Led by the junior class and Modern Languages teacher Alison Welch, Lincoln Academy is now currently running its fourth “Pulsera Project” in five years, selling handmade items to support community work in Nicaragua. Pulsera is a Spanish word meaning “bracelet,” and the colorful one-of-a-kind bracelets, along with handmade purses, are the products that tie together artists in Central America with students in the U.S.
The Pulsera Project is a registered U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 by a group of college friends who traveled to Nicaragua. They currently work with approximately 200 artists in Nicaragua and Guatemala and over 1,300 schools in the United States. The artists create custom bracelets and bags that are sold through schools and other community organizations in the U.S.. The goals of the Pulsera Project are to improve the quality of life for local artisans and families through education, housing, and empowerment, and to help U.S. students engage in international service.
100% of the proceeds from pulsera sales go directly to the artisans. The LA community has raised around $5,000 over five years, enough to pay for 3 new homes in Nicaragua. Because of LA’s strong show of support, Alison Welch was invited to travel with five other teachers on the first Pulsera Project teacher trip in June, 2014 to meet the pulsera artists first hand and help develop the organization’s curriculum.
“It was inspiring to travel to Latin America and meet many of the artists who create the pulseras we sell,” said Welch. “The Pulsera Project has made a huge difference in the lives of many people in very poor parts of Central America. This project is a simple way for LA students to give back.”
Pulseras will be on sale outside the Dining Commons until Christmas vacation.