The friendship bracelet bar


Friendship bracelet bar

Carla has made a friendship bracelet bar at the front of our shop which is one of  the best inventions ever. Kids fight for a place at it.

And now, thanks to Heidi, Sofia and Alicia (tourists passing through El Paredon) we have learnt how to make 4 different styles of friendship bracelets that our young artists are mastering (and are already looking professional!)

The wrap bracelet

The olas (waves) bracelet

The plano (flat) bracelet

And, the most complicated, the flecha (arrow) bracelet

The kids are already much better at it than we are and are starting to teach each other, which is superb. They are addicted, asking for pita (thread) to take home every night to make more.


In the last 2 weeks, we’ve had our first four volunteers working with us in the workshop. Thanks to Mike, Sofia, Aisha and Cedic for stopping kids nailing into their hands, for your patience and laughter. Anyone else who wants to come and develop our artistic programme, teach our makers new techniques or work with us on our business or sales side, is very welcome. We will be launching our volunteer scheme shortly, so get in touch if you’re interested! Learn to surf in the mornings, work with us in the afternoons and watch the moon on the canal or sit by a fire in the evenings!

First sales trip


Last weekend we recruited some young salespeople from our team and went around the hotels in El Paredon selling our work.

We sold 30 items and made over 400Q!

This gave everyone a big boost.

We learnt a lot from this weekend – mainly to train the kids in selling the products, not take so many people and not to sell when it is the European Cup final!

The Mayor caught us on our way back and he seemed pleased with what we’ve achieved so far. This is him with our young artists:

The energy and enthusiasm of the kids, and a few adults too, drives us forward when we start questioning things. At the moment we are just doing it, going with it, and seeing what emerges, without worrying too much about the future. All we know is that there is a hunger for this project and it is fulfilling a real need. And that is a good recipe…


4 thoughts on “The friendship bracelet bar

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  1. Inspiring stuff! What a difference you two are making to the community. The children’s faces say it all!

  2. Hey Julia,

    Once again I enjoyed reading your blog and about your try into venture capitalism with your numerous young entrepreneurs. My wife and I are anxious for our vacation to El Paredon in November! Our arrival will be on the 14th and we will be staying for 6 nights at the Surf House. I’m happy to see that you had 4 volunteers already, and though I have no artistic ability, I am looking forward to helping your community in other ways. Earlier you talked about a need for activity books and lesson plans for the teachers. I have a friend that is a school board president and he said that he would be happy to assist me in finding what their needs are when we get more specificity. For example Spanish or English, grade level or ages of the children, multiple volumes of one book or numerous books to build a library. What type of activities and any specifics in any of these areas would vastly help us to meet the needs of El Paredon’s children. We are looking forward to helping you young ladies continue to do the marvelous work in your village.
    Sincerely, The Persics

    1. Dear Larry,

      Thank you so much for your message!
      I have only just got internet again and was delighted with your positive news. It is fantastic that you have decided to come to El Paredon! You won’t regret it! It is fantastic news also that your contact at the school may be interested in helping the school here in El Paredon.
      As I have mentioned before, teachers here currently have no resources (books) to teach the national curriculum from so education is very poor. The name of the books that the teachers need are called Santanilla. The publisher is Editora Educativa Edessa. Ideally the school would like a copy for each level of teaching: Primero (13 yrs old) , Segundo (14 yrs old) y Tercera Basico (15 yrs old). So, the ideal would be 30 books in total (10 subjects x 3 books). I think the books are about $20-$30 each. This would vastly improve the education that the children receive and help the teachers to plan interesting lessons more successfully covering the curriculum. The subjects are the following:

      Danza y teatro (dance and theatre)
      Estudios Sociales (Social studies)
      Educacion Para el Hogar (Home Education)
      Idioma Espanol
      Artes plasticas (Art)
      Contabilidad (Finance)
      COC Computacion (IT)

      I had a very good meeting with the teachers and they talked about the other needs of the school, for your interest (and for anyone else who reads this blog!)
      -A photocopier
      -10 Modems for internet access (the school has some old computers but no internet access and this would be fantastic for research purposes)

      Another big need in the school is for capacity building for the teachers. Most of the teachers have not had a further education, hence a vicious cycle. There are some foundations that supply trainers to train teachers (and they work towards a diploma) but the teachers do not have enough money to travel to the training centres.

      We teach English in the school, but our art workshop and social enterprise ANATO is our real baby, which stands apart from the school. I have put together a budget with all the items we require to create a successful, sustainable business which is already having a positive impact on the local community. I will send this is an email to you.

      Many thanks and have a lovely day

      1. Julia,
        Thanks a million and I will get in touch with you shortly.


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