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.
Programs: Our programs for high school students create a unique opportunity for young people to take on real-world challenges and build responsibility. Program participants work with other us students and latin american peers to design and lead community projects related to areas such as: public health, children's rights, and environmental sustainability. This includes 632 participants from our chapter network, our national office network, and our federal grant partnerships traveling to/from latin america during 2014.
our programs for gap year create a unique opportunity for young people to take on real-world challenges and build responsibility during a transformational year of full-time international service. Program participants work with other us students and latin american peers to design and lead community projects related to areas such as: public health, children's rights, and environmental sustainability. This includes 6 gap participants in nicaragua for 2014.
Where else can a teen learn leadership, independence, responsibility, expand cultural awareness in a way that will change their life and those around them. My daughter participated in Amigos during the Summer of 2011 in Honduras and her trip was amazing. It was not all rosy, but that is part of the growth. The relationships built are lifelong. This experience definitely will direct her future decisions. The time frame is balanced for the age. It provides a true immersion in the language and culture, not just a week long retreat/mission. They experience some politics and have to cope with varied situations. The support structure is also balanced in that it provides time for the youth to experience different levels of success and failure in a very, very safe environment. The life lessons are priceless.
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.