5.) Receive Your Pulsera Box
Your pulsera box will arrive about a week before your sale officially begins, and will contain a large trifold display, several hundred pulseras, a Nicaraguan flag, informational materials, and some handwoven purses if we have them available. Spanish curriculum materials are available online for teachers or Spanish groups who are interested in them -- we will send you the link as soon as your pulsera sale is set up.
Make sure you have a secure location to store the pulseras and box. It is super important to keep the box that you receive. That’s how you’ll return everything when the sale ends.
This year we'll be taking extra precautions with your box before sending -- all boxes will be pre-packaged several weeks in advance of being sent, and pulseras that have returned from a school will be left to sit for several weeks before being packaged for a new school. Pulsera staff will use appropriate PPE when packing & sending your box.
6.) Sell Pulseras
All pulseras sell for $5. The money raised employs nearly 200 people with fair trade jobs, supports communities throughout Central America, and funds amazing projects that leave a positive & lasting social impact on the lives of countless Nicaraguans and Guatemalans. Pulseras cannot be sold less than $5.
Every pulsera is tagged with the picture and signature of the artist who made it. When we buy pulseras in Nicaragua & Guatemala, each of the artists we employ is paid up-front, and paid 2-3 times the market value for their work. After the pulseras are sold in the U.S., the ‘profit’ then returns to Central America to fund sunstained employment, artisan benefits, and a wide range of social impact programs in both Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Pulsera sales generate a lot of cash, so it’s important to have a system in place to safeguard the money you raise. Equally important is that the pulseras we’ll be sending represent hundreds of hours of work by talented artists, so please help us in explaining this to anyone participating in the sale.
For the time being in 2020-2021 we will accept digital payments through Venmo to reduce the risk of transactions involving cash. Students can send a Venmo payment to @pulseraproject with their school name in the memo line and must show the sale leader a confirmation of their payment before leaving with their pulsera(s). We have put together a page with more details on effectively accepting Venmo payments at your sale.
Make sure you put out a lot of pulseras on your table, as students love to dig and search for their perfect pulsera! If you ever feel that you’re running low on pulseras or bags, we would be happy to send you a rush shipment with extras.
7.) After Your Pulsera Sale
The display, materials, and remaining pulseras should be returned to us in the box they arrived in – the one you saved. Usually we ask that you do this within a day or two of the end of your sale, however we will be especially accommodating to extensions or delays as teachers navigate the new realities of school during COVID-19. We just ask that if you need more time or expect a delay in returning materials that you send us a quick email to let us know.
We try to send you many more pulseras than you’ll need to give you the best selection possible, so it would be normal to return quite a few after the sale.
Just stick the pre-paid mailing label to the box and take it to the closest UPS location. The school's front office might also be able to take care of this for you, as UPS comes to many schools on a daily basis. If you go this route, please check with the office to make sure the box was picked up. Remember that UPS is not the same as the U.S. Post Office.
The proceeds you’ve raised can be sent later—we ask that you not send them back in the box.
8.) Sale Proceeds
The pulsera proceeds can be sent in the form of a school check, cashier’s check, personal check, or money order. Please do not send cash or coins. Your school may need an invoice or other documentation from us to issue a check. If so, just let us know and we’ll gladly send that to you. Our nonprofit W9 form can be downloaded below.
All proceeds can be mailed to:
The Pulsera Project
449 Fleming Rd.
Charleston SC, 29412
By leading a pulsera sale you agree to sell all pulseras for $5 and to return 100% of the sale proceeds as soon as practical after your sale, unless we had a different written agreement through e-mail. In the event of a discrepancy between the number of pulseras returned and the money raised, The Pulsera Project will never ask students or teachers to make up the difference with personal funds.
9.) What Happens to the Money You Raise?
Our list of programs in Central America is pretty long and constantly changing, but a good summary of our work can be found on the programs & partners page. The Pulsera Project mainly funds sustainable projects that allow the people we work with to take control of their own lives and futures without building any dependence on "hand-outs."
In addition to sustaining fair-trade jobs for nearly 200 artists in Nicaragua and Guatemala, money from your sale will support college scholarships, secondary education programs, workers' rights initiatives, loans to worker-owned cooperatives, housing programs, environmental programs, social enterprises, and more. We encourage you to look into the Pulsera Project through independent sources like Guidestar and the IRS for additional information.
Please also see our year-end review from 2018 for an overview of a typical year's finances and projects.
10.) Once Per School Year
Finally, to make sure that as many groups as possible have the opportunity to participate in the Pulsera Project, we ask that schools limit themselves to one pulsera sale per school year. This allows as many schools to participate in the project as possible, and helps improve the quality of any future pulsera sales you lead. Thanks for your understanding!
One Final Note
As you may have heard in the news last summer, Nicaragua has been the site of deep social unrest over the past year, as protests against a new Social Security policy quickly spiraled into an ongoing conflict between protestors and the government. The effects to the Nicaragua & its people have been dramatic, widespread, and lasting.
While we generally focus our investment efforts on long-term development initiatives, for the 2019-2020 school year, the Pulsera Project will put a special emphasis on investments in essential humanitarian aid, legal services, and increased employment opportunity in an effort to alleviate the strain of the crisis in the communities where we work. For those interested in more details about the ongoing conflict, we recommend this article for a good overview: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-44398673. Thanks so much for your support — it has never been more important.