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The impact of Mariposa Mountain school in Dominican Republic

In June 2022, the collaborative efforts of RNT Rausch and Acronis Cyber Foundation Program gave rise to a beacon of hope in the heart of Dominican Republic’s Los Marranitos community: the Mariposa Mountain School. Since its inception, this initiative has transcended mere construction and curriculum, becoming a catalyst for transformative change within the local community and beyond.

From the initial planning stages to the culmination of construction and the commencement of classes, the journey of Mariposa Mountain School has been marked by a commitment to empowerment and education. The school has had a profound impact on the children of Los Marranitos, instilling in them a sense of hope, ambition, and cultural pride. Through initiatives focused on global studies, language proficiency, art, and self-confidence, the school has equipped its students with the tools necessary to break the cycle of generational poverty.

One of the most significant outcomes of the Mariposa Mountain School project is the cultivation of meaningful relationships among its students. Young girls, previously isolated within their community, now interact with peers from the Mariposa Center in Cabarete, forming bonds that transcend geographical boundaries. These interactions not only foster cultural exchange but also inspire confidence and ambition, as students witness the aspirations and achievements of their counterparts.

Moreover, the school’s curriculum extends beyond traditional academics to encompass a holistic approach to education. Programs such as English language classes, art workshops, and agricultural excursions provide students with diverse avenues for growth and self-expression. Through these initiatives, students develop essential skills, expand their horizons, and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Global Study Program

This winter marked the inaugural launch of the Global Study Program at the Mariposa Mountain School. Throughout the program, students explored various continents, cultures, languages, and social customs, with a particular focus on North America. Emphasizing experiential learning, students embarked on a culinary journey, preparing and savoring traditional dishes from the United States and Mexico in small groups. Through this hands-on approach, they expanded their palates and gained insights into the cultural contexts surrounding different cuisines. Additionally, students engaged with the music of North America, listening and dancing to traditional tunes to connect with diverse cultural heritages.

English language classes

A notable highlight is the progress observed in English classes at the Mariposa Mountain School. With Los Marranitos embracing a wider array of cultures and communities, students are increasingly enthusiastic about learning English as a second language. Recognizing the importance of equipping students with the tools to navigate a globalized world, the school has deployed Katie Estabrook, an English-language teacher and former Middlebury student, to lead classes and offer personalized tutoring sessions. The dedication of students to their English studies has been remarkable, resulting in significant advancements in both speaking and listening skills.


In recent months, students at the Mariposa Mountain School have embraced various forms of artistic expression, exploring diverse avenues for self-expression through art. For example, in January, they immersed themselves in the art of Origami, dedicating multiple days to mastering this intricate craft. Origami, an ancient art form, not only serves as a visually captivating mode of self-expression but also promotes mental well-being and enhances fine motor skills while fostering an appreciation for diverse cultures. Additionally, guided by Dominican artist Will Grom, students collaborated on painting an inspiring mural depicting a revered female elder from the local community on the school campus. This project facilitated the exchange of cultural folklore, enriching the experience for all involved. These successful artistic endeavors have inspired students to express a desire for continued participation in future art workshops.


Mariposa Mountain School students actively engage in agricultural excursions to understand organic farming practices and sustainable nutrition. As farm production rates increase, it’s vital for students to learn about their community’s agricultural traditions. Additionally, Cabarete students visit Los Marranitos, fostering educational exchanges that empower females in traditionally male-dominated economic practices. These collaborations boost Mountain School students’ self-confidence, allowing them to share knowledge about sustainable agriculture with their peers.

The impact of Mariposa Mountain School extends beyond the classroom, influencing the well-being and aspirations of the broader community. Despite socioeconomic shifts driven by tourism and economic development, the school remains a steadfast anchor, empowering young girls to pursue higher education and inspiring families to invest in their children’s future.

In the words of Emelly, a 13-year-old student whose life has been transformed by Mariposa Mountain School, the experience has been nothing short of life-changing. As the school continues to empower and inspire, it serves as a testament to the power of education in driving positive change and shaping the future of communities around the world.

Acronis Cyber Foundation Program welcomes individuals, groups, and companies to partner with us to work side-by-side to benefit our local communities.

Contact us to find out more!

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