2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020


Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Mariposa Dominican Republic Foundation

Empower Girls To Create Sustainable Solutions to End Generational Poverty

Located in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, Mariposa was founded with the vision of ending generational poverty by empowering girls through holistic education. In Cabarete, educational opportunities for young girls are limited after middle school. This void spurred the idea to create an organization that could assist girls in their journey from adolescence to adulthood, safely and provide holistic education helping each girl to realize her full potential. As their name Mariposa (or butterfly) symbolizes, the center believes that investing in girls and women creates a ripple effect that yields multiple benefits, not only for individual women, but for families, communities, and countries. The grants awarded by 11th Hour Racing to Mariposa focus on the organization’s environmental work and projects, with the aim of building income for local women as well as Mariposa itself.  

Scope 2019 – 2020

On an island where climate change impacts day-to-day life, environmental education is crucial to creating strong future leaders. Experiencing nature firsthand teaches children to love and care for the environment, ensuring that they will grow into environmentally conscious adults.

In July 2018, the Dominican Republic received increased international media attention as more than 60 tons of plastic pollution washed onto local beaches. Like many developing island nations, the root causes of this phenomenon include a lack of proper waste management infrastructure and an overabundance of single-use plastic in local communities. This project aims to grow the connection of the Mariposa students to their local river systems, lagoons, and bays, while at the same time empowering them to inspire community action and foster behavior change away from the use of single-use plastic bags.

The scope of the 11th Hour Racing grant includes the following:

  • Develop a student-led awareness campaign on the issues caused by plastic bags and single-use plastics, targeting tourists, local residents, and business owners to promote positive behavior change.
  • Host a series of social activism classes with students in collaboration with the United World College.
  • Partner with local businesses and the tourism council to integrate into the campaign the distribution of reusable shopping bags produced by Mariposa’s  Upcycled Sails Program.
  • Expand the plastic pollution curriculum of the Mariposa Center for Girls through its River Keeper program, including fieldwork along the nearby river system and lagoon.



Upcycled is a social good business created by Mariposa, with three objectives: to keep racing sails out of landfills, to give jobs to local women, and to invest all profits into ocean ­based environmental education.

Donated sails and kites were collected in Newport, Rhode Island and shipped to the Dominican Republic where local women transformed the sails into trendy and useful bags. The bags were sold onsite and through a retail store with proceeds going back to support the Center.

The scope of the 11th Hour Racing grant included the following:

  • Divert landfill-bound sails, bringing them to Cabarete in an 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. Empower girls as environmental ambassadors, to educate 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 the urgent need for community-based solutions to end poverty. The organization’s mission is inspired by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, empower women, reduce the child mortality rate, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development. Achieving these goals is dependent upon the education and empowerment of women and young girls worldwide.


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