Thank you for your support of young leaders in Houston! We raised over $37,000 for AMIGOS.

At yesterday’s Breakfast to Benefit AMIGOS, Houston Chapter alumni Melissa and Amaya shared personal experience about how AMIGOS impacted their lives. President and CEO Sara Nathan spoke about the future of AMIGOS and how you can make a difference in the lives of Houston youth.

See photos from the event here.

We will continue to build a world with more Amigos, and we look forward to sharing their inspiring stories with you.


We believe in the power of young people to change the world

And the world needs these young people more than ever. This year marks a remarkable evolution for Amigos de las Américas. We are celebrating nearly 28,000 young people who have become Amigos and our commitment to the change that they make in the world.



The mission of AMIGOS is to inspire and build young leaders through collaborative community development and immersion in cross-cultural experiences.

We know AMIGOS is a transformational experience for young people. In the years ahead, we plan to shepherd AMIGOS into a new era where youth from all over the US and Latin America can join our programs and become Amigos.

Please join us as we begin this exciting new evolution of AMIGOS. Your support will make a profound difference for our participants!



Allyson and Steve Cook, Co-Chairs

Betsy and Fred Griffin, Co-Chairs

Michelle and Tim Ruch, Co-Chairs


Host Committee

Cathy and Bill Arnold

Merrill and Joseph A. Hafner

Sarah Felknor and Denton Ragland

Susan and Doug Paisley



Mary McBeth and James Crump

Cathy Frank and Edwin Frank, III









Photography by Danielle Benoit

At the event, President & CEO Sara Nathan discussed the present and future of AMIGOS. Here is a status report reflecting on our goals, accomplishments, and vision for the future.


Amigos 365

We aim to increase the sustainability of our programs by establishing a year-round presence on the ground. Here’s how:

  • We have permanent staff based in Nicaragua, Colombia, and Ecuador, who help manage our summer and gap programs.
  • This year, we’re opening a gap program in Cuenca, Ecuador! This builds upon our success with our other gap program in Leon, Nicaragua. Both American Gap Association-accredited programs run through the academic year.
  • Establishing strong local partnerships with trusted organizations like Plan International allows AMIGOS to contribute to community projects identified by local citizens, and ensures these projects will be maintained and built upon throughout the years


We are committed to building relationships with entities that help us further our mission.

  • Tufts University provides accepted students an opportunity to participate in a year of full-time service on an AMIGOS gap year as part of their 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning program before they begin their academic studies
  • We provide a customized service learning experience for participants in American University’s Community-Based Research Scholars program
  • Our partnerships with Summer Search and KIPP NYC include financial aid and specialized in-country trainings in order to broaden the AMIGOS experience to under-resourced families.
  • We’re actively searching for new partners who share our vision of a world with more Amigos!


  • We are committed to keeping our programs accessible to anyone who wishes to participate; last year, we increased the amount of financial aid distributed by 80%, the average award by 27%, and the number of recipients by 36%.
  • Our Adelante Benefit in San Francisco last fall and the Breakfast to Benefit AMIGOS in Houston were initiated in order to raise funds for financial assistance and AMIGOS programs.
  • Our Youth Ambassadors program, fully funded by the US State Department, provides leadership training, professional development, and cultural exchange for youth from the US and South America.

We believe that AMIGOS is the most transformative cultural immersion and youth leadership program for young people. We look forward to building on over 50 years of experience in order to expand our programs for as many young leaders as possible.

Amigos de las Américas is grateful for the guidance of our chairs and all members of our breakfast committee.



Allyson and Steve Cook
Betsy and Fred Griffin
Michelle and Tim Ruch



Cathy and Bill Arnold
Merrill and Joseph A. Hafner
Sarah Felknor and Denton Ragland
Susan and Doug Paisley



Mary McBeth and James Crump

Cathy and Edwin Frank, III











Thank you to the Board of Directors of our Houston Chapter for co-hosting this event.

Tania Almazan, Co-President
Jarrod Ford, Co-President
Charlie Becker
Paula Bottecelli
Lydia Brantley
Amaya Bremauntz
Michael Brombacher
Ann Campbell
Ann Crowley
Kristina Dickman
Claire Edgell
April Hearne
Shannon Martin
Anil Kapoor
Elle O’Brien
Kyli Perez
Chris Reuben
Connie Rodriguez
Fadel Ruiz
Kenneth Schneider
Lauren Tucci
Ron Vlaskamp