Fanny and Yoskany learning to swim!
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!
The girls, family, staff and volunteers at the Mariposa DR Foundation.
Lorena biking around Cabarete
Falande shows her silk screening artwork
Naomi won the advanced surf group
International volunteers with Elidania and Carla