A Service Charm: Service club sells bracelets to support Nicaraguan artists


Lucia Hruby

The Keystone Club began their week long sale of colorful handmade bracelets and bags began on October 19 through an organization called the Pulsera Project.  Members of the Keystone Club were able to convince the administration to have some flexibility with the school dress code in support of the service project.

Keystone is a student led service group that is organized through the Boys and Girls Club.  Throughout the year, the club participates in a variety of service projects including “Keystone Fun Night” and Posada Esperanza.

“I was doing some research online about service projects in which Keystone could help out,” Rachel Stewart, the director of Girls Club at Ann Richards, said.  “In the school’s mission statement it states that the students should be aware of their global community.  I found the Pulsera Project and it fit the school’s mission and seemed like a really great cause.”

The Pulsera Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the youths of Nicaragua and the United States. The organization buys hand woven bracelets made by artists from Nicaragua and sells them in the United States through student organizations.  The funds raised provide educational programs and scholarships to Nicaraguans.

“We did our research on the organization to know for sure that all the money that we make from this will go back directly to the artists that made the bracelets,” Stewart said.

Wendy Rodriguez (11) designs posters to promote the Pulsera Project.
Wendy Rodriguez (11) designs posters to promote the Pulsera Project.

Keystone received a package of bracelets and handbags from the Pulsera Project and hopes to sell all items by the end of the week.  The club received 600 bracelets and 20 bags to sell.  Each bracelet includes a tag with the name and a picture of the artist who made it.  The bracelets are being sold for five dollars and the bags are being sold for ten.

“We are also asking for donations for a separate cause. It goes to Posada Esperanza, which is a local shelter for immigrant women and children,” Wendy Rodriguez, a junior member of Keystone, said.

Before selling the bracelets, Keystone proposed the idea of bending the dress code to promote the cause. The Ann Richards Dress Code states that students are only allowed to wear one bracelet on their wrists.  High School Vice Principal Kristina Waugh agreed to permit students to wear two bracelets throughout the duration of the service project.

“We thought that the students wouldn’t actually want to buy a bracelet if they couldn’t wear it,” Bethany Salazar, a senior member of Keystone, said.

Dozens of bracelets have been sold so far. Keystone members hope that the sale of these bracelets will provide educational opportunities for Nicaraguan youths.

“I would really like to see this project happen every year, even after I leave,” Salazar said.