Somos como girasoles: tenemos que girarnos hacia las maneras de vivir que nos sostienen el cuerpo, la familia, la comunidad, y el mundo.
We are Sunflowers
We are like sunflowers: we must turn to the ways of life that sustain the body, the family, the community, and the world.
Somos Girasoles is a community development project focused on promoting health, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. For the last three years we've teamed up with Transitando, an organization that seeks to inspire youth and communities through the fine arts, and El Bien, a community activism and youth empowerment organization, to put on summer camps in communities in and around Cabrera, Dominican Republic.
The town of Cabrera is very fortunate to have several opportunities for educational enrichment that are available to local youth. However, many of the rural communities around Cabrera do not have access to these opportunities due to a general lack of resources and transportation. Somos Girasoles seeks to fill this need by hosting week-long summer camps in several communities. Somos Girasoles began in the rural areas of the municipality and we feel it is important to go back to our roots.
This July 2017, we hosted camps camps in La Entrada, Loma Alta, and Baoba, three of the larger communities around Cabrera. In each community, youth ranging in age from 5 to 17 learned about visual arts, performing arts, and nutrition from the perspective of their unique cultural identity. At the end of each week, they presented what they have learned in a community-wide show. Through this program, over 150 participants strengthened their connection to the arts, their culture, and their communities.
We would not have been able to start camps without the help of your donations. Prior to camps we made it half-way to our funding goal. Even though we didn't have all the funds in-hand, camps are too important to us and the communities we serve to cancel them. As a result, Alicen and I have used our own savings to compensate for the costs early donations did not cover. Even though camps are over, we will still be accepting donations until we reach our goal.
Alicen lives and works full-time as a teacher at a small school in Cabrera and uses her vacation to coordinate Somos Girasoles summer camps. Teachers in the Dominican Republic make about $15 per day. I'm a Masters student in the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences at the Texas A&M School of Public Health and this year, Somos Girasoles counted towards my coursework. Additional donations will help us recover the savings we invested in this program, which is not easy for a teacher in the DR or a grad student in the U.S.
We really appreciate your help! Even the smallest donations make a differece. Thank you so much for your support!
- Catherine Barr
- Penny & Jeff Bessire
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