Passing by the Cato Center on warm, sunny days, CofC students may spot a table overflowing with colorful handmade bracelets available for purchase. Running these bracelet sales is the CofC chapter of the Pulsera Project, a national organization that raises money for young kids in Nicaragua.
“Pulsera” is the Spanish word for bracelet, which pays homage to the thousands of creative children and families who make these bracelets every day in Nicaragua. As a non-profit organization, the Pulsera Project provides employment opportunities for cooperative members and their families in Nicaragua, as well as two other cooperatives in Guatemala and Uganda. Members can receive scholarships to pursue degrees or loans to start small business that support the creation of a developing community.
As of the new spring semester, the Pulsera Project club here at the College is under new leadership, as senior Britton Holmes takes the role of president. Holmes’s passion for the organization and knowledge of its goals, successes and objectives qualifies her to lead the club with a strong and enthusiastic spirit. Her response to the question “What is the best part about being involved in the Pulsera Project?” shows her drive and dedication. “After interning during Spring of 2013,” Holmes said, “I was able to travel with the Pulsera Project to Nicaragua on their summer trip and see the fruits of the project first hand, which was an incredible experience. We met members of the various cooperatives, which was awesome after seeing their faces
on the tags of the pulseras so many times. They shared with us their stories and their experiences working for the Pulsera Project and you could see how much their lives have changed because of what we do. Co-op members showed us the degrees and licenses they had earned with scholarships and their small businesses they had funded with micro loans, like a chicken coop or a cheese-making business, all of which was funded with the help of students like us all across the United States.”
Holmes said that one of the best parts of getting involved with the Pulsera Project is knowing that she is involved in something that is so much bigger than herself. “Many of us take for granted the opportunities we have here in the States,” she said. “Nicaragua is the second poorest country in this hemisphere. Being able to provide others with some of the same opportunities that are inherent to me as a U.S. citizen so they can reach their fullest potential is, for me, the best part of being involved with the Pulsera Project.”
Holmes also emphasized that her goal for this semester is to get the word out about what the project is and the impact that it has. She wants to see the Pulsera Project reach out further into the Charleston community and involve other campus organizations to strengthen the overall sales and successes of the group. With the impact this organization has, they can create a more colorful and charitable world, one pulsera at a time.
Campus pulsera sales will start within the next couple of weeks, so be on the lookout! Interested volunteers may contact Britton Holmes or visit the club’s Facebook page.