AMIGOS International amigosinternational.org
AMIGOS is a leader in international youth development, creating a world in which young people realize their full potential as leaders, global citizens and catalysts for social change. Nationally, AMIGOS provides immersive volunteer opportunities in Latin America for over 1,000 students each year, during which youth design and lead collaborative service projects while living independently in host communities.
AMIGOS was founded on the principle that young people can change the world. AMIGOS began in 1965 and since then we have had more than 28,000 youth participants in our transformative programs. Our strong partner network, built over 50 years, enables authentic and impactful engagements in communities across the region.
AMIGOS manages international youth leadership programs for youth from the US and Latin America. Programs are several weeks in length and offer youth the opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture and gain life-skills working on a collaborative community development initiative. While in AMIGOS, our youth learn to design and lead community-owned projects, and come back home energized and empowered to be global citizens and local leaders for a world that is increasingly connected, fluid, and complex.
The participants go through several months of training before living and working independently in groups of 2-3. It’s a significant challenge for participants, who are typically placed in small, remote communities where there are no English speakers. We train and expect them to live in community, provide daily education programs for children, and plan and execute a service project involving community health, sustainability or gender rights.
The world needs young people who are prepared to work in cross-cultural environments, have strong personal leadership skills and who are committed and active citizens. AMIGOS alumni report that the AMIGOS experience:
- Greatly impacted their career paths
- Increased their ability to be effective leaders and supervise others
- Improved self-confidence, communication skills, and problem-solving skills
- Provided them with skills and qualities attractive to employers and college admissions
- Increased their multi-cultural awareness and developed skills to be respectful of differing cultural norms
Who is an AMIGO in Marin County?
The Marin Chapter sponsored 31 high school students in 2019. We know that our programs are transformative and result in our participants having the qualifications for higher college acceptance rates. We seek to reach more young people who dream of a leadership experience abroad but lack the financial means. We depend on community fundraising efforts to support training, recruiting, insurance, travel and program fees.
Our Volunteers come from many high schools, including: Bay School, Branson, Credo, Drake, Marin Academy, Marin Catholic, Novato, Redwood, San Domenico, San Marin, San Rafael, St. Ignatius, Tamalpais, and Tamiscal.