Dr. Putterman on AMIGOS health and safety from parent perspective from Amigos de las Americas.
AMIGOS Parent Gilbert Rodriguez on Health & Safety from Amigos de las Americas on Vimeo.
First, we believe health and safety starts at home so we require all volunteers to attend training and prevention programs to prepare them for the field. Once out in the field, volunteers and staff are supported by full-time health and safety staff members at our headquarters who oversee the 24/7 on-call emergency system. In addition, we utilize a team of doctors and mental health professionals that provide extensive hands-on training and support to our field staff throughout the experience. Finally, our personal relationships with community members and pre-screened local hospitals help ensure someone is always available to help your child at any time.
“I was concerned about health and safety in country… As we got into the program, we talked to people. We realized that AMIGOS has done this so many times that they’ve addressed all these problems. They know how to bring groups of kids abroad safely.”
-David L., parent
“There are many ways to alleviate these fears, though, and one of the biggest ones is the fact that the kids have this extensive training program that lasts through several months. It is scheduled throughout the year and so it’s convenient.”
–Kimberly B., parent
“His host family called him the day after he got home. At first I couldn’t imagine why they would do that. Then it occurred to me that they were also now family. They miss him, too. It made me wish I knew them. It made me cry. I read somewhere, and always agreed, that a child can never have too many people who love him.”
-Jean G., parent
Kimberli on the AMIGOS support system from a parent perspective from Amigos de las Americas.
Unlike any other organization, with AMIGOS, participants are encouraged to leave their comfort zone and discover their leadership potential, while being supported by our unsurpassed team of in-country staff, mentors, and host families. When abroad, not only do they mature into confident, independent individuals, they also grow in their ability to relate to people from diverse backgrounds. These are skills critical for educational aspirations and careers in the 21st century. Furthermore, designed in collaboration with Latin American partners, AMIGOS projects are driven entirely by the needs of the community, which ensures that our young people are engaged in service work that truly makes a difference.
“Both our children left Houston as fun-loving, typical teenagers and returned from their AMIGOS experience with new-found confidence and maturity and a real sense of what life is like beyond our community. In fact, Stuart had been so impressed by the AMIGOS experience that he has been to the field for four summers; and this is Lauren’s second time, with service this summer as a supervisor in the DR. We are proud of them and appreciate the opportunity that AMIGOS offers Houston youth. The AMIGOS experience is a “family-changing” experience!”
– Leslie M., parent
“I developed the ability to relate to people at all different levels in life and society – age, class, profession, education. Now, I work with executives and hospital leaders to help them be effective leaders in their departments, which involves careful coaching that is oriented toward knowing what they want as leaders and helping them bring about this change. Teaching, coaching, and facilitating are critical skills in the work I do every day. ”
– Cat A., past participant
“I’m doing organizational development consulting today because of my summer in the DR and subsequent work with AMIGOS. I learned so much about communicating effectively and giving feedback and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t use this skill.”
– Tim S., past participant
AMIGOS has a long history of priming young people for success, with over 27,000 alumni participants that have been transformed through their experience. Continuing their development, participants are invited to climb our “leadership ladder” and apply to come back as project staff members in Latin America, and we offer ways to stay involved throughout the year with our Alumni Ambassador program. Participants have used their experience with AMIGOS to gain entry into top State and Ivy League schools, and we continually hear from CEOs, PhDs, lawyers, and other professionals who can testify that AMIGOS paved the way for their successful careers and endeavors.
“AMIGOS has been an integral part of my personal growth. In my college application essays I wrote about the challenges I overcame when planning CBIPs and tackling cultural differences in order to connect with my community in a meaningful way. I think colleges really liked that I had committed myself to a nonprofit not just for a year, but for three full years as a participant, veteran participant, and training staff member! I believe my AMIGOS commitment helped me get into Yale.”
– Rosa, past participant & staff member
“As America’s top college consultant, I know that the college admissions essays that truly pop off the paper are ones that show emotional resilience, independence, and a departure from your comfort zone. AMIGOS provides that experience for teenagers.”
-Neha Gupta, Founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors
“Being an AMIGOS participant demonstrates leadership, initiative, and a desire to contribute to the world. These are the very qualities that colleges are looking for throughout the application process.”
-Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer, Owner of College Advisory Firm “Texas College Advisor”
“I would not be exaggerating by saying that my experience with AMIGOS was both fantastic and life-changing. Based on my experience in Central America, I pursued a career path in economic development and went on to spend two years in the Peace Corps and get a Ph.D in development economics (and returned to Latin America for my doctoral research).”
– Leigh B., past participant
“I didn’t know it 15 years ago, but that summer in Paraguay would set the stage for what is now my career. I’m a project manager, and I was able to talk myself into my first project management job by telling my interviewer that if I could oversee the construction of 45 sanitary latrines in rural Paraguay at the age of 16, I could handle anything.”
-Sophie D., past participant
“I wanted you to know that I am an extremely proud father tonight. Whitney who was an Amigo in Michoacan last summer was voted by the senior class of her high school (which is one of the most outstanding high schools in San Diego County) as the person most likely to turn out like Mother Theresa. AMIGOS definitely helped shape Whitney over the last year and I can’t think of a much greater honor by her peers than to be recognized this way.”
– Bob S., parent