Morris Area High School raises awareness and funds for artists in Central America

During the month of April, the Morris Area High School Spanish Club is selling hand-woven bracelets, or ‘pulseras’, in Spanish, to empower the artists who make them in Nicaragua & Guatemala. 

This sale was organized through the Pulsera Project, a fair-trade non-profit organization that empowers and educates people in the United States and Central America through the sale of the Pulseras.

The Pulsera Project buys hand-woven pulseras from Central American artisans, and then partners with student groups, like the MAHS Spanish Club, around the United States to sell them through schools. 

The organization provides a sustainable fair trade employment opportunity which helps expand economic opportunities for artists, and has been doing so since 2009.

The inception of the organization began when a group of 13 friends were looking for a winter break adventure. After already visiting Costa Rica, just south of Nicaragua, they decided that Nicaragua would be their next destination They knew that it would be beautiful, and have friendly people, but also that economic poverty was prevalent. 

The group wanted to experience things like surfing and hiking, but also the culture of the country beyond tourism.

They met a group of young artisans and forged friendships with them, and when it was time to leave, the artisans gave them pulseras as going away presents, and this inspired the idea of the Pulsera Project. 

Not only are the impacts of the organization economic, but educational as well. Through organizing the sale of the pulseras, students have the opportunity to learn about Latin American culture as well as the importance of fair trade practices. Fairtrade practices aim to ensure fairer terms of trade between farmers, artisans, and buyers to protect workers’ rights, improve living standards, invest in their communities and businesses, and protect the environment. This is done through working with supply chain partners, brands, retailers, shoppers, schools, and governments to pay fair prices and uphold fair production standards and practices.

The money raised from pulsera sales funds a wide range of social impact programs that empower people through secondary education, scholarships, housing programs, healthcare, disability rights advocacy, and more. 

The Pulsera Project says that their projects are guided by a philosophy of empowerment, and rather than giving things to people, they empower people with skills, opportunities, and education so they can provide for themselves and their communities.

Since 2009, the Pulsera Project has raised more than $6,000,000 for Central American artists and their communities. 

The organization provided the bags and bracelets to sell to the MAHS Spanish Club at no cost. Any products that are leftover after they are finished with their project will be sent back to the Pulsera Project for future sales with other schools. 

The MAHS Spanish Club will be selling pulseras through April 30th.