The Center


Las Artesans Mariposas: financial freedom for women in impoverished regions of the DR

What We Create

The Center is ‘home base’ for the Butterfly Artists, a name representing financial freedom.  These 10 women come together in this safe haven to produce Dominican crafts. Their handiwork earns them an extra $800 per year each (the average rural annual income is $5,400.) They spend their earnings on basic necessities:

  • mandatory school uniforms (no school uniform — no school)
  • medical bills (many have no medical coverage)
  • extra food for their families (rice, beans and the occasion chicken)
  • clean water (sold below market price at the Center)

Each item is hand-embroidered unique. Each takes approximately 6 hours to complete, including:

  • yoga shirts
  • kitchen towels
  • baby clothing
  • purses crocheted out of plastic bags found in the dumps and surrounding areas (cleaned and stripped)
  • ornaments made from tamarind seeds and rope
  • wooden doll house sets with woven seats

ALL proceeds go to the women, although they have decided to donate 10% of their profits back to the Elizabeth Seton Center. In a community burdened by inequality and economic hardship, WOMEN in poverty often have few means by which to make a better life for themselves and their families.

The Butterfly Artists are creating beauty AND generating income.  With little formal education or employment, these women are investing in their future and inspiring change — to move up and out of poverty — within their own communities and families.