Vision & Values

A world where all people are lifelong leaders sharing responsibility for our global community.

Safety First & Always

We prioritize the health and safety of AMIGOS volunteers and staff above all else.

Youth Leadership

We believe in the capacity of youth to become leaders for positive change

Transformational Outcomes

We strive to transform volunteers and communities in measurable ways

Community Led

We create socially and environmentally conscious partnerships, through collaboration with communities throughout the Americas

Diversity Throughout

We promote diversity of volunteers and stakeholders and work to break down barriers

Respect

We maintain respect, transparency and high standards in everything we do

Six Reasons To Join

#1 Experience full language & cultural immersion

I got to experience life in another person’s home, community, and country. I think I left part of myself in Ecuador and it left something with me, I think about it all the time and I desperately want to go back!" Grace Weaver - Cotopaxi,Ecuador

#1 Experience full language & cultural immersion

#2 Gain independence & life experience

The fact that I was even given the opportunity to experience a new culture gave me a recognition of the fact that I can do so much and that the world is out there, just waiting to be ventured into." Carolyn Burtt - Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica

#2 Gain independence & life experience

#3 Discover your leadership potential

My summer in a community in Anton, Panama was one I would not trade for the world. There were struggles, just like there would be with any program, but how much I grew and learned in my own leadership is something I could not have done in any other program.” Alum - Cocle, Panama

#4 Be part of a sustainable program with community ownership

One thing that really sets AMIGOS apart from most volunteer organizations is how involved the community is. I loved the ideas community members came up with as projects to do, ideas to fundraise, and how they became leaders, as well as me and my partner. The idea is not for Americans to come in and "help" the community, it is to give people an opportunity to become leaders and make a great change that will last a very long time.” Elizabeth Dallman, 5 time volunteer and leader

#4 Be part of a sustainable program with community ownership

#5 Connect with the vast AMIGOS Alumni Network

My participation with AMIGOS didn't stop when I returned home after that summer experience. I spent the following summer in Guanajuato, Mexico helping fund the septic tank for a local health clinic, and spent the summer after that as a project supervisor, responsible for the health and safety of 9 volunteers. I am currently in my 7th year serving on the Board of Directors of my local AMIGOS chapter.” Sophie Strand - 3 time AMIGOS alum and chapter board member

#5 Connect with the vast AMIGOS Alumni Network

#6 Make lifelong friendships

The biggest things I’ve gained are the lifelong relationships I have with other AMIGOS volunteers, my partners, and all of the community members. I bonded with such a diverse group of people and I am so appreciative that I had this opportunity to make these life-long friends! I’m going to miss them and my community very much.” Alum - Dominican Republic 2015

Our Approach

AMIGOS summer and gap year volunteer programs provide a rare opportunity to experience a new culture as a community member. You won’t believe how fast your Spanish improves when you are using it in conversation every day.

We recruit an equal number of high school and college students from Latin America to work alongside volunteers from the United States every year. Together with teens and young adults your own age, you will design and lead community-owned projects.

AMIGOS works with local partners to identify host communities that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on meaningful projects. It has been our experience that community development is sustainable only when the host community owns and participates in the effort.

Through AMIGOS, you gain essential life and leadership skills that enable you to be successful in future endeavors. AMIGOS offers opportunities for growth through our leadership ladder: summer staff, local chapter leadership, and positions at our headquarters.

AMIGOS unique and extensive training program prepares volunteers in cultural understanding, health and safety, community development practices, leadership, and team building.

AMIGOS is the #1 industry leader in health and safety management. All volunteers receive support from local staff teams and a professional 24-hour on-call emergency team of travel, medical and mental health specialists. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted local medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.

How We Work

Full Immersion Means Just That

  • Volunteers are encouraged to limit contact with home to enable a complete immersion experience.
  • For more than 50 years, we have lived by our motto: no news is good news.
  • There are a number of opportunities for volunteers to contact family during the project.
  • 24/7 on-call system for volunteers to contact our in-country staff.

The Summer Staff are Incredible Mentors

  • Committed and knowledgeable staff teams.
  • Passionate, inspired mentors for youth development.
  • Extensive international volunteer experience.
  • Core team of project directors and adult mentors in country for every project.
  • Ratio of staff to volunteers is 1:7.

Door-to-Door Travel Support

  • Travel liaison coordinates flights.
  • 24/7 travel hotline support.
  • AMIGOS team members meet you at gateway cities to Latin America.

Volunteers Are Trained And Prepared For A Life Changing Experience

  • Every volunteer receives at least 30 hours of pre-project training.
  • Volunteers prepare for a new cultural experience.
  • Training covers practical skills for organizing, advocacy, and project management.
  • Leadership Ladder provides future opportunities for alumni.

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History

AMIGOS was founded on the principle that young people can change the world.

In 1965, a 29-year old from Houston, Texas, named Guy Bevil, led a team of teens into rural Honduras to fight a growing polio epidemic. Serving communities in remote areas of the country, this group of 181 high school students 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.