When Fundacion Tropicalia (FT) began in 2008 with the purpose of supporting the development of Miches as a sustainable tourism destination in the northwestern region of Dominican Republic, they immediately became aware of the lack of opportunities and the many challenges that Dominican girls and women face, particularly in this industry. Though the tourism and hospitality sectors represents incredible comparative advantages for women, providing more opportunities for empowerment compared to any other industry, considerable challenges remain to ensure women's rights and equality within the industry.
Dominican Republic has the fifth largest teen pregnancy rate in Latin America and ranks third in femicide in the region, with a staggering 36% of all 15 to 19 year olds currently married or in a civil union with a man at least 10 years older. Impoverished young women who become pregnant or forced into marriage, are significantly more likely to abandon their education, thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty for themselves and future generations. Despite the fact that women occupy over 50% of tourism jobs globally, studies show that they are more susceptible to low-status work, gender stereotyping, inequality, informal employment, and sexual exploitation.