Volunteers engage in an intensive, structured experience working at The Mariposa Center for Girls with the most vulnerable population in the town of Cabarete. Volunteers are expected to work 40+ hours per week, Monday through Saturday with girls ages 8-19. Volunteers will provide program participants with tutoring and mentoring, take the lead on personally designed workshops and classes of their choice, as well as give administrative and development support for the organization. Past volunteers have successfully run projects that have ranged from theatre, to swimming, water sports, dance, sewing, art, gardening, cooking and more! Volunteers are on site at The Mariposa Center for Girls from 8am5pm Monday through Friday and from 8am-12pm on Saturdays. Occasional field trips, community events or evening activities may require additional hours. Volunteers will also take part in group activities, excursions, work shops, explore areas of the Dominican Republic and form meaningful bonds in the local community that will last a lifetime. You will learn by doing and work directly in the field developing your language, leadership, mentoring, resource and risk management and problem solving skills. Whether you are, or want to be, a teacher, lawyer, economist, activist, environmental scientist or prepare for a graduate education, a semester at Mariposa will strengthen your resume and change your life. You will make life long friends, improve your Spanish and cross cultural communication, try new foods and have more fun than you ever imagined! More importantly the change you see in yourself will be just as powerful as the change you are helping us to make in our community.
YOU SHOULD APPLY FOR THE VOLUNTEER INSTITUTE IF YOU ARE: • •
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An undergraduate or graduate student interested in International Development A professional looking for a meaningful opportunity to expand your knowledge, and are ready to assume some real responsibility in the development of a rapidly growing nonprofit organization Are passionate about The Mariposa DR Foundation’s mission and work, with a commitment to learning from local leadership and educating and empowering girls Are interested in being challenged and learning from people from other cultures and backgrounds Are comfortable working across cultures and are up for the challenge of living in an environment that lacks many comforts of the “first world” Work well with groups Enjoy working with kids Are interested in grassroots development work, fundraising, and international nonprofit management
ABOUT THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, CABARETE AND THE MARIPOSA DR FOUNDATION The Dominican Republic boasts some of the best beaches and natural wonders in the Caribbean. It is also home to the oldest city in the New World, Santo Domingo. Situated in the rural north coast of the country, Cabarete is home to two distinct and interdependent cultures. Cabarete is world renowned for its prevailing winds, providing some of the best windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing in the world. These conditions coupled with its breathtaking snorkeling, mountain biking, and hiking, attract a plethora of international visitors year round. On the other hand, Cabarete is also home to a community of over 17,000 Dominican and Haitian men, women, and children who live in abject and extreme poverty. Most local families struggle daily to put food on the table. The education system historically has been abysmal and continues to fail the communityâ€™s children. Hailed as a popular tourist destination for people from all over the globe, most do not know that the Dominican Republic has an alarmingly high rate of child marriage. In fact, it ranks 18th in the world for child brides with more than 40% of girls marrying before the age of 18 and 12% marrying before the age of 15. Through our Volunteer Institute, The Mariposa DR Foundation looks to unite these two seemingly divergent communities by encouraging those who were offered more opportunities to reach out a hand and help to lift up those who are struggling. Our responsibility is to create a comprehensive web of support for young girls and ensure that they are making it from adolescence to adulthood safely.
By choosing to volunteer, you are ensuring a unique and life-changing experience. You will have access to a side of the community not seen by traditional visitors. You will see, hear, touch, smell, and feel things that you have never known before. You will leave knowing that you have touched a life and made a difference.
APPLICATION PROCESS Application decisions are made on a rolling basis depending on needs for the year. A complete application includes the application form, your resume and three letters of recommendation from someone who knows you in a leadership, academic, professional or service capacity. Please email your completed application with â€œVolunteer Instituteâ€? in the subject line to info@mariposadrfoundation. org. Decisions will be made as quickly as possible and will include a phone interview with one of the founders, board members, or senior staff members. There are a limited number of spaces available for each term so applying early is highly recommended. If you have questions about the application process or the program in general please feel free to email us.
PROGRAM COSTS Participating in the Mariposa Volunteer Institute is more than just an exchange of money for room and board. It is an enriching cross-cultural service-learning experience for both participants and hosts. It promotes international understanding and fosters a mutual sense of compassion and consideration. By volunteering, we give and receive, and together we learn! All fees include full oversight, orientation, group activities, workshops and professional development opportunities, excursions, some meals and modest accommodations. Please note that should a volunteer decide to move out of accommodations provided, we cannot refund any program fees. All volunteers are required to have intermediate level Spanish. If your language skills are not advanced, an additional fee for Spanish immersion will be applied to your program costs.
2018 PROGRAM DATES AND FEES What do my volunteer fees cover? • • • • • •
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Full orientation to The Mariposa DR Foundation and Cabarete. Modest and safe accommodations in Cabarete. Breakfast and lunch on full work days. Transport to The Mariposa Center for Girls on work days. Full oversight, trainings and workshops. Select excursions, activities and some work related dinners and/or community events. Assistance in case of emergency. Academic and professional development opportunities. An unforgettable experience of a lifetime. *Spanish immersion supplement includes 4 hours per week of structured classroom style Spanish language instruction.
Dates: January 2nd - May 1st, 2018 Fees: $4,800 USD ($1,200 USD additional fee for Spanish immersion) Highlights: • Working together with international student service learning trips. • Job skills training workshops for high school and graduating program participants. • Earth Day celebration
We welcome college-aged volunteers and professionals who are looking for an amazing summer experience. High school volunteers ages 15-18 must participate as part of the fully chaperoned high school program or service trips, contact us for more details. Dates: Fees:
Session I: June 10th - 29th, 2018 Session II: July 8th - 27th, 2018 Sesion I or II $1,800 USD - Full Summer $2,500 USD ($400 USD additional fee for Spanish Immersion) High School Program Session I or II $3,750 USD
Highlights: Summer is a magical time at The Mariposa DR Foundation as all program participants come together Monday through Friday for special activities including: • Swimming and water sports • Book clubs • Math and science tutorials • Gardening and environmental science classes • Art, dance, music and more! • Many meals included
Dates: September 3rd- December 15th, 2018 Fees: $4,800 USD ($2,200 USD additional fee for Spanish immersion) Highlights: • Border of Lights (www.borderoflights.org) • International Day of the Girl celebration (www.dayofthegirl.org) • Health Fair - medical and dental visits for Mariposa program participants and their families • International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday) • Mariposa Holiday Celebration
FULL YEAR Join us for the entire year starting in the spring or fall. (Please note that year-long volunteer posts may not begin during the summer session but can be included as an extension of a full year term) Fees: $8,500 USD ($1,200 USD additional fee for Spanish immersion)
ALL VOLUNTEERS ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF US OR INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL COVERAGE BEFORE TRAVEL TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. TALK TO US ABOUT FUNDRAISING. SPECIAL DISCOUNTS OFFERED TO CER T I F I E D T EACHERS O R PROFESSIONALS FLUENT IN SPANISH!
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM COSTS Volunteers will be expected to assume cost for travel to and from the Dominican Republic as well as additional living expenses including meals, laundry, transportation and other incidentals. Estimated Additional Costs: • Round-trip airfare - $500-$800 USD • $250-500/month budget for food, incidentals and other costs at your discretion • Full oversight and emergency preparedness is included in the tuition. Additional fees may be incurred by the volunteer should Mariposa staff be required to assist with medical evacuation, hospital admission or other emergency situations that would require staff to go above and beyond or result in additional cost to the organization
Frequently Asked Questions Why must I pay to volunteer?
What if I cannot afford the volunteer fees?
As a small, grassroots nonprofit organization, independent from governmental and religious funding, volunteer programs at The Mariposa DR Foundation are financed almost entirely by volunteer contributions. Volunteer fees are relatively small and ensure your comfort and safety during your service learning experience. Fees cover the cost of housing, extensive pre-trip communication with staff, course materials, full orientation and education on the local community you will be working with, volunteer coordinator on-site at all times and assistance dealing with any hardships you may encounter during your stay. Volunteer fees are considered tuition for an all inclusive, highly structured personal and professional development program. These fees reflect the real costs and expenses that go into making your volunteer adventure possible and worthwhile. You might be excited to hit the ground running and start helping right away, but it takes a lot of training to get new volunteers up to speed. Even experienced teachers and professionals with strong skills need a lot of initial training and assistance. You have to learn to navigate the local culture, community, language and environment as well as the inner workings of the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit you are working for. It takes a lot of time, effort – and yes, money – to take good care of volunteers and ensure that they have the best experience possible!
We understand that the volunteer fees can be costly, especially for current students or recent graduates. Many past volunteers have secured their fees by applying for grants, scholarships or asking friends and family to contribute as sponsors. There are many ways to raise money to cover the cost of your volunteer post. Many volunteers who are seriously committed to their cause find it easy and rewarding to fundraise for their programs. Donations, sponsorship, organized events, and well-planned fundraising can cover a large portion of your program costs. Some people manage to pay for their entire program fees through fundraising. Some suggested ideas: • • •
Visit the career services or volunteer center at your University or graduate school institute Ask friends and family to support your volunteer experience Apply for a Fulbright or similar fellowship
Can I volunteer if I am not in the Dominican Republic? Yes, we always need help with fundraising campaigns. Contact us if you are interested.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Can I volunteer for the day?
While fluency in Spanish is not required, some We do not have the ability to oversee volunteers for just one day or even one week. knowledge of the local language is highly recom- Our girlsâ€™ safety and well being is our priority. We do provide full tours for visitors at mended. We welcome volunteers from all back- the Mariposa Center for Girls so you can learn more about what we do. grounds and appreciate the skills and passions that each and every individual brings to the table. Your placement in the organization will depend largely on your Spanish language ability, as we are unable to provide translation assistance for teachers, counselors or other highly specialized professionals.
Can I organize a group to volunteer? We welcome many student groups and service learning trips throughout the year. Service trips last anywhere from a few days to a month and we can work with you to create a custom itinerary that will provide you with the best experience possible based on your budget. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about group volunteering!
When i signed up for this experience, I had no idea what to expect. I had never met anyone else in the program, and I didn’t speak Spanish. To say that I was nervous would be and understatement. With that said, volunteering with Mariposa was the most memorable and transforming experience I’ve ever had! Seeing the difference that the Mariposa DR Foundation is making in the lives of so many adolescent girls was phenomenal. This organization is providing the girls with so many opportunities that they would never have received otherwise. On top of that, being a Mariposa gives the girls a support network and a safe place to grow and learn. Leaving the girls and the staff at the end of the summer was an incredibly difficult thing to do, but I know that I’ll be back with them next summer!” -Colleen Kavanagh, Long-term volunteer
I’ve been volunteering for the Mariposa DR Foundation for the last 5 months and have had a great experience thus far. I was welcomed into the Mariposa family shortly after I arrived to the DR and saw right away the importance of their presence in the community. Providing support and educational and leadership programs for girls living in poverty is so important. Many, if not most of the Mariposa girls barely attend school (3 hours a day if they’re lucky) or go outside of their neighborhoods. As someone who has worked in nonprofits for a few years, I’m impressed that such a young organization can provide so many resources and support to so many people. I plan on continuing my volunteerism at Mariposa for the next year and look forward to the growth of the organization.” -Laura, Long-Term Volunteer
I have volunteered for the Mariposa DR Foundation for the past 3 years now, and it has truly been a transformative experience. The organization has provided me not only with a clear understanding of non-profit work, but also of how to make a difference in so many lives. The leaders of the organization are kind, motivated and inspirational women. The girls who take part in the Mariposa programs are spirited, lively and absolutely willing to engage in all types of activities with anyone who is committed to the work. I have worked at the summer camp for the past two summers, and have had the opportunity to watch the organization develop tremendously. The changes I have been privy to just in the past two years are quite remarkable and I am so excited to get to be a part of the continual process of growth. Overall, though, the Mariposa DR Foundation is a revolutionary organization that is deeply tied to the community and as a result highly attuned to the needs of the girls and families it serves. I count myself lucky to be involved in such empowering, inspiring work.” -Kelly, Summer volunteer
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.” -MaryAnn, Summer volunteer