The Pulsera Project works with nearly 200 artists in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Pulsera artists earn well-paying fair trade wages for their artwork, and proceeds from pulsera sales then return to support the artists and Central American communities. Please see the projects page for more on those programs, and the "get involved" page for info on selling these artists' pulseras in your school.
We work with dozens of independent artsits in many regions throughout Nicaragua, who collectively make a huge array of pulsera styles, from technicolor snake-like patterns to classic leather designs and pre-tied assortments.
The independent artisans we work with are highly skilled craftspeople whose only barrier to success is the lack of a substantial market for their products in Nicaragua.
Many of these independent artists have been our close friends from the very first days of the Pulsera Project and we are immensely grateful for their uplifting spirit, kind nature, and for the incredible talents they share with us.
"MayaMam Weavers" is a women's cooperative located in Cajola Guatemala. They make stunning pulseras, headbands, and bags using an ancient looming process passed down to them from many generations ago.
For thousands of years, weaving has been a way for the Maya people to express their identity and love of beauty. It has been a way to relay their vision of the universe, earth, and humanity -- that everything is interconnected, all are different threads of the same fabric and that unity exists through diversity.
The Pulsera Project also works with the "El Chile" weaving cooperative, located in the mountains of Nicaragua's Matagalpa region. Using a highly complex traditional looming process, the men and women of El Chile make incredible fabric patterns that are then sewn into purses, backpacks, laptop cases, and other spectacular designs.
The “Sanik” cooperative in Sololá is located a beautiful area in the highlands of Guatemala near Lake Atitlan. The Sanik women use the traditional art of back-strap weaving, which has been passed down through generations.
The name Sanik comes from the Maya Kaqchikel word for worker ants. The artisans chose the word Sanik because "on their own ants cannot accomplish much, but as a group they can accomplish great things."
These eleven women from the Peñas Blancas community make their bracelets from recycled magazines and locally sourced seeds. They live in a rural farming community at the base of the Bosawas Preserve, where there are limited employment opportunities for women.
Through recent workshops and training with the ArteSana Foundation they have learned to make ice-cream, skincare products, jewelry, and practice massage therapy. Their goal is to earn enough from their products to support their families
The Pulsera Project works with the "Si a La Vida" youth shelters in Nicaragua. Several of the older teens at these shelters make pulseras as an extension of their arts & crafts program. In addition to the money they earn from each pulsera, the Pulsera Project also donates funds from each SALV pulsera to assist in many of the shelter's operating expenses.
The artisan women of El Plomo is a group of four women from San Ramon, Matagalpa. They make bracelets, necklaces and earrings from natural seeds collected from trees in their community.
Matagalpa is a coffee region, and during harvesting season many women go out in the coffee fields to perform back breaking labor. Collaboration with the Pulsera Project keeps them in the community with their children, and provides a much better living where they can nurture a passion for their handicrafts.
Colectivo Chichigalpa is comprised of 30 artisans in the hot pacific lowland of Chinandega, an area know for sugar cane production and a recent epidemic of atypical chronic kidney desease (CKD). The group united to learn to weave pulseras as an alternative income to the unreliable and harsh conditions of working in the sugarcane fields.
For some artisans, who have already been diagnosed with CKD, it’s about the only job their health permits them to do and afford them the dignity to provide for their family.
Artelares Zapatera is a women’s cooperative on the remote island of Zapatera in Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua). It is lush with tropical forest, sparcely inhabited, and most suitable for fishing and sustenance farming.
Most of the artisan women and their families arrived here in 90’s, after being displaced from their land in Northern Nicaragua. Nearly 15 years ago they organized and began weaving pulseras, garments and other textiles which they sell in Nicaragua and abroad.