Houston Chronicle Article | Amigos de las Americas | December 9, 2015
Since 1965, AMIGOS has run safe, immersive volunteer programs in Latin America. On our 50th anniversary, we reflect on our history and our evolution as an organization.
AMIGOS was founded on the principle that young people can change the world. In 1965, a 29-year old pastor from Houston, Texas named Guy Bevil, led a team of teenagers into rural Honduras to fight a growing polio epidemic. Serving communities in remote areas of the country, this group of 181 youth and 36 adults helped protect thousands of people from the crippling disease and established friendships that crossed borders. This service had a bold impact on the lives of these young people and as a result they returned more mature, culturally aware, and inspired to continue serving communities at home and abroad.
Since then, AMIGOS expanded our programming to include local youth, incorporated leadership training into our curriculum, and focused on asset-based community development. We continue to build upon long-standing relationships with the communities in which we work. We work with people, not for them. We respect local communities and we recognize that the best way to implement a community service project is to work side-by-side with locals. Our programs allow participants from the US and Latin America to build meaningful friendships, develop leadership skills, and have an experience that will stay with them for their whole life.
Read the article about our 50th anniversary in the Houston Chronicle here.