A native of San Juan de la Maguana, DR, Irised Mascaró Rosario is passionate about Bridges’ work. She began as an International Volunteer Coordinator in our DR site in February 2018 but since August 2018 is the Volunteer Services Administrator.
Irised loves working for Bridges. She says, “Bridges completely won me over because of the way that we work. Unlike other organizations in this country, Bridges works directly with the community and has a permanent relationship with all our partner communities. Bridges starts off getting to know a community, and, most importantly, learning what their real needs and priorities are. When an organization takes the time to figure this out first, the support they offer communities is substantial and needed. Bridges also leaves communities more self-sufficient than before as we help to develop the community and leadership. On the service-learning side of things, volunteers gain a better understanding of the world that goes deeper.
I have seen a substantial change in our communities, especially Derrumbadero, where I have spent the most time. Particularly the youth have changed: many were so timid before, they didn’t know how to present themselves or have clear goals for the future. Now, many of them carry out meetings and know how to talk to people; they also have a different way of thinking. Many want to continue studying at university. Even the parents have opened their minds a little more. They no longer think that women have to stay at home and that men must work at the farm. They are starting to see the value of education for their kids, and that’s beautiful.
I myself feel like I am part of that change. We live in a more traditional province with more poverty than in other areas of the country. The idea used to be that women were required to stay in their separate sphere in the home only, but slowly it is changing so that women can work in the house, outside the home, have children or study, or any combination of those things. I am proud to be an example of that, like most women in this country.”
Irised is also a new mom to a beautiful 3-month old boy, Iker, pictured with her above. On the side, she is also studying law and working towards a master’s degree in Corporate Responsibility and Quality Control. She loves to dance, sing, and run and, in the past, has won 2 medals in marathons.
Happy International Women’s Day!