This holiday season, consider making a global impact with The Pulsera Project.
In 2009, a group of friends traveling in Nicaragua discovered a shelter for ex-street kids in Managua. The young adults made beautiful woven pulseras (Spanish for bracelets), but had no market to sell their artwork in Nicaragua. Some of the friends went home, spread the word about the bracelets, sold them at two US schools, and soon The Pulsera Project was born.
Since that fateful trip, US college students are helping to brighten the future of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, without leaving campus. Students are selling pulseras made by young adults in Nicaragua to support The Pulsera Project’s community empowerment programs.
The Pulsera Project is now a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that educates, empowers, and connects Nicaraguan and US youth. To date, volunteers at more than 450 US schools have sold colorful, hand-woven bracelets made by community members in Nicaragua.
These Pulsera Project volunteers have raised over $700,000 to help create a ‘more just and colorful world’ by supporting programs in the fields of education, micro-loans, shelter support, fair trade, workers rights, and environment.
As a 20-something environmentalist, I was blown away by The Pulsera Project’s incredible mission and history, but was particularly interested in their partnership with environmental programs.
The Pulsera Project financially supports The Solar Women of Totogalpa, a cooperative of 19 women and two men that work to bring renewable energy to Nicaraguan communities.
The group seeks to develop their community sustainably, so that they can “generate dignified employment that promotes renewable energy and protects the environment.”
They “strengthen the self-esteem of female members and create professional development opportunities to encourage leadership and community participation, as well as to raise awareness of the benefits of renewable energy and sustainable life within national and international communities.”
The Solar Women of Totogalpa is a small “off-the-grid” mountain community that is powered entirely by solar energy. Sources, such as theser solar cookers, are the heart and soul of a small restaurant managed by the women in the community. To learn more about this project, click here.
I had the privilege of speaking with Colin Crane, Co-Founder of The Pulsera Project, about what continues to motivate him and inspire him four years after deciding to ‘color the world’ for a living.
Mr. Crane said, “It’s been extremely rewarding for us to see not only the impact that pulsera sales have on people in Nicaragua, but on people here in the U.S. as well. The Pulsera Project has shared with tens of thousands of students the idea that people with less money than us can have incredible spiritual and cultural riches to share—things that we don’t normally take into account when using the word “poverty” in a purely economic sense.
“Through the uplifting stories and art of this project, we’ve been able to open students’ eyes to a new way of thinking about poverty and service, one that recognizes that we have just as much to learn from people in other areas of the world as we have to offer them.
“Seeing that idea spread over the last four years has really been one of the most important things for us, and really keeps us motivated to keep working on coloring the world both in Nicaragua and here at home.”
Please consider The Pulsera Project when making your year-end gifts.
Help them Color The World.
Photos by The Pulsera Project.