2018, 2017, 2016, 2015


Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Mariposa Dominican Republic Foundation

Upcycling Sails at the Mariposa DR Center for Girls

Upcycled is a social business created in 2016 by The Mariposa DR Foundation (Mariposa), a nonprofit educating and empowering girls in Cabarete, a water sports community on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The business has three objectives: to keep racing sails out of landfills (reducing sailing’s carbon footprint), to give jobs to local women, and to invest all profits into ocean ­based environmental education.

Donated sails and kites we will be collected in Newport, Rhode Island and shipped to Dominican Republic. Once in the Dominican Republic, material will be stored at the Mariposa Dominican Republic Center for Girls where their existing sewing room will be used during off-hours (when the girls are not in session at the center) for transforming the sails into trendy bags. The bags will be sold onsite and through a retail store with proceeds going back to support the Center.

  • Divert landfill bound racing sails, bringing them to Cabarete in a efficient and sustainable manner to create Upcycled products.
  • Develop Upcycled into a recognized valued brand through social media and effective product placement.
  • Develop a microcredit lending program for proven seamstresses to buy a machine and work from home, increasing production volume while reducing transportation and childcare costs.
  • Create a core curriculum with environmental education as the nucleus. Promote experiential learning through community projects. Place girls in the role of environmental ambassadors: educating visitors, the Cabarete community, and citizens abroad on the importance of caring for the environment, especially the ocean.

About Mariposa DR Foundation

The Mariposa DR Foundation was founded in 2009 by a group of caring volunteers and children who were inspired by past works, and the urgent need for community-based solutions to end poverty. Our mission is inspired by 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.

Mission: To educate and empower girls to create sustainable solutions to end generational poverty.

Vision: To create the model that can be adapted around the world for a holistic girls’ education and empowerment program to end generational poverty.


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