Learn about the world by living in it! AMIGOS provides volunteers age 13 to 22 the safest, most authentic service and immersion experiences in Latin America. Living and working in a new country gives you the chance to improve your Spanish, make an impact, gain confidence, and build leadership skills. You'll get to see the world in a truly unique way!
Two weeks in Costa Rica or Panama
No Spanish requirement
Four to eight weeks in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, or Panama
Spanish requirement: two years or equivalent
Gap Year and Semester
Semester or academic year in Ecuador or Uruguay
No Spanish requirement
- Go beyond travel and live like a local with your host family in a new country
- Make real friendships that last a lifetime
- Volunteer side-by-side with local residents on a sustainable service project
- Improve your Spanish through authentic cultural immersion
- Explore the country with other volunteers on excursions to must-see spots
- Complete an internship at a local organization (Gap Program)
- Earn service hours: up to 275 (Summer Program) or 480 (Gap Program)
- Gain confidence and leadership skills that prepare you for college and beyond!
AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture as a local, not a tourist. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after going through our program. Activities go far beyond the classroom — you’ll lead activities in Spanish, learn local slang, and increase your confidence with real-world practice. You will not believe how fast your Spanish improves when you use it in conversation everyday!
Gap Program volunteers will take Spanish classes at Amauta Spanish School before beginning an internship with a local organization. Living with a host family and getting into the rhythm of daily life in Cuenca will boost your language fluency in no time!
AMIGOS works with trusted local partner organizations to identify communities that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on community service projects. It has been our experience that a service project is sustainable only when the community owns it and participates in the effort. You will collaborate on a service project with volunteers your own age as well as community members.
You’ll get to do way more than just travel — you’ll live with a host family, sharing in their day-to-day life. Become part of your host community, making friends with and working alongside community members. Share holidays, celebrations, and everyday life in a way you can only experience through authentic cultural immersion. AMIGOS volunteers and their host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after their project ends. All of our host families are vetted and trained before volunteers arrive.
AMIGOS is the industry leader in health and safety management. Our staff is prepared to help you with any situation that may arise. Each volunteer receives a personalized emergency plan, as well as support from local staff teams and a professional 24-hour On-Call Safety Team of travel specialists, doctors, and mental health specialists. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region. Learn more about health and safety here.
Prepare for AMIGOS through guided training in topics like:
- Multicultural understanding;
- Health and safety;
- Community development;
- Travel safety;
- Leadership; and
- Team building.
Upon arrival in the field, you’ll start country-specific training with your group of fellow volunteers. During your time abroad, you’ll meet regularly with an AMIGOS staff member who serves as your mentor. Finally, at the end of your service, come together again as a group to participate in debriefing — putting what you learned in context, preparing to go home, and going on fun excursions around the country.
Don’t miss out on must-see spots in your host country! You’ll travel as a group to experience unique destinations your host country has to offer, like volcanoes, ancient ruins, national parks, and historical sites. You’ll get to see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has lived in that country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with their fellow volunteers and have fun!
Gap Program volunteers will get to explore Ecuador or Uruguay on at least two group excursions per semester.
Each day brings new and unique opportunities! Find the best local spot in your new city, learn traditional dances, make new friends with people in your community, practice your Spanish, hike in national parks, and more!
The things you will learn and experience, the relationships you will build, and the joy and love you will feel are irreplaceable and will remain with you through the rest of your life.