AMIGOS DE LAS AMERICAS

Rating: 4.98 stars   44 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Health, International

Location: 5618 Star Ln Houston TX 77057 USA

Mission: Amigos de las Americas is an international, voluntary, nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization that trains high school and college age students for a summer of service in Latin America. After training with a local chapter or through the correspondence program, AMIGOS volunteers live in Latin American communities in small teams and promote basic health and environmental education. Among the services provided are: construction of latrines and wood-burning stoves; dental hygiene; health promotion; and reforestation. Services are provided in partnership with a local host agency and are designed to meet the needs of a particular country or region. Volunteers gain leadership skills, self-confidence, language skills, and awareness of other cultures, while making a positive difference in the lives of impoverished communities. In 1998, AMIGOS had 12 summer projects in Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Brazil, and Paraguay.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 74-1547146
713-782-5290
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

AMIGOS changed my life. I served in Paraguay (vol), Costa Rica (route leader), and Mexico (PD), and the experience I gained has been invaluable to my career and professional and personal relationships. AMIGOS trusts youth and gives them the skills and opportunities to demonstrate their responsibility and ability to grow. AMIGOS is a well-run, responsive, and efficient non-profit organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

YES!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not much! Can't think of anything.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a volunteer with Amigos for the first time in 1992, 1993, and 1994 while in high school. After college, I got involved again at the Board level in the New York City and Boston Chapters. AMIGOS has had a major guiding influence in my life, from majoring in Spanish and secondary education in college, to serving in Peace Corps for three years, to working in the public sector as a career. It is an excellent opportunity for students and I highly encourage people to take a look and consider participating in the field or working with a Chapter!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

having an influence in my life's path from the first day of training 20 years ago through today.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to grow it to serve as many people as possible.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daugher has spent 3 summers with Amigos de Las Americas. Two as a vol in communities and 1 as a route supervisor. The training she initially received in order to go out into a community followed by learning how to work with an unknown group has served her so well in many areas of her life. She has matured beyond any expectation I could have had for a then 16 year old. She has made lifetime friends, learned and come to love a different culture and has expanded her family. Oh and is now fleunt in a second language. Amigos has been an exceptional growning opurtunity for her.

I wish all students would consider this type of volunteer project. It is such a remarkable chance to learn and grow.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Growth of my daughter

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Can't think of what could be changed

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Assist volunteers in raising the funds needed to particiapate in the program

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Same as above

What would you tell others about this organization?

Yes, I always do!!!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a part of Amigos de Las Americas after my Junior year in high school. It changed my life completely and left me craving more adventure and action in my own community and in other places. It also helped focus career ideas for areas of study. Becoming fluent in Spanish became my main priority because of Amigos.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Puerto Diaz, Nicaragua.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Include more preparation time with your project partners before entering the community.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a volunteer for Amigos in the summer of 2010. I was sent to Azuero, Panama where I had the most incredible, perfect summer of my life. For 8 weeks, I lived and served in a small community that changed my life. I came back a better person and stronger woman, with a zest for life that can never be tainted. Through Amigos, I've met the people I want standing next to me at my wedding- lifelong friends that I couldn't bear to lose. I continue my involvement with the organization by training new vols for their summers abroad.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daily life. I see time as Pre-Amigos and Post-Amigos

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There are no changes I would make. It's perfect

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

No changes.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes. I made lifelong friends and gained a new family.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Fulfilled.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was so blessed to be a volunteer with AMIGOS. At 16 I became empowered to work with others and to this day the leadership and collaboration skills I learned from my six week immersion are still helping me in school and in the workplace. Not to mention, AMIGOS is like no other program in that you are living with a host family in a community that becomes your own, and you remain an honorary member of that community to the community members after you leave. I have never met such loving or joyful people in my life, the people you come to work alongside with are so hospitable and thankful despite the very little they have. This truly enabled me to put my life in perspective, and at 16 it matured me in ways that my friends who did not do AMIGOS didn't really understand. AMIGOS will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always continue to support such a unique, hands-on organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my school life, my personal life and my professional life. The skills I have attained from participating in AMIGOS has truly developed me as a person and a leader.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make the programs count for community service credit in universities and high schools. Amigos is losing a lot of potential volunteers who are doing other programs because students are very worried about fulfilling prerequisites to graduate.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a volunteer with AMIGOS the summer going into my senior year of high school. I had known a handful of other kids who had done it before me, so I thought I knew what I was getting myself into- but the experience I had was far and beyond what I expected. I thought I would spend a summer doing good community service work and getting to know a different country. In reality, I spent the shortest 6 weeks of my life making a new home and new family and new friends. The work we did was great, but more than that the experiences I had with other volunteers, my host family, my counterparts, everyone in community has impacted my life in more ways than I can explain. The experience of being welcomed into another community with such open arms, and learning how they lived has made me a much better person, and has helped me to manage the crazy life I lead in the US. On top of that, the chance to be such an independent leader and indepenent person has also changed me for the better. I hope to always be a part of the AMIGOS community so that I can keep giving back to a program that I can never give enough thanks too.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

every part of my life. I am a better leader, more independent and more outgoing because of being given such responsibility. I am more aware of the world around me because of being a part of a different culture. I am more excited about the world, and more curious to go explore it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Work better with local agencies and local youth to get EVEN MORE involvement from local sources. In my experience the local children were very excited, but the local youth were a little less excited, and they are the ones who can immediately continue the work when the volunteers leave.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I learned about Amigos when two of my daughters signed up in 1978. There was no nearby chapter so we went to San Mateo and I drove them so I participated in some training. In 1984, I was contacted by Alan Wilmunder to start a chapter in Santa Clara County. I served as recruiting chairman the first few years. Once the chapter was established I served in may capacities, including President. My husband and I attended 2 summer trustee trips to Panama and Oaxaca. I remained on the board from 1984 till 2008. I learned a lot of things and kept in touch with young people even after my children grew up. Our Amigo experience started a personal exploration of the world, all 7 continents and every country in Latin America except Paraquay and the Guianas that has enriched my life immeasurably.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My association with Amigos for such a long time has exposed me to many experiences and changes over the years because Latin America changed and Amigos was FLEXIBLE and responded to those changes.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot comment because I have not been involved for the last 2 years, when there has been personnel changes-new President who I do not know

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to participate as an Amigos volunteer when I was in high school. The lessons I learned were invaluable. I continue to this day, 20 years later, to contemplate and apply the process of learning about myself, leadership, and community development in my job as a public school teacher today. I highly recommend getting involved with Amigos de las Americas. It is an honor to be part of an organization with a legacy of helping to make the world a better place.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

increased courage, flexibility, and compassion, and open-mindedness toward other cultures.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

1) make the summer experience longer ( I was in the field for six weeks, and I would have liked to have spent twice as long to be able to spend more of the summer there) 2) create a service learning course to provide college credit for the experience (On my own, I received credit for Intercultural Communication by documenting my expereince for an Individualized Learning course at Regis University)

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I got involved with Amigos through my daughters who have volunteered in Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, and Ecuador. I joined the Boston chapter board and have served in various jobs (recruitment, board president, fundraising) and have gone on training trips to Nicaragua and Paraguay. Over and over I have seen the tremendous impact that Amigos has on young lives - independence, leadership, communication, interpersonal skills, confidence, Spanish language ability. I recall one boy who was so shy when he started training that he rarely spoke out. He came back from his Amigos summer ready to be trainer for the next group. My own girls gained tremendous confidence and an abiding passion for Latin America. I can't say enough about my enthusiasm for this outstanding organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally seen the results of this organization in the lives of over 240 Boston chapter volunteers I have worked with since 2002, including my two daughters. They worked with people in their host communities to accomplish meaningful goals. They learned what it means to take responsibility and be independent. Amigos really believes in the ability of teens to be leaders.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would love to find a way to make Amigos available to even more teens in the United States and in Latin America.

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Review from Guidestar