My daughter received over 200 hours of training prior to going in country (2014). She was more than prepared and as a parent I felt extremely confident in this organization to provide a safe and illuminating experience. If she had done something like this on her own, at 16 years of age, without proper guidance and training, I wonder if she would have even returned for lack of preparation.
Because of this training and the immense preparation, she is now contributing as a leader training new participants, and contributing to the overall growth and continued excellence of our local chapter.
Parent & Board Member
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.
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 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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar