Explore the roads less traveled in Colorado! Examine the complex interplay of public, private, and nonprofit contributions to conservation in the Centennial State. From skiing to farming, and hunting to hiking, you'll leave the program with a broadened understanding of what it means to be a conservationist in the west.

What to Expect

What does it mean to be a conservationist in the west? Explore Colorado with other students in your pod. Meet environmental activists, land managers, and local officials who play a part in protecting the environment in the Centennial State. Dive deep into the ethics and practice of conservationism from permaculture to wolf reintroduction. Take part in outdoor activities like fly fishing, snowshoeing, hiking, and soak up the natural beauty around you while rafting.


What to Expect

  • Pod of 17 students (maximum)
  • 8-week session
  • Communal living while traveling around Colorado
  • Robust health and safety protocols


What You’ll GET

  • Support local conservation initiatives
  • Network with activists, local officials, and other actors who contribute to Colorado’s environmental protection efforts
  • Mentorship through coaching, supervision, and support
  • Earn 120 service hours


What You’ll Need

  • Age: 17–22 (high school graduate)
  • Interest in the environment and community service
  • Legal residency in the U.S.
Start an Application

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About the Program


Session Dates

March 14–May 11, 2022


How to Apply

Start your application here!

Spring Session: January 18, 2022
Spring Session – Financial Assistance Deadline: January 4, 2022


Fees and Financial Assistance

Need-based financial assistance is available!


What’s Included

All expenses in Colorado are covered, including:

-Accommodation, including excursions
-Three meals per day
-Private group transportation throughout the entire program
-Medical supplies like hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning products
-Entrance fees at sites we visit
-24/7 On-Call Safety System

Itinerary (tentative)

Itinerary subject to change based on weather, local health restrictions, and other factors.

The Nature Place, Florissant

Get to know the other members of your cohort! Explore The Nature Place through activities run by AMIGOS and local staff. Reach new heights at the high ropes course! Depart after breakfast, travel to Leadville. Introduction to conservation in Colorado.



Try out skiing in the Rocky Mountains! Prefer flat ground to the slopes? Go snowshoeing!


Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary, learning about endangered species and the interplay between wildlife management, protected spaces, and agriculture. Perfect your casting skills as you fly fish in sparkling waters. Experience the surreal beauty of Great Sand Dunes National Park.


San Luis Valley


How much do you know about the principles of permaculture? Learn how cultivation can support ecosystem regeneration and how to grow food more sustainably. Explore how ranchland is managed in this part of the state.





Take in the sights around you while rafting on the Arkansas River. Take in the majestic beauty of the high peaks of the Rockies surrounding you. You’ve heard of the Grand Canyon, but what about the Black Canyon? Rock, water, and sky meet at this sweeping sight in Gunnison National Park, home to some of the steepest cliffs in North America.




Support local environmentalists dedicated to maintaining walking and hiking trails near Durango, Colorado. Explore the history of the Pueblo people in Mesa Verde National Park.



Debriefing & Public Policy

Put your knowledge into context by examining the past and present policies that shape conservation in the west.

From Wolves to Rivers: How the West Will Stay Wild

The need for change may be simple, but actually creating change can be complex. This program offers a learning, living lab to observe the principles of interdependence and coexistence through an in-person exploration of conservationism and environmental justice. You’ll witness firsthand how leadership, collaboration, and partnership are critical for the protection of wilderness in the American West. 




Join an online info session!

Length Training
Ages Application
Gap Semester: Colorado 8 weeks

Training in Florissant upon arrival

Spring: March 14–May 11, 2022

17–22 January 18, 2022


Need-based financial assistance is available! The deadline to apply for financial assistance for the spring session is January 4, 2022.

  • Gap Semester: Colorado
  • Length
    8 weeks
  • Training Dates

    Training in Florissant upon arrival

  • In-Country Dates

    Spring: March 14–May 11, 2022

  • Ages
  • Application Deadline
    January 18, 2022
  • Price


    Need-based financial assistance is available! The deadline to apply for financial assistance for the spring session is January 4, 2022.


Is this a backpacking or back country trip?

No. We will be staying for 90% of the time in lodging such as hostels or cabins. AMIGOS is the expert in creating youth leaders dedicated to catalyzing positive change. Our volunteers and staff will utilize our key pillars of leadership, service, and cultural humility to spend nine weeks in a pod model exploring conservation themes in Colorado. Students will also do service work to support the efforts of local organizations.


How is the program staffed and what is the ratio of staff to students?

The program will be led by a Project Director assisted by a Project Coordinator and Health & Wellness Coordinator. The number of students in the pod is 15–17 so the ratio will be close to 1 to 5.


What are some of the activities I might take part in?

Rafting on the Arkansas River
Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Volunteer on a permaculture farm
Visit a ranch
Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary
Fly fish
Visit Great Sand Dunes National Park
Skiing in the Rocky Mountains
High Ropes Activities
Trail restoration
Visit Mesa Verde National Park


What will I learn from the program curriculum?

Through guided conversation, guest speakers and reflections, key questions will be addressed throughout the program, including:

Who are the different constituencies and leaders in this regional landscape?

What are the benefits and risks of creating change versus supporting traditional stewardship roles?

What cultural biases are in place around environmental justice?

Whose voice are included/elevated and whose are excluded/devalued?

What histories need to be learned and respected in order to create partnerships?

What elements are helping to create broader networks of partnership? What elements are creating blockages to partnerships?


Do I have to be enrolled in college to participate?

No, you do not need to be enrolled in college or planning on enrolling in college to join. This program is open to all students ages 17–22 who have graduated high school, regardless of college plans. You should have an interest in environmental and social issues in the Americas and a commitment to your community.

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“The things you will learn and experience and the relationships you will build will remain with you through the rest of your life.”

—Emma, AMIGOS Gap Volunteer

Program Requirements
  • Age: 17–22 and high school graduate
  • Interest in the environment and community service
  • Legal resident of the U.S.

Get Social With Us!

Meet Lauren, the Project Director on the Nueva Segovia y Leon, Nicaragua project this summer!

"My name is Lauren and I am the Project Director for the summer 2021 program in Nicaragua. I am originally from Boston, but I earned my B.A. in Spanish at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. I really enjoy working with young adults, as well as exposing myself to new cultures. As such, I am looking forward to a meaningful and exciting summer in Nicaragua with all of our volunteers.

¡Hola! Me llamo Lauren, y soy la Directora del Proyecto en Nicaragua este verano. Soy de Boston, y hice mi bachillerato en Español en el College of Charleston. Además de viajar, me gusta mucho apoyar a adultos jóvenes a desarrollar sus capacidades y compartir mi pasión por viajar. Espero poder pasar un verano significativo con todos los voluntarios."

Today, our staff are observing Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and was long overdue for federal recognition as a national holiday. AMIGOS believes honoring this holiday is one small step towards creating a more just and equitable society for everyone. We encourage everyone to spend this time in reflection, education, and action in service of racial justice. Below, we have included a link to resources to celebrate, understand the history, and recognize the importance of commemorating this holiday.

Sam Collins, co-chair of the Juneteenth Legacy Project says: "Juneteenth celebrates the evolution of our country to a more perfect union. We were not perfect in 1528, 1619, 1776, 1865 — or even today in 2021. But hopefully by studying this history and expanding the narrative to tell a more complete story of what happened, we will get a truer sense of our American history."

Additional resources are outlined at the link in our bio.

Image: Juneteenth Flag designed by activist Ben Haith in 1997

Looking for a gap program? Applications are open for our Gap Program in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colorado!

Emma, an AMIGOS Gap Program volunteer, says, "The things you will learn and experience, the relationships you will build, and the joy and love you will feel are irreplaceable and will remain with you through the rest of your life."

Explore our programs at the link in our bio!

Updates from the field! Volunteers arrived in Nicaragua and Costa Rica last week, on the @amigosnuevasegovia and @amigoslossantos_cr projects.

In Los Santos, volunteers have enjoyed morning hikes and card games during the day.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Saludos desde Costa Rica!

Our staff teams on our Montanas y Mar and Costa Atlantica projects are so excited to greet volunteers, who will arrive tomorrow for @amigosmontanasymar and June 29 for @amigosmonteverde!

Check out this short video introduction to the projects — can you guess the animal that our volunteers will support wildlife protection efforts for? (Hint: they nest on the beaches!)

Curious about how to find the right gap program for you?

First, make sure the programs you're researching are accredited by the Gap Year Association (ours are accredited too!) After that, consider these five factors when choosing a gap program:

1. Consider the Program Outcomes
2. Consider Your Interests
3. Consider the Time Frame
4. Consider the Destination
5. Consider the Program Theme

Read more about each of these reasons, and explore AMIGOS Gap Programs, at the link in our bio!

Today is your LAST chance to complete our alumni engagement survey!

Every day, our alumni fulfill our vision of a world where all people are lifelong leaders sharing responsibility for our global community. Your feedback will help us develop an alumni engagement program that complements our work and brings alumni like you together in the ways that you desire.

Link in bio!

¡Hoy es su última oportunidad de completar nuestra encuesta de participación de ex alumnos!
Cada día, nuestros alumnos cumplen nuestra visión de un mundo en el que todas las personas sean líderes de por vida que comparten la responsabilidad de nuestra comunidad global. Sus respuestas nos ayudarán a desarrollar un programa de participación de ex alumnos, que complementa nuestro trabajo y reúne a ex alumnos como usted de la manera que desee.

¡El enlace a la encuesta está en nuestra bio!

In June, we recognize the origins and history of Pride Month. AMIGOS believes in the power and wisdom of queer voices, and we invite you to follow @them, @pride, @mpjinstitute, @glaad, and @queerty and check out the articles in our bio to learn more. ...