AMIGOS programs are the safest, most immersive option for students who want to volunteer in Latin America. With more than 54 years of experience running programs in the region, we have long-standing relationships with respected local partner organizations, communities, host families, and institutions like the Peace Corps and PLAN International. While each project is different, every AMIGOS program includes the same key components. These core elements make our programs unique among volunteer abroad options.

Community-Led Service

While in country, AMIGOS participants work on a sustainable service project. Every service project is unique because community members work with AMIGOS volunteers to implement a project that specifically addresses their community’s needs. This also gives volunteers the opportunity to think creatively and use their leadership skills to carry out the project. No other program gives students this level of freedom or this kind of opportunity!

Cultural Immersion

AMIGOS volunteers do more than just travel – they live like locals in a new country. Participants become part of their host community, making friends with and working alongside community members. They share holidays, celebrations, and everyday life in a way you can only experience through authentic cultural immersion.

Host Family

Living with a host family is central to the AMIGOS experience. All host families volunteer to open their homes to AMIGOS participants and treat them as another member of their family. Host families are vetted and trained before participants arrive. AMIGOS volunteers and their host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after their project ends.

Language Immersion

AMIGOS participants report increased fluency in Spanish after going through the program. They go far beyond the classroom – volunteers lead activities in Spanish, learn local slang, and increase their confidence with real-world practice.


AMIGOS offers a unique opportunity for independence and self-direction. Participants have a support network of staff, community members, and fellow participants, but they shape their time in country according to their interests. AMIGOS alumni report increased confidence and leadership ability as well as a better understanding of themselves.


All AMIGOS volunteers take part in pre-departure and ongoing training. These modules prepare participants and their parents for their time in country, increases their understanding of community development, and provides local context for their experience. After arriving in country, AMIGOS staff lead a multi-day briefing that is country- and project-specific. AMIGOS training builds leadership, communication, and project management skills that continue to be valuable after the AMIGOS experience is over.


Every AMIGOS volunteer is mentored by a member of our project staff through regular check-ins and personalized feedback. This allows participants to experience the independence that sets our programs apart, with the support of a passionate facilitator.

Future Opportunities

After AMIGOS, participants join an alumni network of more than 28,000 engaged leaders across the globe. Alumni climb our leadership ladder through a variety of opportunities, including project staff in the field, recruitment coordinator, training director, joining the board of a local chapter, and working at our national office. Even our President & CEO started her AMIGOS journey as a participant in Costa Rica!