Pulseras sold to celebrate World Language Week

Each pulsera was $5 and all of the money went to the artists and their community in Guatamala and Nicaragua. Bags were also for sale for $10 dollars each.

Elizabeth McCracken, Staff Writer

The Pulsera Project is a non-profit organization that connects artists from Central America to schools in the United States. They sell pulseras, the Spanish word for colorful hand woven bracelets, to raise money to go towards the betterment of the artists and their community. The organization provides fair trade employment for almost 200 artists from Nicaragua and Guatemala, and their goal is to help educate students in the United States about Central America, and have those students take action. The Pulsera Project visited BSM during World Language Week to sell bracelets and raise awareness for the organization.

The Pulsera Project began in 2009 when 13 friends wanted to go on an adventure during their winter break. While in Nicaragua, they discovered a group of young artists and became inspired by their story. The artists gave them pulseras as going away presents, and when they returned to the United States, they spread both the artists’ stories, and the pulseras, throughout their community. It wasn’t long until schools became involved, and began selling the pulseras to benefit the Central American artists. Over 400,000 pulseras have now been sold in around 2,100 schools raising upwards $2,000,000 in profits to go towards the employment, empowerment, and education of Nicaraguan people.

The Pulsera Project not only helps the Central American artists, but also aims to educate U.S. students about Latin American culture and the importance of Fair Trade practices. Their main philosophy is empowerment. Rather than just giving people the things they need, they empower them with the skills, education, and opportunities to provide for themselves and others. “The Pulsera Project is more of an interactive organization, and it’s important that we not only get students involved with service, but with a service project that is more hands-on,” Spanish Teacher, and the organizer of the Pulsera Project at BSM, Ms. Allison Terrell said.

They use documentaries, social media, school presentations, photos, and student travel writing to broaden student’s views of the world. Students not only learn about economic poverty, but also the rich culture the Central American countries possess. The organization’s success is due to their large amount of student activists and leaders who strive to spread the Pulsera Project throughout United States’ schools. “I think it’s really cool because it’s not like most charities where you just give them things or money, but you give them a job where they can support themselves and their families. It’s more about making them feel equal rather than it feeling more like a hierarchy by giving them material things,” senior and Spanish IV student Natalie Kroll said.

Each pulsera costs $5 and comes with a photo and signature of the artist who made it. These bracelets were sold at BSM throughout World Language Week. Money raised from the pulsera sales will go towards education, fair trade employment, healthcare, housing, and social enterprises to help the artists reach their full potential. “It’s different than just donating money or clothes, it’s giving them fair wage employment and a skill that they can use,” Terrell said.

Not only does one receive a hand woven colorful bracelet with this purchase, but they are also contributing towards the improvement of the Central American artists’ lives.