Thursday, July 24, 2014

Donde No Hay Libros

Today was my orientation day in Puerto Plata. I had the utmost pleasure of meeting Tricia Throndike Suriel.

Tricia moved to the Dominican from the United States after visiting here and falling in love with the culture and people. She opened her own mountain bike business and eventually become heavily involved in the community sitting on the board of an educational non-profit and opening several libraries within impoverished neighborhoods. Now, she is the Founder and Executive Director of The Mariposa DR Foundation rightfully named after the Mirabal Sisters.

The Mariposa Foundation works to break the cycle of poverty by educating girls. Students in the Dominican only go to school for a half-day or for four hours. The schooling is often inadequate in many rural neighborhoods and many of the girls drop out of  by the of ages 13 - 16 years old. Dropping out only increases the likelihood they will become pregnant at a young age or become child brides.

When the Mariposa girls finish school they head over to the foundation for four hours of enrichment. The fours hours is spent playing sports, arts, making music, extra reading support or extra math support. Yet, they go WAY beyond that. They also:
  1. Provide nutritious meals to the girls. Currently, in their summer program the girls are receiving both breakfast and lunch. 
  2. They take the girls on their doctor trips. They also teach them questions to ask the doctors when and if an issue arises. 
  3. They build houses for the families who are living in dilapidated homes.
  4. They make beds for girls who are living with an infection which has been caused by the rust on the mattress springs.
  5. They build partnerships with the schools to build a circular relationship so the girls' lives have consistency.
  6. They teach the girls how to play competitive sports to boost their confidence. 

Tomorrow I will be meeting the girls and visiting the foundation. I'll keep you posted!


Post a Comment