AMIGOS 60th Anniversary  


AMIGOS is celebrating our 60th anniversary and in doing so we will look back on our growth and resilience over the past six decades. AMIGOS has been a leader in international youth leadership programming since 1965.  

We invite you to join us as we celebrate how far we’ve come as an organization and the impact we have made in the lives of thousands of alumni and hundreds of communities throughout the Americas. Thank you to all of our supporters, chapter leaders, parents, and alumni for believing in the AMIGOS mission.  


Be sure to check back for updates about anniversary celebrations throughout the year!

AMIGOS has impacted the lives of 30,000 alumni and run programming in 17 countries of the Americas since 1965. The organization would not be operating today without the hard work and dedication of so many through the years.


Learn more about history and journey over the past 60 years! 


  • 1965 – “Amigos de Honduras” was sponsored by the River Oaks Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. 277 student and adult volunteers traveled to Honduras to support vaccination efforts for the polio epidemic.  


  • 1966 – “Amigos de las Américas” was formed as an independent nonprofit organization with Guy Bevil serving as the first Executive Director.  


  • 1967 – AMIGOS expands to now run programs in both Honduras and Guatemala. The Chapter structured was formed to allow more students to join AMIGOS. The first chapters were located in Denver, Houston, Santa Barbara, and Tucson. 


  •  1968 – AMIGOS finds a home at 5618 Star Lane in Houston. This site remained the home of AMIGOS until 2015. 


  • 1970 – AMIGOS expands programs into Nicaragua and Colombia. In addition to vaccinations students supported vision and eyeglass distribution campaigns. 


  • 1971 – Women were allowed to serve as “Route Leaders” for the first time. Previously these roles were only given to men. AMIGOS also started to rely more on public transportation and shifted away from chartered flights and caravans from Houston. 


  • 1974 – By this point, programming had also opened in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Ecuador. Concerns and misinformation about vaccines led a shift away from this focus and into other public health related activities. 


  • 1977 – AMIGOS is recognized as an affiliate of the Pan American Health Organization.  


  • 1980 – Programming had opened in Mexico and Dominican Republic and community sanitation programs focused on latrine building were launched.  


  • 1984 – A push to strengthen the organization’s operations and establish a national identity led to a fundraising campaign and the creation of the annual “Carnaval Gala” fundraiser in Houston. Margaret Guerriero became President. 


  • 1988 – Programming had opened in Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. In addition to community sanitation and vision activities, new programs focused on rabies vaccines for animals had launched.  


  • 1993 – AMIGOS received a grant from the Dewitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Travel Fund to provide scholarships for students with financial need. The annual Alumni Service Award is granted to third recipient since starting in 1991. 


  • 1998 – Emily Untermeyer became the new President & CEO. Programming had opened in Brazil and Latin American volunteers were being involved in programming as full-time volunteers for the first time. 


  • 2004 – The Foundation for AMIGOS is established to expand philanthropic support for the organization. Bevil grants are created to provide extra capital to volunteers and the service projects in their host communities.  


  • 2007 – Chapter Network celebrates 40 years with 28 active chapters in total. 


  • 2011 – AMIGOS wins a federal grant award to operate the bi-national Youth Ambassadors Program.  


  • 2013 – Sara Nathan is appointed AMIGOS President & CEO. 


  • 2014 – AMIGOS celebrates its 50th anniversary with events throughout the country. The Gap Program which launched in 2012 is a selected partner for Tufts 4+1 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program. 


  • 2017 – A new program launches for Middle School students through a two-week program model. The first ever capital campaign closes after raising $5MM. 


  • 2020 – All in-person programming and operations are suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual multi-national programming is created for high school and college graduate age students. AMIGOS becomes an AmeriCorps Program sponsoring agency. 


  • 2022 – Students can now receive college credit from Western Colorado University for their participation in select high school and Gap programs. 


Would you like to make a contribution to the AMIGOS archive? The archive is comprised of print and digital photos, plaques and other memorabilia collected by staff or volunteers, and organizational documents and records. If you would like to make a donation to the archive, please us email [email protected]. 

AMIGOS alumni are passionate and driven global citizens that work to shape the future of communities around the world. Without our alumni, we would not be here to celebrate this huge milestone! That’s why your opinion matters.


Taking this 5-minute survey helps us better plan our anniversary events and celebrate what the 60 years of AMIGOS means to us as a community.  


Get inspired by some of your AMIGOS peers and hear why they want to get involved below.

“I would love to celebrate the organization that taught me so much and whose program I enjoyed so much. Also, that in me there is great gratitude towards AMIGOS for having allowed me to bring a project to my community and now see the fruits of it. By celebrating its anniversary, we can perhaps inspire more young people to participate.”
-Nirllary Perez
“The staying power of Amigos shows how profoundly it affects those who participate. Volunteering with Amigos promotes leadership, confidence and individual expression in a multicultural experience. This experience shapes us at a young age to be ambassadors of health, peace and diversity. Imagine a world where the Amigos experience is required to graduate from high school!”
-Dr. Charlie Evans

Join AMIGOS Social Media Communities

We look forward to bringing our community together to celebrate this milestone. Stay tuned for more information about in-person gatherings in “AMIGOS hub cities” and about virtual gatherings that will be planned based on interest from alumni and supporters. Check back with us for more information soon! In the meantime, enjoy seeing recent gatherings of our community.



A great way to celebrate this anniversary is through some classic AMIGOS merch. Why not represent your AMIGOS pride by repping apparel from our store? The best part is, a portion of your purchase will fund AMIGOS programs. Be sure to stay tuned for exclusive 60th anniversary merch coming soon. 

swag banner



60th Anniversary Fundraising Challenge 


Celebrate 60 Years and Support Young Leaders Across the Americas 

We are calling on our passionate supporters to honor this anniversary by raising funds for AMIGOS. You can join the challenge at the level that feels right to you: 

  • Raise $60 in honor of 60 years.   
  • Raise $195 in honor of the first cohort of students and doctors who travelled to Honduras. 
  • Raise $600 in honor of 60 years. 
  • Raise $1965 in honor of the first of programming in 1965. 


Supporters who join the challenge before the start of our Summer Programs on June 5 will receive a commemorative 60th anniversary t-shirt or hat.  


Click Here to Learn How to Join the Challenge! 

Thank you for supporting our programs and inspiring young leaders! Let’s celebrate the legacy of AMIGOS and rally together to raise funds for the next generation of leaders.