Discover AMIGOS Programs for 2020 have been suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Click here to read an open letter from President & CEO Sara Nathan about this decision.
Volunteer abroad and AMIGOS with this amazing opportunity to take your first dive into Latin America. This project has key AMIGOS program components such as volunteering, training, excursions, reflections, and workshops, but is guided by AMIGOS staff. Every day is an authentic, engaging adventure with hands-on service projects, educational talks, and games with local children.
"I saw a such a change in my son after he came home from Panama. He seemed taller and more confident and ready to go into the world less of a child and more of an adult. AMIGOS made him more responsible and independent and those changes have stayed with him." —John, Parent, Discover AMIGOS 2018
"It was amazing. I really liked how independent it was. We would have supervision during our project but at the end of the day we could go have fun with our peers and socialize and play games and card games with the locals and our host family. It was really fun to get to know all kinds of people." —Annabelle, Volunteer, Discover AMIGOS 2018
"My daughter had never done anything like this before but I was surprised by how much she had changed. It was palpable. It was such a leap for her to pull on her own internal resources and now she keeps saying spontaneously, ‘I feel so confident’." —Jennifer, Parent, Discover AMIGOS 2018
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, click here to connect with your local Discover AMIGOS community!
- Go beyond travel and live with a host family in a new country.
- Make real friendships that last a lifetime.
- Volunteer side by side with local residents.
- Improve your Spanish by using it in everyday conversation.
- Experience a new culture.
- Earn 30 service hours.
- Gain confidence and leadership skills that prepare you for high school, college, and beyond.
AMIGOS has run programs in the United States and Latin America for more than 55 years. We’re the expert in service and immersion programs in Latin America and the industry leader in health and safety. Learn about our health and safety system here. We book the airfare for each of our volunteers and an AMIGOS representative travels with the group on the international leg of their flight. Volunteers will be accompanied by AMIGOS staff members at all times.
AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture as a local, not a tourist. Volunteers who already know some Spanish will play a leadership role in their group, translating and practicing the language in a real-world context. Living in an immersive environment and spending time with a host family makes it more fun and easier to learn. You will not believe how fast your Spanish improves when you use it in conversation everyday!
We work with trusted local partner organizations to identify communities that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on service projects. You’ll get to collaborate on a service project with volunteers your own age as well as other members of the community. You’ll earn 30 service hours while having a blast!
Do more than just travel — live with a host family, sharing in their day-to-day life! You will become part of your host community, and you’ll connect with people you otherwise would never have the chance to meet. Bond with your host family, make friends, and spend time with your fellow volunteers.
Travel to must-see spots in your host country! You’ll visit unique destinations like volcanoes, national parks, and historical sites, and see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has lived in the country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with fellow volunteers and have fun!
Earn 30 service hours while you work on an environmental project that protects wildlife. Be a champion for endangered sea turtles by working with local agencies to clean up the beach and conserve turtle eggs. You’ll get to have a hands on part in local conservation and you’ll get to lead activities with kids in your host community.
AMIGOS prepares volunteers with pre-departure and in-country training in:
- Multicultural understanding;
- Health and safety;
- Community development;
- Travel safety;
- Leadership; and
- Team building.
While abroad, volunteers join in on nightly reflections led by AMIGOS staff members. At the end of their service, volunteers come together as a group to participate in debriefing — putting what they learned in context, preparing to go home, and exploring their host country on group excursions.
We believe it is crucial to work with local communities, not for them. If we listen to what communities actually want, instead of making decisions for them, the service projects that volunteers implement will be more successful and sustainable. Local buy-in facilitates a deeper, more meaningful experience for volunteers and paves the way to building positive relationships across cultures.