AMIGOS operates high school programs in nine countries throughout the Americas - in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay. Our summer programs range from four to nine weeks between the months of June and August. Since AMIGOS was founded in 1965, more than 20,000 young people have participated in the high school track, the flagship program of AMIGOS.
The AMIGOS Summer Program consists of three major components:
I. Cultural Exchange:
Through living with a local host family you will be immersed in another culture. By taking part in day to day activities with their host family, you will learn about another way of life while also sharing your own experiences, insights, and lives back home.
Because you will be placed in a site with only one or two other AMIGOS volunteers, you will have the opportunity to become part of their host community. You will interact with members of the community throughout the day, from playing soccer with local youth to learning how to make tamales from your host grandmother.
II. Community Service:
You will be trained alongside local youth to collaborate with your host community to carry out a small-scale community-specific project. The objective of this process is to provide all involved the opportunity to gain experience designing, implementing, and evaluating a community-based project as well as practice soliciting funds from a local organization.
You will also work with local youth to plan and facilitate games and lessons for children. These extracurricular activities are based on project specific themes ranging from environmental health to self-esteem. While youth involvement varies from community to community, you are encouraged to work with other community members to bring diversity to the activities.
III. Youth Engagement:
Youth engagement is at the core of AMIGOS and drives every aspect of the program. By collaborating with AMIGOS volunteers through each phase of the community project and extracurricular activities, local youth learn life skills that help them become community leaders.
Together with local youth, you will also participate in several regional conferences and events. The conference themes can range widely, from theater workshops led by local university students to trainings that provide you additional tools to support your extracurricular activities.