Is It Safe To Volunteer Abroad?

For high school students (and their parents and guardians), safety is often a top concern for volunteering abroad. Illness, injury, and personal safety are topics of concern for any international travel. Luckily, for the majority of well-respected organizations with international volunteer programs, like AMIGOS, safety is the top priority as well!

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How Do You Know a Program is Safe?

When done correctly, international volunteering is completely safe, and is an incredible opportunity to learn about the world (and yourself!) When considering a certain program’s health and safety protocols, it’s important to find a reputable and trustworthy organization.

Here at AMIGOS, health and safety is always our number one priority. We have been the industry leader in health and safety management since 1965.

Any organization running an international volunteer program should clearly communicate its health and safety protocols to potential volunteers.

At AMIGOS, our staff is prepared to help you with any situation that may arise. All volunteers receive a personalized emergency plan, as well as support from local staff teams and a professional 24-hour On-Call Safety Team of travel specialists, doctors, and mental health specialists. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.

Find out more about health and safety at AMIGOS here.

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Working With Other Organizations

All health and safety protocols should be determined in conjunction with other major organizations or government entities working in the area.

At AMIGOS, we coordinate with organizations like the Peace Corps, the CDC, our partner agencies, and U.S. Embassies to constantly monitor any risks in the areas where we have projects. 

AMIGOS has more than 55 years of experience running international youth volunteer programs. Our longstanding relationships with local organizations in host countries are built on a foundation of mutual respect and enable us to work with trusted local partners. The trust we have built in the region means that each volunteer’s experience is safer, more meaningful, and more powerful.

Our staff teams also work with our partner agencies to continually assess safety levels in any given project area, before, during, and after volunteer arrival and departure.

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Emergency Procedures and Preparedness

In the case of any emergency, AMIGOS has a detailed and established volunteer and staff support plan. Again, working alongside entities such as the Peace Corps, the CDC, and U.S. Embassies in each host country, we can ensure volunteer safety even through an emergency. In addition, we have a notification system to keep parents and guardians at home informed of any changes to the program every step of the way. Our knowledge and expertise built over five decades assures parents and volunteers that the experience will be safe and rewarding no matter what.

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Safety Training for Volunteers

All AMIGOS volunteers complete a training curriculum before they depart which provides the health and safety information necessary for them to have a safe and rewarding experience. This training continues once they arrive at their program location. Our staff teams in the field in Latin America are also all trained in our health and safety protocols, in addition to our 24/7 On-Call Safety Team of travel specialists, doctors, and mental health specialists. 

Volunteering abroad is one of the most meaningful experiences young people can have today—and when done correctly, carries minimal risk.

Find Out More About Health & Safety at AMIGOS