Socio-Cultural Advocacy


“I’m a Girl, I’m Important”
Summer Camp

Fundación Tropicalia celebrated the fourth year of the “I’m a Girl, I’m important” (“Soy niña, soy importante” or SNSI) summer day camp. SNSI serves girls 9 to 12 years old, and provides a safe, nurturing environment where girls can simply be girls. We give young girls the guidance and tools they need to be self-reflective, critical thinkers and make timely life choices like staying in school and postponing pregnancy. Curriculum includes: Education in Values; Artistic Expression & Development; Development of Interpersonal Relationships, Self-Esteem and Self-Awareness; Sex-Ed and STD Prevention; Gender & Violence; Nutrition; and Sports.

In Dominican Republic 22% of girls between 15 and 19 years old have been pregnant at least once, placing it as the 5th country in Latin America with the highest teenage pregnancy rate. Early pregnancy is the cause of 44% of school dropout among the country’s adolescents,9 hindering their personal and professional development, and widening the already large gender gap that exists in the country: Dominican Republic is the 97th out of 144 countries where there is more inequality between women and men according to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report.10

This situation increases the risks of malnutrition, domestic workload, prostitution and physical and emotional violence towards girls, among other consequences. Moreover, the value of women in the market is significantly reduced, increasing the probability of repeating the generational cycle of poverty.

SNSI seeks to curb these trends by empowering girls and their families. It seeks to support Miches’ socioeconomic development by, among other things, decreasing prostitution, increasing education rates and supporting female participation in the workforce.

When a girl receives 7 or more years of education, she will marry four years later.
Each year of primary school is an increase of 10% to 20% of her future salary.
When women and girls earn a salary, they reinvest 90% of it in their families.
Three years after the first SNSI program, the girls are exhibiting more confident behavior, feeling more empowered, and are more prone to reflect about their future and rights. Family involvement and support have increased significantly, with more parents and grandparents attending the informational and registration sessions.

“I have been participating for three years, and have been able to notice a change in the girls (…) I think they now better understand what being a girl means, which is the most important thing we try to teach in the camp.”

Daliana Medina, SNSI Volunteer.
Source: Community Newsletter July-August 2016, 31st edition


Year 1 - 2013

  • Camp age was 10-15. Learned that the content and preventive messages were better suited for younger girls.
  • Volunteers were schoolteachers. Learned that school dynamics were being replicated in camp.
  • SNSI Logo adopted.
  • 100 girls participated.

Year 2 - 2014

  • Campers’ age adjusted to 9-12.
  • Volunteer program launched to attract participants outside the education community, looking to break out of the “school” dynamics.
  • Company-wide fundraiser and matching-gift program launched in the United States, working with fiscal sponsors Friends of Educa and Dominican Foundation.
  • 250 girls participated.

Year 3 - 2015

  • Fundraiser and SNSI website launched.
  • Fiscal sponsor The Ocean Foundation joins.
  • 257 girls participated.

Year 4 - 2016

  • Launch of SNSI social media. As of December 31st, 2016, the program’s reach included 1,336 Instagram followers and 784 Facebook “likes”.
  • Evolution and enhancement of the SNSI website.
  • SNSI attracted new funding partners, raising international profile.
  • 248 girls participated.

The SNSI program relies on a volunteer program and a fundraising campaign that take place in the United States and Dominican Republic. In 2016, 80 professional Dominican men and women volunteered to dedicate a week of their lives as camp counselors.

We captured in-kind donations from 15 national and international organizations. In partnership with Casa Quien, a contemporary art gallery in Santo Domingo, we hosted a silent art auction featuring female Dominican artists, who depicted the experience of the Dominican woman. A significant percentage of sales were designated for SNSI. We raised a total of USD $22,000 thanks to Cisneros employees who participated in the company’s corporate matching-gift program, friends and family, receiving support from 12 corporate collaborators and 68 individual donors.


Recurrent Camper Rate
Dollars Raised
Camp Sessions
Corporate Sponsors

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Cultural Identity

9 Oficina Nacional de Estadística de República Dominicana (national statistics), UNICEF, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and International Labour Organization (ILO). (2009-2010). Encuesta Nacional de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples ENHOGAR: Situación de la Mujer, la Niñez y la Adolescencia. Obtained from: Accessed January 2017.
10 World Economic Forum. (2016). Global Gender Gap Report. Rankings. Obtained from: Accessed January 2017.