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  

I was a volunteer in '75 and my daughter has volunteered the past 2 summers. After her first summer, in a rural nicaraguan community, she came back much more empowered and with a much better idea of what she wanted for her life "To be useful and connected to other people". The community benefitted from the cultural exchange, lessons for kids on health and the environment, and a kitchen and community garden for their school. After her second summer, in a more urban community in Oaxaca Mexico, she is glowing with enthusiasm and energy. She got to play an instrumental role in facilitating the development of a community gym which among other things will offer kung fu lessons to reach young people and give them something meaningful to do instead of drinking and drugs.

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

as a volunteer, volunteer parent, and board member

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

get the word out more effectively to potential volunteers and donors.

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Rating: 5 stars  

In 1995 I spent the summer before my Senior year in El Oro, Ecuador. It opened my eyes to how fortunate I am to be growing up and living in the United States. I learned about indepdence, decision making, the world and that there is much i can learn from other Cultures.

I have now been on the Board of Directors in the Seattle area for 4 years. I find it exteremly rewarding to see young people transformed by sharing a summer aboard with another family, in another culture doing things they never thought they would do.

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

Improving Spanish language skills Developing leadership and project management skills As well as developing decision making skills for youth

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

Find enough donors to make this program free!

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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 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