MAS MARIPOSAS ….Announcing that La Mariposa has a sister organization.
Our NGO is in the final stages of its formation -approved by the State of Colorado and now just a short wait for US federal approval.
Our reasons for taking this step (some of you I know think it is long overdue!) (1) we will have a legitimate base upon which to fundraise and apply for grants and (2) Paulette will have somewhere to leave La Mariposa in her will, thus ensuring that its operations remain for the benefit of the whole community (and of course Guillermina).
Legally, administratively and financially Mas Mariposas will be a completely separate organization from the business. This means that the Spanish school and hotel will function as normal but instead of using our income to directly fund projects, it will be donated to the NGO. Our 15 or so project workers, for example, will be paid by the NGO.
In practice, of course, we will continue to work very closely together. The NGO will work with the same kind of community and environmentally based principles as La Mariposa and will look to support already existing projects that spring in one way or another from the community. The principle of not imposing our own ideas or solutions will still be paramount. It will also follow our well tested principles of minimum bureaucracy, maximum effectiveness and maximum local employment. Unlike many NGOs, Mas Mariposas will not be a single issue organization. It is our belief that you cannot tackle problems in isolation (whether skinny street dogs or disabled children without wheelchairs) without addressing the fundamental issues of poverty and environmental degradation. Obviously La Mariposa will continue to play the major role in offering local employment as well as supporting other employment opportunities such as the women’s cooperative bakery. But clearly the most disadvantaged groups, such as disabled children and their families, need extra and very specific help which Mas Mariposas will continue to provide. The work will stay varied and responsive, the hope being that we will be able to access higher levels of funding than the Mariposa business has been able to provide.
Some examples of our current projects
- donating eco cookers to the poorest families, at the same time donating tree seedlings
- assisting with the provision of latrines and water pipes in the poorest barrios
- supporting disabled children and their families through the Los Pipitos project,
- rescuing horses and dogs and offering them permanent refuge
- rescuing wild animals and returning them to the wild
- bringing the horse project together with Los Pipitos through offering equino therapy
- supporting community based out of school projects and reading corners, providing children in some of the poorest barrios with play and learning opportunities
working with MINED to develop our successful model of in-school support in the most deprived schools
- working in many different ways to protect and enhance the local environment and involve members of the local community in these efforts – including planting and donating trees and other plants, demonstrating a successful organic gardening model, producing our own compost, using sustainable building methods, recycling trash and grey water, acting to protect wild animals, reptiles, birds, butterflies, bees and other insects….
- preserving local cultures, for example, through supporting local dance groups and local knowledge of natural medicine
- supporting local sports leagues in some of the poorest barrios
- establishing and maintaining a nature reserve, combined with an education aspect for both visitors and local people