Our Approach to Building Lifelong Leaders

AMIGOS inspires authentic leadership through independent immersion and hands-on service experiences. We have three goals for volunteers:

  1. Development of personal leadership skills,
  2. Improved ability to work across cultures, and
  3. Increased commitment to tackling challenges in communities throughout the Americas.

Our students develop meaningful connections with their host communities. They collaborate respectfully and sustainably on service projects with our local partners. When they return home, they have a richer understanding of cultural diversity and community engagement.

Our Commitment to Access

Every year, we distribute over $300,000 in financial assistance. We are committed to giving students from all socioeconomic backgrounds this life-changing experience. Our communities need leaders of all diverse backgrounds.

Read more about our Financial Assistance Program for more information.

2019 FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE RECIPIENT

Before: “I am applying to AMIGOS because I want to gain life skills that only an experience like this can provide me. I want to immerse myself entirely in Spanish culture to gain a strong understanding of the language, to meet new people who share the same passion as I do for discovering and cherishing different cultures, and to expand my knowledge and maturity about the world.”

After: “I have integrated fully into community life and have shown appreciation for local culture. I have involved myself in every opportunity to experience the local culture. Before this experience, I knew I wanted to join Peace Corps after college. Now after this experience, it is more of a concrete goal of mine.”

We invite alumni and supporters to join us in increasing our financial assistance pool by making a donation. There are many students who dream of having an AMIGOS experience but need financial support to participate.

OUR COMMITMENT TO LOCALIZED IMPACT

AMIGOS distinguishes our programs by providing leadership development opportunities to youth from Latin America, not just youth from the United States. Latin American youth have participated as full-time volunteers across our programs since 2010. For example, approximately 30-40 Latin American students volunteer full-time on the Summer Immersion Program each year, either traveling to a different community within their home country or traveling to a foreign country. They also leave our programs transformed.

2019 LATIN AMERICAN VOLUNTEER

“Una cosa que hice este verano que me da orgullo es… que los jovenes tienen los es una gran participacion en los campamentos y siempre estan involucrando. En esta experiencia aprendido muchas cosas buena para mi vida y los estoy ponga en practica. De se a si hare que sea diferente para poder tener un gran exito en futuro.”

“One thing I achieved this summer that I am proud of is that the youth participated well in the campamentos and were always involved. In this experience, I learned many good things for my life, and I am putting them into practice.”

AMIGOS is also making an impact on our host communities themselves, which span across thousands of communities in the Americas. Designed and implemented with local partner agencies, our community-service projects range from global citizenship to environmental conversation, public health, entrepreneurship, gender equality through sports, and cultural preservation. Many local youth also collaborate with our student volunteers on these carefully constructed and engaging projects.

THE AMIGOS STORY & ALUMNI STORIES

It’s been 55 years since our founder, Guy Bevil, led a team of teens and doctors into rural Honduras to fight a growing polio epidemic. They learned as much about themselves as they did about the community and culture they stepped into.

The self-actualized and motivated young leaders and the welcoming and dynamic host communities of our programs remind us of our collective humanity.

As they form human connections with their host communities, our student volunteers expand their own perspectives and empower themselves in the process. They return home more mature and confident. The AMIGOS experience stays with our alumni, its impact still surfacing in their lives afterwards.

Listen to a few of our alumni resurface the impact of AMIGOS on their lives by video testimony:

SINCE 1965, AMIGOS HAS

Served 30,000+ students

Operated in 17 countries in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean

Partnered with 300+ host agencies, including government ministries, international development agencies, and local organizations

2019 PROGRAMS OUTCOMES

AMIGOS programs operated in 8 countries of the Americas including the United States in 2019.

793 student volunteers, the highest enrollment in our 55-year history!

50+ local partner agencies

120,215 service hours completed by volunteers

610 service projects implemented in areas of community infrastructure, environment, public health, microenterprises, and community building

7,000+ local community members meaningfully worked alongside our volunteers

$300,000+ in financial assistance awards so students from all socioeconomic backgrounds can participate

Reports from our Alumni

98% increased cultural awareness and developed skills to be respectful of differing cultural norms
96% improved Spanish language skills
95% rated their overall AMIGOS experience positively
94% improved self-confidence, communication skills, and problem-solving skills
91% developed skills and qualities attractive to future employers or institutions of higher education
90% increased their ability to be effective leaders and support others
83% are inspired to be more actively involved in their own communities and to work with others to solve problems