Pulsera Project has successful sale for ninth consecutive year

Students promote ‘Color the World’ motto, raise thousands


Seventh period Spanish V students sort through the scads of Pulsera Project bracelets shipped from this year in room 321 on March 3, celebrating the start of the Pulsera Project sale (Gee/LION).

Maddie Gee, News Editor, Multimedia Editor

Numerous students visited room 321 and the NC lunchroom throughout the month of March as the Pulsera Project began for its ninth sale ever at LT. This fairtrade, non-profit organization provides employment to artisan groups in Guatemala and Nicaragua, connecting their hand-woven bracelets and purses to a larger market in multiple school communities in the United States. 

“Unfortunately, [they] don’t have a huge market for it in their own communities, and if they do, they’re being sold at a low-rate that’s barely helping them get by,” co-founder Colin Crane said. 

The idea–started by Crane and co-founder Chris Howell–stemmed from a service trip among other friends and family, after spending time with young artisans who gave them bracelets as a parting gift, Crane said. Realizing the absence of a place to sell them in Nicaragua and the piles of unique bracelets artisans had, the founders initially brought a small amount home.

“We probably came back with maybe around 50 to 100 bracelets, and they basically disappeared immediately, because everyone was so interested in the story and in the product itself,” Crane said. 

A box of these products is bought each month from the roughly 200 artisans by three team members of the Pulsera Project, and is then sent internationally to an office in Charleston, S.C., where it is further distributed to schools that promote the pop-up sales. Each pulsera has a tag attached with the artisan that made the bracelet and the signature of that artisan to illuminate the entire journey and story behind it. 

“We try to push that point home, that there’s a story, a face, a human being behind the things that exist in our lives, and the pulsera is just like, a small microcosm example of that,” Crane said. 

Spanish teacher Lisa Plichta also has agreed with this same aspect since the initial start of the fundraiser at LT.

“There really aren’t adequate words to articulate how I feel when I see the new crop of students with their pulseras on their wrists when they’re [doing something like] taking a test,” Plichta said. “It’s a visual that I will never forget because although it is seemingly simple, it symbolizes to me LT students’ ongoing motivation for, and commitment to, something much bigger than ourselves. As an educator, it humbles me and makes me proud at the same time.”

A component special to LT this year was formed by Grace Gleason ‘23, an additional partnership with downtown La Grange’s Nothing Bundt Cakes to further raise awareness, giving 15% of sales to the project. Gleason has advocated for the organization when creating a distinctive LT-pulsera design for the second year in a row, further promoting the cause via the backs of many students.

“I’ve kind of used the [Spanish] class setting as my main inspiration, adding in the community [during a student Pulsera Project meeting] and hearing some of their ideas together,” Gleason said. 

One pulseracosting $7–is equivalent to an entire day’s worth of earnings for a Nicaraguan Artisan, Plictha said. Purses for $15 were also available to support the artisans in Central-American communities.

“I believe that the colorful bracelets are reflective of the culture and mindsets of the artisans who are living in these economically-deprived situations,” Plichta said. “They are from two of the most impoverished countries in the Western Hemisphere, but their spirits are thriving.”

If LT sells $2500 worth of pulseras and bags this year, a new milestone will be achieved, skyrocketing LT to be the highest selling school of all-time out of more than 3,000 schools in the nation. After LT’s eighth sale last year, the grand total became $30,531.

“It is such a powerful purchase that a contribution like that goes miles and miles in terms of employment, scholarships and social impact programs,” Crane said. “One of the biggest things is just bringing the beauty and life of Central American and Latin American culture to a US school, all through the empowerment and leadership of the students.”