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    By Kalvin Tragethon

      For the past few years, the Spanish Club has fundraised by selling Pulsera bracelets and bags. But, this year, in addition to doing the Pulsera Project, the Spanish Club decided to try and make the one of a kind bracelets by themselves. 

      The Pulsera Project, which was originally started in 2009 by a group of 13 friends, has become an international project that has now raised over $5 million to support local artisans in Central American communities who make the Pulseras that are sold.

      The activity, which required yarn to weave the handmade bracelets, was a great success.

      “We ended up having 8-10 kids and the girls were great, they bought a bunch of yarn. It was fun and relaxing too,” said Spanish Club Advisor Eric Artus.

      The bracelet making was an enjoyable challenge for Artus.

       “It was definitely more difficult than I initially thought. It’s so easy to get lost, because the more strings you add, instead of just going one over the other, one over two, now you have 5 [strings] that you need to keep separated. But I’m sure over time, you just get better and better,” he said.

      When making the bracelets, the club members used video tutorials to create complex designs. 

      “There were probably 10-15 different videos, some of them had pyramids, diamonds and little dots around the diamond,” said Artus.

      One of the students who had great success making the Pulseras was freshman Alya Geraghty-Sari. 

      “It was kind of hard at first because it was my first time and I got a little confused, but once I understood, it was much easier and I started liking it more,” said Geraghty-Sari. 

      Geraghty-Sari ended up finding the process of making bracelets to be relaxing. 

      “It takes a lot of patience to do it, but while doing it it’s kind of calming,” said Geraghty-Sari.  

        Club treasurer Anjo Kordis said that the project was about more than just producing pretty jewelry, but also building unity amongst club members.  

    “It was a persevering, fun challenge, " said Kordis. “[The meeting was about] working together and making bracelets together.”

      One of the focuses of the activity was to learn more about the Pulsera making tradition. On the day of the activity, Artus showed the students a video about the Pulsera making process and the artisans that make the bracelets. 

      “I think [the students in the club] got a new appreciation about people that are making 5 of these bracelets in an hour. You watch the video and they’re not even looking at the bracelet, they’re looking at you while they’re doing it.”  

    Some of the students that saw the video before making the Pulseras also gained an appreciation for the artisans’ ability.

      “I was impressed at how fast the artisan was doing it. It’s a lot of hard work,” said Geraghty-Sari.

      Artus also thinks that gaining an appreciation for the artisans’ hard work will also help with future sales. “Students would sometimes say that $5-$7 is kind of expensive, but you're looking at someone that’s a really skilled artisan that is showing off their ability. So I think $5-$7 is more than reasonable,” said Artus.

     Artus also thinks that the timing of the fundraiser in relation to when the club does other activities regarding the Pulsera Project could also help the fundraiser grow.

    “I think if we did the making of the Pulseras towards the beginning of the year and then built up excitement  for the Pulsera fundraiser, that might help as well,” he said.

      All and all, the first Pulsera making activity for the Spanish Club was a success.

      “All the kids said they had fun. It’s easy, it’s very inexpensive. I think the kids would definitely enjoy doing it again, hopefully we get more participants next year,” said Artus.





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