Esperanza Soaps is a social business that makes all natural ingredients handmade soaps.
Our social mission started in 2008, in Las Malvinas II, an urban slum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Through the years and with the help of many partner organizations, we've built houses, parks, additions to the school, and a giant water cistern in the community. We really felt we where helping this community and where always looking for new ideas to improve the quality of life of the residents, even if our projects impacted only a small portion of the slum.
One day, after a community meeting, a group of women approached us and politely thanked us for the stuff we built in Las Malvinas, but then said “If you just gave us jobs, we could fend for ourselves”.
This short interaction was a huge eye opener! We where in this community trying to fight poverty building what we thought was missing: a house, a school, a water well. We were schooled on this by the women. Big time.
So it became a challenge.
Could we create a company right here, hire people from the same community, and still be profitable?
With our fierce women in mind, we started making soap. The process is similar to cooking a recipe, something this women do very well, so decided to use this skill as an advantage and also use the wonderful natural, fresh products that this beautiful island has to offer.
We provided free training to dozens of women and placed our workshop inside the community so they could be close to home and not have to commute. Our flexible work hours accommodate their family responsibilities, and the women earn a variable salary that better reflects their spending needs.
Esperanza Soaps today employs three women from Las Malvinas who create high quality, all-natural soaps and scrubs with the island's best ingredients.
Our soaps are sold in hotels, tourist gift shops, and many other locations in Dominican Republic. We also started making and selling soaps in the US, looking forward to expand our client base, having in mind that the more customers we serve, the more women we can hire.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday”