Founded by Tropicalia in 2008, with the aim of building a sustainable tourism destination with the local community, Fundación Tropicalia is a non-profit organization that designs and implements community development programs in the local town of Miches and supports the economic diversification, environmental protection, cultural identity and education of its people.
Over the years, Fundación Tropicalia has drawn its strength from its partners and its deep-rooted relationship with the community to help build and execute innovative and high-impact initiatives in agriculture, gender equality, education, entrepreneurship and microfinance.
Though Fundación Tropicalia’s activities were deeply impacted with the onset of the pandemic, we saw an amazing opportunity to refocus our resources and embrace the important role we play as advocates for the Miches community, with fine-tuned focus on education, gender, entrepreneurship and cultural activities.
In 2021, Fundación Tropicalia impacted the lives of 1,144 beneficiaries (61% female, 39% male), by implementing five programs.
- Partners for Education: A local coordinator, Fundación Tropicalia has become a key strategic partner for local implementation of education programs. We embrace our role as a facilitator of new opportunities that channel additional resources to the Miches school district. In 2021, in partnership with Accion Educa, we supported the Office of the Presidency of the Dominican Republic and acted as local coordinators for a nationwide evaluation effort – The Educational Excellence Project (PEE) – to understand the learning outcomes of primary school students during the pandemic.
- Scholarship Program: 12 scholarship students pursued their higher education at the Universidad ISA, four of which graduated. Our ninth cultural and professional exchange event took place at the production facilities of Yazoo Investment and Alcoholes Finos Dominicanos, where students visited sugar cane fields and saw first-hand the process that turns sugar into rum. This was our first cultural exchange day to take place in the eastern region of the country and so close to Miches.
ENVIRONMENT & PRODUCTIVITY
- Costa Esmeralda Beach Rescue: We successfully transferred our beach cleanup program or rescates to PROMICHES, as we saw an opportunity to generate greater impact with the direct involvement and ownership of the program by large hotel operators and developers in this effort. The program has soared as a result, giving rise to a larger public private partnership that organizes public beach use and access.
- Support to PROMICHES: We donated office space to support PROMICHES’ increased activity in the region, effectively contributing to the success of a like-minded organization that is paving the path for responsible destination management.
- Miches emprende: 9 clients, 93 direct jobs, 465 people indirectly benefited. Our rotational fund Miches emprende continues to operate and provide an ongoing source of financing for small business owners in Miches. The fund was capitalized at RD$1,845,000 in 2016, and by December 31, 2021 the fund had accrued a total recapitalization amount of RD$528,230 (RD$111,380 up from the previous year). Of RD$2,280,980 available for lending, RD$1,001,041 have been disbursed among nine clients.
- Cultural Identity: 6 years of support. Fundación Tropicalia remains committed to the cultural integrity of Miches. In 2021, several cultural activities, including the historically significant Carnaval celebrations were suspended due to the pandemic. As a result, we supported alternative cultural initiatives, including: La Feria del coco, El Dia del niño, the Christmas Lighting celebration, and the first anniversary of the El Cedro Firefighters.
Soy niña, soy importante: A robust initiative. Soy niña, soy importante turned a huge corner in 2021, as it grew from a summer camp to a multipronged program that now supports girls from 9 to 15 years old. SNSI’s mission is simple: protect girls’ childhood, guide them in making timely life choices, and educate them and their community regarding their rights.
Soy niña, soy importante fulfills its mission via different action areas, including a summer camp, an at-home program, teen empowerment, and activism, which consists of communication campaigns and civic participation.
- Outreach campaigns and civic participation: Preventing domestic violence and supporting protection services. Fundación Tropicalia concluded its partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, by launching an awareness campaign to prevent domestic violence, educate women and children on how to identify abuse, and motivate the community to report cases of abuse and partake in their Municipal Protection Board. Furthermore, Fundación Tropicalia joined as a member of the Municipal Board of the Children and Adolescents National Council (CONANI) for the 2021-2023 period.