Authentic immersion and service programming empowers young people to become lifelong leaders in our global community.

AMIGOS applies the principles of positive youth development theory, asset-based community development theory, and social and emotional learning theory to create transformational programs.


Preparing Young People for an Interconnected World

  • Build cultural competence
  • Explore what it means to be a global citizen
  • Develop communication and interpersonal skills to connect with all people

Learning to Become Lifelong Leaders in Our Communities

  • Examine volunteering and civic engagement through the framework of ethical service
  • Explore the process of design thinking to find solutions for social issues
  • Identify leadership strengths and explore critical issues that affect local and global communities

Since 1965

30,000 alumni worldwide 

Programming in 17 countries across the Americas 

Local chapters in 23 cities across the United States 

57 years as the expert in international youth leadership and service programming 

300+ partnerships with schools and universities, government ministries, international development agencies, and local nonprofits 

1,500,000+ service hours completed by volunteers 

The Need for Youth Leadership Programming

According to the World Economic Forumyoung people are facing a “learning and skills crisis” and “demand opportunity and an education which allows them to build their skills and contribute to their own societies.”  

The U.S. Department of Labor says that youth need the following experiences to gain skills and competencies to meet the challenges of adulthood. 

  • Mentorship and opportunities to exercise leadership and build self-esteem 
  • Training in skills such as self-advocacy and conflict resolution 
  • Exposure to personal leadership activities including community service 

In the report, The Missing Piece: A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools, educators share: 

  • 78% say social and emotional learning substantially prepares students for college 
  • 87% say social and emotional learning guides students in becoming good citizens 

Commitment to Access

Every year, we distribute $300,000 through our Financial Assistance Fund. We are committed to giving students from all socioeconomic backgrounds a life-changing AMIGOS experience. 

2020 Financial Assistance Results by Program 

46% of students in the Community Impact Project 

42% of students in the Civic Action Gap Semester 

18% of students in the spring Gap Semester 


The Partnerships Fund 

The Partnerships Fund allows AMIGOS to reach U.S. students who would not be able to participate without the financial and pre-program support provided by both AMIGOS and our partner organizations. The Partnerships Fund is made possible by donations from Scott and Cathi Roberts, the Weatherspoon Charitable Fund, and two anonymous donors.  


Latin American Youth Sponsorships 

Since the 1990s, we have sponsored students from countries throughout Latin America to join our summer programs. Beginning in 2021, we will provide sponsorship opportunities for Latin American students to join every Latin American-based program as full-time volunteers. 


Increasing Accessibility through the AMIGOS Chapter Network 

Across the United States, a network of 20 local chapters facilitates the pre-departure training activities and builds community by connecting students to local service initiatives. The chapter network also helps to make AMIGOS accessible through group fundraising efforts, supplemental financial assistance awards, and pre-departure support. 


Classroom Based Experiences to Reach More Youth 

We understand that even with full funding a travel experience is not possible for every student. In 2020, we brought AMIGOS into the virtual space with the Community Impact Project. We adapted the program into the Classroom Community Impact Project in partnership with the Houston Independent School District in Spring 2021. We will bring this innovative program and partnership model to more classrooms and students in the coming years.  

Lifelong and Career Impact

Our programs create a lasting impact on alumni in our program pillars of personal leadership, cultural competence, and commitment to service. Alumni make a positive impact on their communities through both their personal and professional lives. They enter all career fields but with higher concentrations in public service and diplomacy, public health and medicine, international business and law, primary and higher education, and nonprofits and social justice. 

Alumni report the following outcomes through leadership and experience surveys: 

98% increased cultural competency 

96% improved Spanish language skills 

94% improved self-confidence, communication skills, and problem-solving skills 

91% developed skills and qualities attractive to future employers 

90% increased ability to be effective leaders and support others 

83% inspired to be more actively involved in their own communities