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Latinas & Líderes Music Program   

Escuela Ritmo y Raíces-Rhythm and Roots School

Latinas & Lideres has a dream to birth a music program for our 40 girls in the Dominican Republic. Help us make it a reality! Our Escuela Ritmo y Raíces (Rhythm and Roots School) would take our work with our girls to another level by adding a music, singing, and dance component. 

Music and dancing have been a central component of the Latinas & Lideres programming. The girls’ love for music and dance shines through and through since the day we first met them. This love shows up in sing-alongs during bus rides from day one, nights in our sleepaway camp, and impromptu dancing between softball innings, and outings. We love that our girls love traditional roots music, palos and salves.

Why a Music Program for Our Girls?

Music will help our girls become more well-rounded and better students. Research shows that music programs help to improve memory, math, and problem-solving skills. The music program will also create opportunities for our girls to collaborate as they would be playing instruments, singing, and dancing as a group. Currently, the girls do not have access to music instruction in their schools or communities, but they love music so much.


Many of our girls are from Villa Mella, the epicenter of African culture and tradition in the Dominican Republic. Villa Mella is also the birthplace of two major forms of traditional roots music in the Dominican Republic: palos and salve music. The Latinas & Lideres Rhythm and Roots School would provide our girls an opportunity to be immersed in their traditional music in addition to giving them a chance to play instruments like the drums and the guira, which are typically played by men. Music continues to be a male-dominated arena across Latin America and the Caribbean. But Latinas & Lideres decided to shift that narrative by creating a girls’ music program in the country. The program will also help preserve the traditional music of this part of the country. Because of their heavy West African influences, palos and salves have been under consistent assault throughout different nationalist projects to ‘whiten’ the country’s consciousness. At one point in Dominican history, playing and dancing to Palos music was outlawed. So not only is the music program healing and a source of joy for our girls, the program will also help to preserve “at-risk” musical traditions in the Dominican Republic.


Please help us bring this dream and vision of our Escuela Ritmos y Raíces to fruition! Gracias!

Donate to Our Escuela Ritmos y Raíces Music Program!

Thank you for your support!

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