Students from the elective middle grades course Spanish: Hispanic Culture, Community and Friendship, the Spanish Club and their teachers – Diana Arboleda and Olga Valeria – spent part of the winter working with the Pulsera Project, a fair trade nonprofit organization that seeks to empower, inspire and educate people in Central America and the U.S. The Pulsera Project provides sustainable, well-paying work opportunities for nearly 200 artisans in Nicaragua and Guatemala, most of whom make colorful hand-woven bracelets, or “pulseras” in Spanish. The nonprofit then creates a market for their artwork by partnering with schools across the U.S.
Students shared information about this wonderful project with Avenues community at the Lower and Upper Division assemblies and encouraged everyone to collaborate with the project and buy the bracelets. As the culmination of the project, students were selling the hand-woven bracelets for $5 each at school in the morning, during lunchtime and in the afternoon. The pulseras sale was a great success – students collected $3,150! Out of the more than 2,500 schools that participated in the Pulsera Project only a few have ever come close to selling out. We not only sold out, we did it in five days! The money raised will help employ someone full time for three months of fair trade employment and also provide a full college education of one of the artist or community partners of the Pulsera Project.
The project engaged Avenues students with the beauty of Latin American culture and the Spanish language while lending support to these skilled artisans and their communities. Thanks to all the students who were involved in making it possible, and to all the people who bought one or several pulseras. It was a great and rewarding experience!