Written by: Chelseamarie
Through Elevate™, a platform for empowering women and girls, Chelsea Hill has brought SheJumps and Mariposas Mujeres Cambiando el Mundo into partnership, summer 2016, for a project that will embolden young girls in Central Mexico through relationships to one another and their environment.
I first met Elena Neibaur on a SheJumps Community Initiative I had organized in the Bay Area of California. Myself, Elena, and other women shares life histories as we hiked the Redwoods, and reveled in our mutual desire to reach under resourced communities of girls and inspire young women to get outside and get active! Our relationship blossomed as Elena continued to participate in SheJumps events. Regional Coordinator Jessie Hughes and I had been coaching the Bret Harte Middle School Girls Run Club, and Elena joined us during their final 5K Color Run in San Francisco.
Elena approached me, hoping that I might have interested in taking leadership on the Health and Fitness component of Mariposas’ upcoming Environmental Service Adventures Program in Mexico. Of course, I was elated! So the bond began to partner Elevate™, SheJumps, and Mariposas!
Mariposas is an organization that supports projects to empower young girls. Mariposas Mujeres Cambiando el Mundo was founded in 2012 from a previous Peace Corps Volunteer, Tessa Eckholm, who was based in Central Mexico. One of her projects was initiating a week long empowerment and leadership camp for girls, ages 14-18, that are from rural, marginalized communities with the help of a local university, National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics. After the camp the girl participants are to return to their communities and start community service clubs to further enhance the knowledge and confidence of other locals. After the inaugural camp, many of the young women who were very active in the club wanted to attend college and asked for our support and any assistance. The dreams of these young women was the motivation for Tessa to create Mariposas when she returned to the US. They are now in their 3rd year as an official 501(c)(3). In addition to the annual Mariposas camps and community clubs, there is a scholarship program that pays for school fees and living expenses of girls to attend a university, of which currently there are 9 total recipients.
Environmental Service Adventures is a new 10-day program that takes what the girls learned from the camps and clubs and expands upon their leadership and empowerment skills through an environmental focused community service trip that will take place in Akumal located in southern Mexico. Each of the 10-days are broken into activities related to the three main focus areas of the program: Community Service, Environmental Education, and Adventure.
Akumal is Mayan for “Place of the Turtle” which is home to green and loggerhead turtles where the girls will volunteer toward conservation efforts. In this beautiful, inspirational setting, daily activities include a variety of service, educational lessons, and adventures, including: sea turtle education and conservation; personal development and health sessions; survival swimming; community outreach; cultural exploration; and more.
In honor of March 8th, International Women’s Day, I give you a live video interview with Elena Neibaur and myself (Chelsea Hill), discussing the Mariposas Environmental Service Adventures Program in Mexico, July of 2016.
This project is funded entirely by YOUR support, as women contribute to help other women and young girls expand their resources, improve their lives, and inspire their communities. The campaign to fund these girls’ amazing adventure will run March 4th – March 18th. Donations can be given here.
On March 8th, all donations will be matched up to $100, at THESE exact times!
10 EST/ 9 CST / 7 PST 12 EST/ 11 CST / 9 PST 3 EST/ 2 CST / 12 PST 5 EST/ 4 CST / 1 PST 8 EST/ 7 CST / 5 PST
Gals….GIVE, GROW…enliven, encourage, and inspire these girls!
From Cali to Mexico to all of the women in the world putting positive energy out there – I thank you for your support!