tuesday, November 29th, Giving Tuesday, let everyone know there will be matching opportunities on Global Giving to support our programs!

Everyone has the right to live a life free of violence. Take a few minutes to lend your voice to the fight against gender-based violence worldwide. We look forward to seeing your posts on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Thank you, as always, for your support!

Sincerely,

The girls, staff, & volunteers at the Mariposa DR Foundation

Holly Gordon gave social media campaign workshop
Holly Gordon gave social media campaign workshop
Local school director Miguelina: "I am a teacher"
Local school director Miguelina: "I am a teacher"
Download this poster to participate!
Download this poster to participate!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Fanny and Yoskany learning to swim!
Fanny and Yoskany learning to swim!

Dear Friends,

This year we had another successful summer camp at the Mariposa Center for Girls! We welcomed volunteers from around the world, hosted groups of students, scholars, teachers, athletes, artists and dancers, all of who helped enrich our programs with their skills and positive energy. We held camp activities from the beginning of June until the end of July, with days at the center filled with fun and educational classes, as well as weekly excursions and adventures.

This year our summer camp was special because we really had three separate programs—one for our younger girls ages 8-12, one for our older girls ages 12-15, and internship placements for our oldest Mariposas ages 15-18.

The camp for the youngest girls, the Maripositas, was filled with exciting and educational classes. Throughout the summer, we worked on strengthening swimming skills and teamwork. For some of the girls, this was their first time in a pool! It will come as no surprise that swimming was one of their favorite classes—not only does it support healthy lifestyle through exercise, but it also empowers the girls to overcome fears and learn a new skill. In addition to swimming, the Maripositas worked on math skills, strengthened reading comprehension, practiced environmental stewardship in outdoor education class, expressed themselves through art and boosted their confidence through dance! The girls were able to learn from visiting artists such as Pepe Coronado, a Dominican silkscreen artist from New York, and Christal Brown, the head of the dance department at Middlebury College.

This summer, the Mariposa DR Foundation also debuted its new biking program! Through a generous donation, we now have 60 bicycles and helmets to use to teach our girls how to ride bikes and give them greater mobility. The summer camp for the older girls included daily biking classes in which the girls explored their community through various bike routes and learned basic bike maintenance. They also had English, reading, swimming and sports classes.

A select group of Mariposa girls that reached the highest swimming level last summer were able to enjoy our surfing program! The girls spent two mornings a week on the beach learning how to catch waves and building their confidence in the water. The surfing program culminated in our 3rd Annual Mariposa Surf Contest on the last day of camp. All of the Mariposa girls attended the event, shouting words of encouragement and excitedly waving their posters of support! This year we had two winners, one in the beginner category and one in the advanced. It was a wonderful end to a successful summer to have the whole Mariposa family together, having fun, supporting each other, and soaking up the sun!

Our summer programs aimed to not only enrich the girls’ lives through academic support and the arts, but it also served as a safe place for them to spend their summer. By spending their days surrounded by friends and supportive staff, engaging in stimulating activities, the Mariposas continued on the personal journeys towards empowerment! Thank you for all the crucial support you give to girls’ education and empowerment, we could not have done it without you!


With gratitude,

The girls, family, staff and volunteers at the Mariposa DR Foundation. 

Lorena biking around Cabarete
Lorena biking around Cabarete
Falande shows her silk screening artwork
Falande shows her silk screening artwork
Naomi won the advanced surf group
Naomi won the advanced surf group
International volunteers with Elidania and Carla
International volunteers with Elidania and Carla

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

The Mariposa DR Foundation

Location: Ithaca, NY - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Jessica Lawson
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
$274,130 raised of $500,000 goal
 
5,333 donations
$225,870 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

The Mariposa DR Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.