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Mariposa DR Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: The Mariposa DR Foundation, a U.S. 501(c)3 not-for-profit, is a community-run organization that provides sustainable and creative solutions to end extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic, especially empowering girls to achieve their full potential.

Target demographics: Adolescent girls ages 7-18 living in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 150 Dominican and Haitian girls

Geographic areas served: Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Programs: At the Mariposa Center for Girls we take an innovative approach to educating and empowering girls to end generational poverty. If a girl stays in school, remains happy, healthy and gains skills, she will marry later, have fewer, healthier children and earn an income that she will invest back into her family and end the cycle of poverty. We invest in the holistic development and economic potential of girls by giving them access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them, specifically - academic support, sports, arts & culture, vocational training and access to health care.

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with this NGO their second year in existence. I had the time of my life working with these young women. What an opportunity for the girls in this community and the volunteers so privileged to work with them. It was inspiring to see girls have the chance to participate in activities (kitesurfing, windsurfing, swimming, tutoring, music, dance) normally not available to them whether due to their gender or socioeconomic status. One example was a 14 year old girl that I worked with that had so many talents- academic, athletic, and schrewd- she was down to take advantage of any opportunity thrown her way. So, she was involved in every program possible and spent her free time at the center. Today she is studying abroad in Costa Rica and expanding her reach and influence on the world. I know that she will go so much farther in this world because of the Mariposa's impact on her life!

This organization also has a unique opportunity to connect foreigners and Dominicans thus bridging cultural gaps and contributing to global enrichment! Not only do international volunteers come to support programming and love on these girls, but local tourists and travelers support fundraising campaigns and do part time/seasonal programs with the students. It is very community focused and supported, hiring Dominican staff as well as foreign volunteers.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with the Mariposa Foundation in 2011-2012,and it has been one of the defining experiences of my life thus far. Challenging, organic, and with high ideals this organization strives to serve and empower its students and their community. The students and the community both energize and challenge its volunteers and Cabarete's tourists. From day one I was given the privilege of an automatic "in" with Cabarete, people opening their homes and hearts and entrusting me with their children. I could never repay that level of trust and blessing, but I can vouch for the work the org does and the people involved and encourage others to continue to support their efforts!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Going into my trip I wasn't quite sure what to expect, I for sure didn't expect to form lifelong friendships and amazing bonds with people I didn't know before this experience. Ever day I see a small way that this experience changed me and I am truly greatful. I would advice anyone who is considering volunteering at the Mariposa DR foundation to do it because it was the highlight of my summer/year and an amazing experiance.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to the incredible work of the Mariposa Foundation when my daughter volunteered through Middlebury College. As she became more involved, so did my interest in supporting their work through my personal donations. I had the privilege to visit in March 2015 and see the facility, meet the staff and girls. Wholeheartedly, I endorse the core mission of breaking the generational cycle of poverty by focusing on girls...and the Mariposa Foundation is doing it right. Be confident that your donation will change lives, and perhaps, the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to spend three weeks volunteering with this incredible organization. They are really doing a lot to empower the amazing girls. I continue to be inspired by their work, and hope to return in the near future to get more involved.

Ana_28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past two years, as a high school teacher, I have taken students to the Mariposa foundation. My students and I cannot say enough of the good the foundation is offering their clients, the young girls of Cabarete. The Mariposa foundation is exposing them to alternatives they my have never been aware of, if not for the foundation. I hope that I will be able to contribute to this great and inspiring foundation.

Donor

Rating: 5

Inspiring, valued, cutting-edge, holistic, and highly impactful education for girls and women. Making a daily difference in reducing global poverty and increasing human understanding. The only foundation in Cabarete, DR with such a wide, informed vision and scope. I will continue to support and donate to these awe-inspiring programs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization, great people! It's incredible how much they've done in such a short period of time!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The summer volunteer program was a fantastic experience! The girls will steal your heart, make you laugh, and amaze you with their talents, determination, and resilience. There are so many amazing activities going on: arts, literacy, swimming, circus, baseball, gardening, sewing. I loved watching the girls get excited about something they made or jumping into the pool without fear -- they are discovering who they can be and it's such a privilege to support them in the process of becoming. Cabarete has many draws: beaches, water sports, delicious food, but getting involved in Mariposa's work and getting to know these girls will make you want to come back again and again!

Katie124

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mariposa DR Foundation opened my eyes to so many new possibilities in life. It deepened my passion to learn Spanish, and photograph the candid moments that might otherwise get passed by down in the Dominican. The staff was wonderful at the Center along with the girls and their willingness to try new ways of learning with us.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I learned about the Mariposa DR Foundation from a fellow peer at my college; she informed me that the foundation had close ties to my college and that they focused on working with and empowering young girls in the DR. I thought to myself-- I need to volunteer here! Volunteering with the Mariposa DR Foundation was simultaneously my first time out of the U.S. and, I must say, the foundation was a great one to have that experience with; everyone cared for my well-being throughout the entire trip. Truly a "tranqui" lifestyle! --something different than the hustle of a college environment.

Working with the girls was indeed the best highlight! I taught English and Theater classes, and everyday I looked forward to spending time with the girls, teaching, and hearing the many stories they'd have for the day. I can't wait until I can go back and visit the girls that had such a large impact on my overall being. Las Mariposas- the world's most powerful forces for change! :)

Anna Cait Wade

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about Mariposa in my courses on Women & Poverty at UVA, and I was so excited to serve as a summer volunteer for 2014. In my time there, I was blown away by the holistic model Mariposa employs to ensure the well-being of their girls. From good health to cultural enrichment to job skills, Mariposa addresses the needs of the whole child. I would recommend becoming involved with this organization 1000%! If you are able to serve as a volunteer, not only will you learn from expert development field workers about the girl effect model, but you will fall in love with the brilliant, confident, sassy, and beautiful young girls and women of Mariposa. The bonds you make with these passionate Mariposas will last a lifetime. I myself plan to return to this exceptional NGO for the next year as a long-term volunteer. VIVAN LAS MARIPOSAS!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Even though I only spent a week volunteering with the Mariposa Foundation, I was blown away by the important work they are doing in the DR. Observing the impact that this Foundation has on the lives of these girls was a life-changing experience. I believe so strongly in their mission that I am dedicating a whole year to volunteering with them after I graduate, and can't think of a better way to spend my time. The Mariposa DR Foundation is a truly wonderful non-profit.

Rosalie W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for the Mariposa DR Foundation was one of the best, most life-changing experiences I've ever had. I learned more in one week than I've learned all year being at an elite college -- thank you to everyone that made that possible.

Mzwakithi S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer for early February 2013 for 8 days. The Mariposa Foundatio. Took great care of us (the volunteers from Middlebury College) and exposed us to the work they were in the works of setting up, currently doing, and well as how they had grown from the work doen in the previous year. It was an authentic experience in that it was a beautiful mixture of Dominicans and non-Dominicans workin together to improve the lives (yes, quite literally all the factes of life) for young Dominican girls/teens.

I would recommend one to try out the Mariposa Foundation experience to get a taste of the beauty Nd great potential of the Dominican Republic

Todd12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have witnessed the dedication and hard work of the Mariposa Foundation volunteers. I believe in what they are doing and highly support their cause. thank you!

Brent N.

Donor

Rating: 5

A friend of mine is a teacher here and gives regular updates on the Foundation's activities with the girls via her blog. My favorite updates are the ones featuring a girl from a previous year at Mariposa. Reading about their accomplishments big and small really brings home the impact these selfless volunteers have in the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with the foundation over the summer and the work they are doing with the girls is truly amazing. The girls are so eager to learn with all the volunteers and it shows that the Mariposas are really making a difference in the community. The program gives the girls an opportunity to fill their lust for knowledge in a way that is very inspiring.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with the Mariposa DR Foundation since this Fall semester of 2012. Within the short time I've been here, I can already attest to the impact the organization is having in the lives of the young girls it works with as well as their communities. It is truly a pleasure to work with such a caring, enthusiastic and dedicated group, as the Mariposa staff/volunteers, who are united by a passion and commitment to empowering young girls to take charge of their future. Likewise, its been inspiring to work with the Mariposa girls, who are eager to take advantage of the opportunities the organization has to offer. Through a myriad of activities including field trips, community service, sports and educational classes, the Mariposa DR Foundation helps young girls to grow and develop into agents of change for their community. Undoubtedly, the Mariposa DR Foundation is a force to be reckoned with.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Mariposa DR Foundation is making powerful impacts as a grass-root, community-run organization that educates and empowers girls to create sustainable solutions to end generational poverty. Girls make up 70 percent of the world’s 125 million out-of-school youth and one in seven girls in the developing world would marry before the age of 15. Studies show that every year of schooling increasing a girl’s future earning power by 10 to 20 percent. Girls who receive an education marry later, have fewer children, and are more likely to seek healthcare for themselves and their children. The positive impact of girls’ education has been shown to transcend generations, resulting in better health outcomes among women, their children, and eventually their grandchildren. And finally younger women are at higher risk of physical or sexual abuse than older ones.
Mariposa DR Foundation mission aligns its goals with the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. These goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing the child mortality rate, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development. Achieving these goals is dependent upon the education and empowerment of women and young girls. As a good friend of a volunteer, I know of the benefits of this organization. I commend you all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow. I have worked with this Foundation for over a year and have watched it endure its growing pains and develop into a stronger more community oriented organization. The staff are dedicated to the girls in this group, striving to encourage and search out opportunities for these girls that would not be accessible otherwise. I have seen these girls develop, mature, and take on more leadership just within the 15 months that I have volunteered. In addition, not only are the girls and the goals of this Foundation great, but they receive a lot of respect from the rest of the Cabarete community. From the moment I arrived I already had an "in' with the community because I was part of this organization. My unique status provided me security, patience, understanding, experiences, and friendships that I would not have had otherwise. Not only does this organization bless its students, women, and the community, it also blesses its volunteers and staff.