Supporting Social and Cultural Identity
We understand wellbeing to be a combination of activities that promote physical and mental health maintained by exercise, nutrition and good habits. The region’s rich and unique artistic and cultural heritage is also fundamental to the destination's local identity, and thus an important pillar of our work.
“I’M A GIRL, I’M IMPORTANT”
“Soy niña, soy importante” (SNSI) or “I’m a girl, I’m Important” is a summer day camp that serves girls ages 9-12 years old, and has the mission of providing a safe, nurturing environment where girls can simply be girls. Via didactic and recreational exercises, the camp gives young girls the guidance and tools they need to be self-reflective, critical thinkers and make better life choices.
Fundación Tropicalia has been hosting the camp since 2013, with the objective of reminding girls of their value in society, and instilling in them the socio-emotional skills needed to make informed and important decisions like staying in school, staying safe and timely family planning.
Dominican Republic is the fifth country in Latin America with the highest teen pregnancy rate where 44% of Dominican girls have been pregnant at least once before their 19th birthday. Young girls living in poverty who become pregnant are not only at higher risk for health complications related to early pregnancy, but they are also more likely to drop out of school in order to tend to children, hindering their personal and professional development.
SNSI was created to counter this cycle that keeps girls and women in the grasps of inequality, lack of opportunities and violence. Providing a safe space for girls to grow and learn, SNSI brings together more than 250 girls from six different communities over three unforgettable camp sessions, during which girls learn about self-esteem, life planning, healthy eating and nutrition, sport activities, and environmental stewardship.
In 2016, more than 80 volunteers from Miches, Santo Domingo, and across the country dedicated their time to the summer camp. During the camp’s fundraising, companies and individual donors contributed more than US$20,000 to Friends of Fundación Tropicalia via the donation platform of The Ocean Foundation, our fiscal sponsor in the United States.
Fundación Tropicalia maximizes the natural and cultural heritage of the region by supporting various cultural activities in partnership with the local government and community leaders. Initiatives supported include:
- The annual and historically significant Carnaval celebrations.
- The “Fiesta de Palos.” Each year, Micheros honor their patron saint San Antonio de Padua with a celebration during the Patronales festival. Fundación Tropicalia sponsored the activity by contributing with decorations and contracting the atabaleros, or musicians who play the traditional percussion instrument of the region.
Since late 2011, our Community Newsletter tells the story of its leading protagonists. With each edition, Fundación Tropicalia circulates 2,000 copies of the newsletter in more than 50 distribution points in Miches. The Community Newsletter serves an educational mission, following an editorial line that promotes sustainable development, environmental stewardship, health and disease awareness, local culture and traditions, and individual and civic responsibility for children and adults alike.
Fundación Tropicalia, with the help of Friends of EDUCA and the Dominican Foundation, is holding a fundraiser to gather donations to help send 120 Miches girls to FT’s summer camp, Soy Niña, Soy Importante (SNSI).
As the summer dwindles down and the kids get ready to go back to school, we say good-bye to another wonderful summer and the successful completion of the “Soy Niña, Soy Importante” (SNSI) or “I’m a Girl, I’m Important” summer camp.