National Chapter

The National Chapter is a part of an extensive international network of professional staff, volunteers, educators, and alumni who support AMIGOS volunteers and their families. More than 4,000 volunteers have participated with AMIGOS through the National Chapter since its inception in 1971.

The National Chapter is a great option if you do not live near a local chapter or have a schedule that conflicts with local, in-person activities. Anyone can join the National Chapter, regardless of where they live.

The National Chapter is open to students interested in our:

You’ll apply to the National Chapter, complete pre-departure training, and may fundraise for your trip individually. National Chapter training is customized for each program and will include online webinars as well as in-person training depending on each program’s requirements.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, click here to connect with your local Discover AMIGOS community!

Apply now!

 

Let us help you get ready for your AMIGOS adventure!

Your online application will take approximately 30–40 minutes and includes questions to get to know you better, as well as your choice of project location and country.

Discover AMIGOS, Explore AMIGOS, and Summer Immersion Programs

Summer 2020 Programs have been suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Click here to read an open letter from our President & CEO about this decision.

 

Gap Program

March 31, 2020 is the early bird deadline ($500 off!) to apply for a Gap Program starting in fall 2020. The final deadline for programs starting in fall 2020 is July 1, 2020.

For our Gap Program, the $50 application fee and $425 deposit will be paid after your interview. The fee for a semester-long Gap Program is $13,950 (Ecuador) or $14,450 (Uruguay) and the full year program is $25,695 (Ecuador) or $27,975 (Uruguay).

Learn more about the admissions process here.

 

Summer Immersion, Explore AMIGOS, and Discover AMIGOS Programs

The program fee for AMIGOS Summer Immersion Program through the National Chapter is $5,750.

The program fee for the Explore AMIGOS Program is $4,650.

The program fee for the two-week Discover AMIGOS Program is $3,395 (Panama) or $3,695 (Costa Rica).

Airfare is not included. To find out more about financial assistance and what’s included in your fee, click here.

Gap Program

The fee for a semester-long Gap Program is $12,950 (Ecuador) or $13,450 (Uruguay) and the full year program is $24,650 (Ecuador) or $26,950 (Uruguay).

Payment plans and financial aid are available. Learn more here.

What is included in your fee?

Before you leave

Your fee includes the costs of all pre-departure training, onboarding, and travel support.

Once you land

All on-site training and orientation, food, lodging and transportation costs, full-time program staff, 24-hour On-Call Safety Team, global travel medical insurance, and program excursions are included.

Post-program

You’ll receive credit for service hours, as well as access to the AMIGOS alumni network, leadership opportunities, and beyond!

Financial Assistance & Fundraising

Financial Assistance

We provide need-based financial assistance on a rolling basis for our programs. To apply, complete your application and indicate that you would like to be considered for financial assistance. Be sure to include your family financial information in the section that asks for it. You will be notified within 2 weeks if you have received an award. Summer Immersion Program applicants must pay the $50 application fee and $425 deposit to complete your application. This is refundable if requested within 30 days of payment. If you have questions, please contact Admissions Manager Meghan Ford at [email protected].

Fundraising

Many volunteers choose to fundraise to offset their program fee. Once you’re accepted into an AMIGOS program, we’ll set you up with an online fundraising platform, give you tips and advice, and apply any donations you receive to your program fee. Volunteers typically raise an average of $2,000.

 

More questions about fees and funding?

Check out this page or email Meghan Ford at [email protected].

National Chapter training is customized and conducted by our professional staff, depending on each program’s requirements. Check out this blog about National Chapter training!

General Information

As a volunteer through the National Chapter, your training happens in two parts. First, you will go through a pre-departure online training to familiarize yourself with the program. The second part of your training happens either in Houston, Texas or in-country.

Training is a chance to dive into the core values of AMIGOS and our corresponding curriculum. We cover topics ranging from community development, cultural adjustment, and resource mobilization. You’ll get to practice your Spanish, begin to develop your leadership skills, and make new friends from all over the U.S.!

The Project Information Packet (PIP) is released in two parts in the spring and will have specific information about your country, partner organizations, and packing instructions. Your Project Staff Team will also release a pre-recorded webinar going over the PIP and then host a live question and answer session. Further instructions and scheduling of these webinars will be shared in the spring.

Program-Specific Information

Summer Immersion Program

AMIGOS staff will support each volunteer with online training in health and safety, cultural understanding, what to expect in country, packing instructions, and parent-specific information.

Scheduling Note: All National Chapter volunteers on the Summer Immersion Program will have a 4 day in-person intensive training with other National Chapter volunteers immediately before the in-country briefing and program start date. This training will expand your travel dates and change your program start date. Please scroll down to see these additional dates of training per project.

Explore AMIGOS Program

AMIGOS staff will support each volunteer with online training in health and safety, cultural understanding, what to expect in country, packing instructions, and parent-specific information.

Once you arrive in-country, staff will lead additional trainings to ensure volunteers make the most of their time abroad.

Discover AMIGOS Program

AMIGOS staff will support each volunteer with online training in health and safety, cultural understanding, what to expect in country, packing instructions, and parent-specific information.

For Discover AMIGOS volunteers in the San Francisco Bay Area, there will be an additional optional in-person family training in May to review packing and preparation as well as answer any pre-departure questions. Details will be emailed to all local families.

Gap Program

AMIGOS staff will support each volunteer with online training in health and safety, cultural understanding, what to expect in country, packing instructions, and parent-specific information. In-person training will be begin in country upon arrival and will be ongoing throughout.

 

Training dates and locations for 2020 are:

Barahona, Dominican Republic Session A

June 5–9, 2020 – Dominican Republic

 

Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica Session A

Azuero, Panama

Cuenca, Ecuador

June 12–16, 2020 – Houston, Texas

 

Palmares, Costa Rica

Chimborazo, Ecuador

Cuzco, Peru

June 19–23, 2020 – Houston, Texas

 

Santa Elena, Ecuador

Coclé, Panama

June 26–30, 2020 – Houston, Texas

 

Barahona, Dominican Republic Session B

July 10–14, 2020 – Houston, Texas

 

Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica Session B

July 17–21, 2020 – Costa Rica

 

Discover AMIGOS

Training modules are online and are ongoing while you’re abroad.

Explore AMIGOS

Training modules are online and are ongoing while you’re abroad.

Gap Program

In-country training upon arrival abroad.