The Foundation Angel Mariposa was created to help families affected by domestic violence
especially children, young teens, and women affected by the domestic violence itself. It is necessary
to help the family members heal the pain caused by violence, strengthen their self-esteem, and
teach them to break this cycle of violence within their homes. Only in this way there will be a change
in their lives, allowing them to have a dignified and productive life and to be able to perform an
active role in the society.
HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION ANGEL MARIPOSA:
I am Maria Ruiz, the person who created the Foundation Angel Mariposa. I was a victim of domestic
violence for 21 years. In our marriage we had 3 daughters: Nataly, Halue and Hannan. In November
2011 was Natalie's 4th anniversary of her suicide. She made this decision to break free from
domestic violence. Hannan and Halue, 11 and 13, live in Miami with me for over 2 years, thanks to
the U Visa granted by the American Government.
We were in the Safe Space Shelter, located in Miami, which gave us very important aid to heal all the
psychological damage that we had after many years of violence, because to survive amid violence
we had to learn to be violent as well to defend ourselves from the aggressor.
We have been in recovery programs like The Heroes, from Jackson Memorial Hospital, The
Resolution Trauma Center; Crianza con Cariño de Amigos For Kids and Entre Nosotras in CVAC (all
located in Miami). To me it is very important that my daughters and I can heal this part of our lives,
especially my daughters, who since birth the only thing they knew was violence.
I became an Advocate against domestic violence (ADVOCACY TRAINING Core Competency with
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence), worked as a volunteer at Safe Space Shelter and in
addition to having spent much of my time in the recovery of my daughters and my own, I have
dedicated to open spaces for victims of domestic violence.
After my recovery began, I began also to participate in the society as a volunteer; this participation
has brought me much personal satisfaction because my main goal is to share with others all that I
lived to learn what I know now. I wish that other people do not have to live the sad departure of a
child for not knowing about the effects of domestic violence on children / youth.
Since April of 2010 I have been sharing my story through the media, television and radio. I have
participated in all the places where I have been asked to share my experiences. I must say that in
addition to having the opportunity to share with many people my personal experience. Over time I
have also heard the story of many others who have lived through domestic violence and I have got
to get a really close knowledge of the real needs of these families who live in this harmful
As I was getting ready to the opening of the headquarters of the Foundation, I survived with
resources that I got from my job as a barista at Maxine's Restaurant and Lounge in Miami Beach.
From my very modest salary I took little money from every paycheck to pay for the expenses
regarding the paperwork and the legal procedures required for the legalization of the Foundation.
This is why it has taken a little longer to move forward to the next step.
However, time became an allied because I was able to educate myself and I got to gather people
who joined the Foundation because they believe and support the objectives it holds. The supporters
are really moved to the idea to provide tools to the families to empower themselves and become
strong enough to break the cycle of violence. One of these supporters is my sister Martha Lucia Ruiz,
who has been in charge of legal aspects of the Foundation. She is a true believer who has shared her
know how with the Foundation. As well as Martha Vallejo, who is MSW from Barry University
College, BA Sociology from the University Simon Bolivar in Colombia, with a outstanding resume. She
is devoted by conviction and passion to work with illegal children under age.
Some of the activities in which I have participated as a representative of the Foundation:
• At the Miami Jackson Hospital with Dr. Robert Morgan, Director of the program through
which benefit many victims of domestic violence.
• With Light Point Empowerment Group with Alba Gallo, Foundation Mujeres Impactando
• With Roxana Silveira, Foundation Perlas de Esperanza.
• At Caracol Radio International Miami, program Animate y Vive, led by Irma Sanchez.
• Accompanying the Resolution Trauma Center to receive their well-deserved award from the
county commissioners of Miami-Dade, for they tremendous work on behalf of victims of domestic
violence. With: Martha Vallejo, Melissa Sorokin, Teresa Descilo, Laura Taylor Hayashi, Jil Hoyfield
Rapperport and Norvell.
• At the 3rd Annual Domestic Violence Walk and Expo, Miami.
• Interview in La Nueva F.M. 88.3, On October/2010.
• With Maria Mercedes Becerra, president of the Foundation Entre Nos. At the twelfth annual
conference against domestic violence "Creating happy families in all communities" on October 16
/2010, North Shore Park, Miami Beach. Dr. Isaac Prilleltensky, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Education
at the University of Miami.
• Discussion panel: Domestic Violence and Violence against Women - a violation of human and
reproductive rights. Panelists: Angela Diaz-Vidaillet, Chief Executive Director of the VRI / The Lodge;
Debi Harris, CEO of the Women's Fund of Miami-Dade County; Karen Grae-Graboski, member of
Sisterhood of Survivors; Maria Jose Fletcher, Director of Struggle: A Women's Legal Project, FIAC;
Shashi Jagadish, Vice President of Sahara.
• At the 5th Annual Art of Surviving, in the International University of Florida.
• As a volunteering at the Shelter Safe Space on Thanksgiving Day 2010.
• At the Launch of our Foundation, sponsored by Irma Sanchez at her radio show Animate y
Vive, Caracol Radio International on December 7 /2010.
• Interview with Ms. Rashida Manjoo from South Africa, Special Rapporteur of the United
Nations violence against women.
• Interview with Senator Nancy Detert to acknowledge her support on behalf of the victims of
domestic violence. Tallahassee.
• Tallahassee Capitol with Senator Anthony Hill, acknowledged him for SB 1058, which
protects victims of domestic violence that have to leave their jobs to protect their safety.
• With ViViana Matiz Miller, who led the Nurturing Program of Amigos X Kids program, for the
successful completion of the Amigos Strengthens Families and Communities Nurturing Parenting
• With Dr. Robert Morgan, director of The Heroes of Miami Jackson Hospital, accompanied by
my sisters SOS receiving support in our school project "Hannan Way".
• With the Heroes program therapists of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital who used our
Foundation’s project called "Hannan Way" as thesis.
• At the American TV channel, with journalist Peter program "Sevcec thoroughly."
• With Rossy Eguigure, independent producer, recording a documentary about domestic
• Interview at Radio Esperanza A.M. 1550 with its director Isaul Gonzalez.
• Activity: Happy Faces to raise funds for classrooms for children in Shelter Safe Space and The
Lodge in Miami.
• Launch of book "Palabras" of my own, to raise funds and allocate them to the support our
Foundation on September 8 /2011. The book launch was sponsored by the Board of Safe Space
Shelter, SOS Organization (Sisterhood Of Survivor) and The Cove Rincon, formed by artists from 21
different nationalities, based in Miami 17 years ago.
• At the 4th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk 2011.
• Sharing my testimony at Art Fusion Gallery, event: evolution to Freedom, organized by the
writer Jonathan Spikes, raising funds for the Safe Space Shelter and creating awareness that men
also are affected by domestic violence.
I am currently a member of the Federation of Families of Miami chapter, SAHMSA funded program
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) through the Florida Department of
Children and Families, as well as taking "The parent Leadership Training Institute, funded by
Connecticut Commission on Children, Catalyst Miami and The Children's Trust and a training of "A
Course in Miracles" of Foundation for Inner Peace.
I am dedicated full time to continue creating opportunities for Foundation Angel Mariposa, which I
firmly believe in as an example for other women who can overcome domestic violence within their
homes and can give to their families safe spaces where children and adolescents can develop in a
positive way being able to create in the near future an understanding, compassionate and full of
love society for the children , who are unequivocally the most valuable Treasure of Planet Earth.
• Hannan Way Project
• Database of available Resources,
• Database for jobs
• Support groups for women who are victims of domestic violence,
• Individual counseling for victims of domestic violence (men-women),
• Therapy for children / youth victims of domestic violence,
• Artistic programming and relaxation for children / youth,
• Training for women survivors of domestic violence.