Sara Lamson Nathan
President & CEO
Program Operations Coordinator
Associate Project Director, Gap Program
Associate Project Director, Gap Program
Mental Health Coordinator
Project Director, Gap Program
Managing Director of Programs
Youth Ambassadors Program Coordinator
Travel and Administration Coordinator
IT Systems Manager
Managing Director of Regional Operations
Chapter Operations Manager
Director, Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
Chapter Operations Coordinator
Manager of Data and Admissions
As CEO, Sara leads the team at AMIGOS in developing extraordinary opportunities for students to learn about the world by living and serving in it. Prior to leading the organization she served as Director of Programs, building new programs, including the Gap Year Program and university-level programs. Her commitment is to expand the opportunities that young people have to truly experience the world, shaping their lives and world views forever.
Previously, Sara was Vice Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Sara holds a MS in International Development Management from the London School of Economics and bachelor’s degrees in Conservation and Spanish from the University of California Berkeley.
Although not an AMIGOS alum, Elimarie comes to AMIGOS with a passion for youth leadership and collaboration with local communities! Through her undergraduate and graduate studies in anthropology and cultural heritage, she was able to explore her love for Latin American history and culture. Through her own travel experiences in Latin America and other regions, she has learned how cultural immersion can make a positive impact on one’s life and is excited to work at an organization that provides such amazing opportunities for youth. In her free time, Elimarie enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her dog Buck. Her bucket list includes going to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, hiking across the region of Andalucía in Spain, and visiting every Disney park at least once!
Gio grew up between Nicaragua and Miami. He is an international development professional with over 5 years of experience working to empower youth and communities across Mexico and Central America. Gio holds a Master of Science in Latin American Development from King´s College London, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship awarded by the UK government. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree with departmental honors in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Miami (FL) and obtained a Diploma in International Relations from a European Perspective from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain, where he was a Benjamin Gilman Scholar. He is fluent in Spanish and is passionate about Central American integration efforts, diplomacy, international development and the role of the private sector in development. Gio is a foodie and enjoys traveling, football (Hala Madrid) and listening to Latin and indie music.
Kelly is excited to work with AMIGOS because he is inspired by the mission of building leadership and cultural skills for young people while serving Latin American communities. As a youth, he had similar experiences serving in Latin America and developed a strong love for the people in the areas where he served.
He studied at Brigham Young University, earning a BS degree in Design Engineering Technology and later a master’s degree in Business Administration. Most of his early work as an engineer and project manager was international in nature, with a focus in Latin America due to his fluency in Spanish. Kelly was able to further expand his love for Latin American people and their culture as he managed large water and wastewater projects to help serve and provide health and safety for their communities.
It has been rewarding for Kelly to transition to executive leadership roles in the organizations where he has served (most recently Dover Corporation, POET and Suez). He has moved from the technical side of designing and building equipment and facilities, to focus on effectively leading people, improving processes and operations, and growing highly effective organizations.
During his journey (especially with some of the more recent local events such as Hurricane Harvey) he has been reminded how serving builds team unity, communication, proper perspective, and human compassion.
It is with this passion that he joined AMIGOS—to build significant life-changing experiences for young people.
With a background in education and nonprofits, Alex has seven years of experience writing everything from blogs on knitting to white papers on circuit boards. With a BA in Literature and a soon-to-be-complete MBA, she brings a highly creative yet data driven approach. Originally from California but hopelessly in love with Houston, Alex spends her free time with her dog Mookie binge watching Netflix, hunting for the best pizza, and planning her next travel adventure. Her travel bucket list includes beaches in Bali, croissants in Southern France, and temples in Japan.
Ryan, originally from Scotland, is passionate about traveling, volunteering and learning about world cultures. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen, with a Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies and International Relations. As a university student, Ryan spent his second year studying in Pennsylvania at Haverford College, and his third year volunteering with three NGOs in Ecuador and teaching English and Spanish in four schools. Ryan has nine years of experience working with NGOs throughout the Americas and the U.K. that focus on: women’s rights, education, youth development, leadership, and environmental conservation. He just finished a 2 and half-year stint working in Nicaragua with the Berkley based NGO Global Student Embassy as their Exchange Program Director. Ryan heard about AMIGOS several years ago and is thrilled to be joining the team in the role of Associate Project Director in Cuenca, Ecuador. Ryan’s experience with education informs his belief that young people are best placed to bring about positive change in the world.
In his free time Ryan enjoys singing, traveling, reading, and having engaging conversations.
Top of his bucket-list: Road trip from Canada to Chile, visiting all of the countries in the Americas along the way.
Astrea is originally from the Washington, D.C. area, but loves finding “home” in new places around the world. She received a B.A. in Psychology and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, and recently finished her M.A. in Conflict Resolution & Mediation at Tel Aviv University. Her studies allowed her to travel and strengthen her interests in social justice, community engagement, and mental health. She likes to use art as a tool for storytelling and advocacy, a passion that took her to Brindisi, Italy in 2017. There, she developed and facilitated art workshops at a refugee camp for men. The project culminated with the creation of a community mural, using original designs by workshop participants. After much wandering, Astrea is eager to return to Latin America and begin a new journey with the AMIGOS team in Cuenca, Ecuador. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new music and drinking a cozy cup of café con leche.
Top of her bucket list: take a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey.
Margaret Laliberte is a child and adolescent Psychiatric Nurse Specialist with an extensive history of clinical work with adolescents & families in a variety of mental health settings. In her 30 years of clinical practice, she has worked in residential, day treatment, & out patient programs as well as participated in evaluating adolescent programs & their development across the country. She currently maintains a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area and does individual and group consultation to Child & Adolescent therapists. Margaret has coordinated the Mental Health program for the AMIGOS organization for the last 15 years. She does the mental health screening of all applicants where necessary, provides senior staff training, and takes the lead on providing summer consultation to staff in the field.
Margaret’s own daughter, Amy, was a long term AMIGOS participant, from Chapter Volunteer to a two-time Project Director!
Lucy is thrilled to be part of the AMIGOS team as the Project Director for the Ecuador Gap Year Program! A Virginia native, Lucy graduated from the College of William & Mary with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. Her love for learning about new people and places and her passion to explore led her to join the Peace Corps after graduation, and she has not left Ecuador since! After finishing her stint with the Peace Corps TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) program in Riobamba, Ecuador in April 2017, Lucy led a group of U.S. university students in a 2-month social innovation and cultural immersion internship that led her through various indigenous communities in Ecuador’s central and southern highlands. In her free time, Lucy enjoys hiking, running, and trying new street foods that she encounters along the way. Lucy is so excited to have the opportunity to share her love of Ecuador with the AMIGOS participants!
Top of her bucket list: Trek through Patagonia
Adam joined the AMIGOS team in 2017 as Program Coordinator for the Ecuador Gap Year Program. Although not an AMIGOS alum, Adam has extensive experience living with and working alongside developing communities within Latin America. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Adam served as a member of the United States Peace Corps in Guatemala. His experience in the Peace Corps forged within him a passion for indigenous communities and public health. The opportunity to help young people learn more about their world and themselves makes him happier than a big ole bowl of grits. In his downtime he enjoys running, reading, and eating unhealthy amounts of cheese.
Top of Bucket List: Visit every Spanish speaking country before his 35th birthday.
Lily is passionate about social change and the power of youth to impact their world. Her enthusiasm for meaningful travel began in high school, when she lived with a family in Mexico for a Spanish immersion program. Since then, she practiced her Argentine accent while studying abroad, ate innumerable salteñas in Bolivia, met the president of Colombia, and swam in the deep waters of Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán. She studied international development at SOAS, University of London, where she completed her Master’s degree. Lily is excited to bring new Amigos into the fold so they can have amazing experiences through leadership and service in Latin America. A lover of parades and dances, Lily has been to Carnaval in Oruro, Bolivia and Barranquilla, Colombia – next on the list is Brazil!
April is a native Houstonian, marketer, and veteran Amiga.
In 2008, she participated in AMIGOS in Guanajuato, Mexico. At Colorado College, she majored in Sociology and continued her Latin American travels in Ecuador and Cuba. An avid backpacker, she spent a month in the backcountry on three separate occasions.
April is excited to use digital marketing and new technologies to get the word out about the power of AMIGOS programs.
Ana is a 4x Amiga, first joining as a participant in Paraguarí, Paraguay in 2007. Since then, she has worked with AMIGOS in Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. Prior to joining AMIGOS, Ana worked on the Youth Team at Ipas where she focused on increasing access to abortion and other reproductive health care for young people around the world. Ana has a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Boston University, a Master’s degree in Global Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health and is a Women Deliver Young Leader.
Top of her bucket list: Learn how to bake!
Jenny joined AMIGOS in October 2017 and is ecstatic to be part of such an amazing organization. Though she never participated in AMIGOS, she has traveled widely throughout Latin America for study abroad in college and in a previous role as an International Admissions Counselor at a university in Georgia.
Jenny is passionate about the work of AMIGOS and nonprofits in general. She completed an Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration and wants to help more people become involved with nonprofits — as donors, volunteers or in any way that they desire!
Bucket List Items: Travel to every continent, have a farm (well, maybe just some chickens and a goat).
David is a fifth-generation Texan and was raised in Lindale, TX. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University. He has worked in the for-profit and non-profit arenas in IT, finance, and management. He is excited to be at AMIGOS to support the incredible work that is being done through its staff and volunteers.
Top of Bucket List: To compose a Bucket List.
Spending the last three years in real estate in Michigan, Lauren is excited to be back in her home town of Houston, bringing her marketing and outreach experience to Amigos. Lauren is a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word with a degree in Sociology where her weekly attempts at Zumba encouraged her to take dancing classes in Latin America. After living with a host family in Guatemala and participating in local activities, Lauren was excited for the opportunity to study abroad in Chile where she spent the semester studying the culture, traveling, and acting as a teacher’s aid at a local middle school. She is excited to meet new participants, exchange stories with alumni, and is still working to become decent at salsa, bachata, and Argentine tango.
Top of her bucket list: Hike through Canaima National Park in Venezuela
Managing Director of Regional OperationsOakland
Lauren first became involved with AMIGOS as a mentor on the first AMIGOS Youth Ambassadors exchange to Paraguay in 2012. In 2013, she was the Project Director in the Yucatan, Mexico before she took on her current position. Lauren is a proud University of Wisconsin graduate, with degrees in Environmental Studies and Global Cultures and extensive travel experience in South America and globally. Prior to joining AMIGOS, Lauren worked as an AmeriCorps *VISTA on higher education service-learning initiatives then worked in a variety of youth, media, and educational-focused nonprofits, developing engaging programs focused on social justice and building more equitable communities.
Top of her bucket list: Trek to the tip of South America and hop a boat to Antarctica to drink beverages with 3 million year old ice.
Erin is not an AMIGOS alum but she is passionate about cultural exchange, languages, travel, and education. She is a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Political science, originally from Texas. During her time at Notre Dame she had a transformative study abroad experience in Chile which, coupled with a variety of other service experiences, has fueled her interest in Latin America and social justice. Erin is excited to advocate for Amigos and is grateful for the opportunity to promote the same kinds of service, leadership, and cultural experiences that have shaped her own personal development but is extremely jealous of anyone who actually got to participate in an AMIGOS program. In her spare time you can find her exploring the city and if you ever visit D.C. she can give you a definitive ranking of the best cupcakeries in town.
Top of her bucket list: Hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain and take fun photos at Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.
Taylor began her AMIGOS adventure in 2008 as a participant in Nicaragua. After that life changing experience she continued to volunteer with like-minded organizations and travel in Latin America. She graduated from San Francisco State with a degree in Child and Adolescent Development and began working with youth and families. In 2015 she joined the National Office Staff to support participants and staff throughout their summer programs. In the fall of 2015 she transferred to the West Coast Team to work on recruitment and chapter support!
Top of her bucket list: Visit every continent and try the food!
Krista is from San Francisco and lives there now with her family across from Ocean Beach.
As soon as she heard about AMIGOS in her freshman year, she wanted to go. She waited impatiently until she was 16 and then headed to Mexico in 1982 to work in latrine construction. To this day, she walks by bags of concrete at Home Depot with a well-trained desire to get some water and start mixing. The following summer, she went to Ecuador on a rabies vaccination campaign. While studying Sociology at UCSC, she returned to Ecuador in 1985 as field staff and then went back to Mexico in 1987 as the project director in Michoacan.
After college, she moved to Washington DC for two years. Her life took an unexpected turn when she moved to Seoul ,South Korea for three months that became five years. Asia was a true revelation to her and she loved every moment. When she returned to the US, she came back to San Francisco to work in International Education. She is thrilled to come full circle and be back with AMIGOS on the west coast.
Top of Krista’s bucket list: Hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain with her husband (though he does not know that yet).
Abbie is a 5x Amiga serving as a summer volunteer in Panama and the Dominican Republic and as a summer staff member in Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. After graduating from Rockhurst University with dual degrees in Psychology and Spanish, Abbie received her Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. She served as the Regional Director with AMIGOS in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic for two years before transitioning to the Finance Department as the Accountant. With extensive experience designing, implementing, and evaluating projects in Latin America, Abbie brings a unique perspective to the finance team. Abbie appreciates well formatted spreadsheets, Excel formulas and shortcuts, and balanced budgets. In her free time, you can find Abbie playing kickball and sand volleyball or spending time with her dogs.
Top of her bucket list: Hike the Pacific Crest Trail with her dogs, Sammie and Shadow.
Mason is a second generation AMIGO and was first a participant in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2000. This experience helped Mason discover his passion for traveling, cross-cultural exchange, and facilitating positive social change. He returned to work with AMIGOS on project staff four times and studied Spanish and Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Mason was the Training Director for the Tucson Chapter of AMIGOS before moving to Houston in 2011 to work for AMIGOS headquarters. He is proud to support passionate young leaders to train and prepare for their AMIGOS experiences.
Top of his bucket list: Try at least one traditional meal from every country.
Rasha joined AMIGOS in January 2014. Though not an AMIGOS alum, she served as Project Director in her home country, Colombia, from 2014-2016. In 2016 she moved up to the role of Regional Director, overseeing all programs in Panama and Colombia. She graduated in September 2013 with a degree in international relations from Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia with emphasis on political science and diplomacy. Through her years in Uninorte, she was always an active part of UNIVOLUNTARIOS, the volunteer group on campus. Rasha was born and raised in Colombia, but she is also Lebanese and Brazilian.
Top of her bucket list: Get to meet all her family that lives all around the world.
Vanessa started her adventure with AMIGOS in 2013 as the Program Coordinator for Gap Year in Nicaragua. She continues loving her job in that role and has also twice served as Project Director for AMIGOS summer programs. Vanessa attended the University of Oregon Clark Honors College, double majoring in International Studies and Political Science. She is passionate about international development, environmental education, and youth leadership. Before joining the AMIGOS team, Vanessa worked for Global Glimpse, designing and leading group experiential learning trips to Nicaragua for young leaders.
Top of her bucket list: Hike through Patagonia and experience the astonishing beauty of the untarnished terrain.
Belén joined AMIGOS and Plan International in June of 2016 working with the Youth Ambassadors Program in Ecuador and the American Youth Leadership Program in Houston. Belen graduated from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador as a clinical psychologist. After graduation, she began working with teenagers on drug prevention workshops lasting ten months. Belén loves working with teenagers and empowering them to feel capable of fulfilling their dreams and fighting for what they want. She loves learning from them every day. In her free time you can find Belén reading or dancing.
Top of her bucket list: Travel around the world!
Elizabeth Bonilla joined the AMIGOS organization in 1998, bringing with her experience in customer service and administrative skills after working several years as a Receptionist/Office Manager for an auto dealership. Though not an AMIGOS alum she had always hoped to be part of an organization that truly cared about social change and community development, so when the position at AMIGOS became available she took it. Through the years she has assisted several of the different departments in the organization and now is primarily involved in assisting the programs department with many different types of projects. She has experienced first- hand the organizational growth and truly hopes that her children will also get the opportunity and privilege to one day be able to participate in one of the many great programs that AMIGOS has to offer.
Top of her bucket list: Win the lottery.
Chapter Operations CoordinatorHouston
Trey’s fascination with cultural immersion and love of exploration began when he moved to Australia in middle school. Being from a small Texas town, he had no idea what this world had to offer until then… and he hasn’t stopped exploring since. He received a degree in International Relations from the University of Texas, focusing on sustainable agriculture and poverty reduction programs in Latin America. After studying in Austin and Argentina, and working in Los Angeles, he returned to Houston to await his next adventure. He loves tacos, anything outside, music festivals, doggos, and most people. He is thrilled to be a part of AMIGOS and the invaluable opportunities it provides!
Top of his bucket list: Try everything at least once
An avid traveler and language enthusiast, Meghan first joined AMIGOS as a participant in Azuero, Panamá in 2011. After graduating from Salem College in North Carolina with a B.A in Communication, she returned to both AMIGOS and Panamá as a Project Supervisor in Coclé during the summer of 2016. Prior to joining the AMIGOS headquarters team, she was an AmeriCorps member in her hometown of Madison, WI working to close the achievement gap in bilingual elementary classrooms through a tutoring and mentorship program. She is passionate about how educational experiences, both traditional and non-traditional, contribute to leadership development and thrilled to be part of the work AMIGOS does to provide such opportunities to young people.
Top of her bucket list: A tie between visiting Belize and walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
Katie was excited to join the International Office Staff in the fall of 2014 after spending five summers in Latin America with AMIGOS, both as a participant and on project staff. Prior to joining AMIGOS she was a Health Educator with Peer Health Exchange and graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Biology and a concentration in Public Health. In her free time Katie enjoys knitting, learning to rock climb, finding cheap yoga, and adding to the decorations in her office.
Top of her bucket list: Visit all US National Parks
Cynthia joined AMIGOS in 2013. She was born and raised in Michigan, and misses the snow but loves the Texas sunshine. She has an Accounting Degree from Michigan State University and loves numbers! She has experience as a bank examiner, internal auditor, and has been the Assistant Controller for a major grocery chain and the Treasury Director for a global staffing firm. She also loves to travel!
Favorite travel memory: Experiencing the wonderful sights of a volcano and a glacier in the same day in Iceland
Jacque joined AMIGOS in 2001 as the Executive Assistant to the President. As Data Manager, she now maintains AMIGOS’ information database. Jacque graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a BS in Anthropology. She was fortunate to be able to spend the 1990s traveling and living in several countries throughout the world, experiencing many different cultures.
Favorite travel memory: Living in the jungle of Borneo being serenaded by gibbons each morning.