HOW TO APPLY

AMIGOS gives you an exciting chance to have an adventure and explore the world outside of a classroom. You will live in a new country or state and work on sustainable community service projects. These experiences prepare you for your future, improve your Spanish, and build your confidence. You develop leadership skills that will set you apart in college and throughout your career. With AMIGOS, you will learn about the world by living in it. Click here to explore our High School Programs.

 

READY TO APPLY?

The application to join through the East Bay Chapter has closed, but there is still time to apply through our National Chapter! Click here to learn more about the National Chapter and apply.

ABOUT

Amigos de las Américas, founded in 1965, is an international nonprofit organization and a leader in international youth development. We believe that young people have the power and ability to change our world for the better. AMIGOS provides extraordinary opportunities for youth to design and lead projects in collaboration with US and Latin American peers and partner organizations across the Americas, enabling them to realize their full potential as leaders and global citizens. Through AMIGOS, tens of thousands of young people have learned about new cultures and traditions, developed their leadership skills in community service, and strengthened their language skills through an unparalleled immersion experience.

Since 1968, the East Bay Chapter of Amigos de las Américas has prepared teens for unique full-immersion cultural exchange and community service projects in Latin America. We recruit, train, and support AMIGOS volunteers and their families from all over the East Bay. Our chapter recruitment begins in the fall prior to each summer experience.

Learn more about our Summer Programs here!

 

THE VOICES OF OUR ALUMNI

I wouldn’t trade the experience and leadership skills I gained for anything, nor would I ever disregard the huge benefits to local and international youth of collaborating on these projects and in children’s programs within our communities…Along with spending time with participants from all across the US and the Dominican Republic, I went with a partner into a rural community to live, to assist in a community service project, and to run summer camps for children. I found a life there, with a family and a community where I felt at home. Two months later I came back to the U.S., deeply changed but feeling more like myself than I ever had…

– Karsen P. – Oakland Technical High School

 

I’ve realized there are more ways to learn than just in a classroom. My AMIGOS experience has been a crucial opportunity to enrich my worldview. I am confident that future participants will learn to embrace change rather than hide from it. The best advice I have for them is to not have expectations regarding their summer and keep an open mind when encountering challenges and triumphs. Their newfound independence will mark the beginning of their leadership to perform meaningful acts of service not only locally, but also around the world…

– Angelina Z. – Aspire Richmond College Preparatory Academy

FEES & FUNDING

The cost to participate in an AMIGOS Latin America Summer Program in the East Bay Chapter is $4,375*.

The cost to participate in an AMIGOS Western Colorado Program in the East Bay Chapter is $5,475*.

The East Bay Chapter covers AMIGOS program costs through a combination of fundraising (product sales and letter writing) and the Family Fee contribution. We have all chapter volunteers fundraise to maximize our ability to provide the AMIGOS experience to all interested students without regard to family financial circumstances. Fundraising activities develop skills that are an important component of the AMIGOS training program and raise awareness of AMIGOS programs in the community.

*Flight costs are not included. Learn more about airfare and travel support here.

 

Product Sales

AMIGOS East Bay volunteers raise funds through the sale of products. This effort primarily takes place in November, December and January. Volunteers receive considerable help with regard to sales strategies. Our volunteers will learn how to summarize the AMIGOS story and their passion for their projects – the famous “elevator pitch”. Through product sales training, they will present their story to others eloquently and persuasively to support the efforts of all volunteers. They will use these skills in country as they work together with local leaders and their host community members. The experience gained in this effort will definitely build important skills beyond their summer!

Letter Writing

The ability to compose a persuasive fundraising letter can help our volunteers raise support to accomplish their projects, no only in their host community but also in their own communities upon their return. Each volunteer is required to send letters to friends and family to request tax-deductible donations that support AMIGOS projects – the revenue from this effort is pooled. The chapter provides this training for all our volunteers.

FEES

Non-Refundable Application Fee: $50

Latin America Project Family Fee: $4,375*

Western Colorado Project Family Fee: $5,475*

*Flight costs are not included. Learn more about airfare and travel support here.

 

PROGRAM COSTS INCLUDE:

  • Training materials and workshops
  • Secondary short-term international medical insurance
  • Program excursions
  • Food, lodging, and transportation in Latin America
  • Supplies for community project and extracurricular activities
  • 24-hour On Call Emergency Management System
  • Travel hotline and support

The East Bay Chapter structures the costs of supporting your AMIGOS volunteer in Latin America or Colorado through a combination of a Family Fee contribution and fundraising.

Click here for more information about Fees & Funding.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The East Bay Chapter actively recruits and supports inclusion of volunteers from diverse backgrounds. We provide amounts of $500-$3,450 to qualified applicants as reductions on the Family Fee. Qualification for financial assistance is need-based, determined by family income, number of dependents, and special financial circumstances.

TRAINING

The transformative AMIGOS experience starts before leaving home.

With over 55 years of experience preparing young people for travel and service abroad, AMIGOS training offers unparalleled global youth leadership development. Pre-departure training equips volunteers with the critical thinking, communication skills, and technical knowledge they need to make a meaningful impact across cultures while staying healthy and safe. The East Bay Chapter AMIGOS training is youth-led, experiential learning that prepares volunteers for their AMIGOS experience, builds a community of youth and families with shared values, and develops life-skills to help volunteers succeed beyond AMIGOS. Training sessions are facilitated by the Training Team and include guest speakers from the community and the East Bay Chapter Board of Directors.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM INCLUDE:
  • Unparalleled leadership development
  • Cross-cultural awareness and understanding
  • Hands-on training for technical aspects of the program
  • Extensive health and safety training
  • Opportunities to practice Spanish
  • Creating a community of young people with shared values

TRAINING CALENDAR

Saturday, February 12 11am-4pm – Meeting 1 at LDS Moraga

Spanish Conversation Hours – Dates TBD – Virtual

Saturday, March 12 10am-4pm – Meeting 2 – Location TBD

Spanish Conversation Hours – Dates TBD – Virtual

Saturday, April 2 11am-2pm – Meeting 3 – Location TBD

Spanish Conversation Hour – Date TBD – Virtual

Saturday and Sunday, May 7 Noon to May 8 11am – Meeting 4 Overnight Retreat – Location TBD

Sunday, May 15 – Despedida – Newt Hollow Picnic Area

LEADERSHIP

We are volunteers who support all efforts to prepare AMIGOS volunteers and their families for their in-country projects. Board members are either AMIGOS veterans themselves or parents of former volunteers who feel strongly about the program, and can answer your questions! Just click on the email address to send a message.

President (president@amigos-eastbay.org)

Ray Chavez – Parent

Treasurers (treasurer@amigos-eastbay.org)

Bob Schutt – Parent
Jacqui Richter, MD – Parent (also Health and Safety)

Training Director (training@amigos-eastbay.org)

Karsen Paul – Alumna

Assistant Training Director (training@amigos-eastbay.org)

Charlotte McClelland – Alumna

Recruitment Coordinator (recruitment@amigos-eastbay.org)

Lauren Peterson – Alumna

Facilities & Events (Facilities)

Andy Sorensen, MD – Alumnus and parent (also Health and Safety)

Product Sales Director (grapefruit@amigos-eastbay.org)

Thomas Spirgi – Parent

Letter Writing Director (letters@amigos-eastbay.org)

Stephanie Lipow – Parent

Letter Writing Coordinator (Letter Coordinator)

Rebecca Kallgren – Parent

Travel Coordinator & Online Product Sales (Travel)

Mary De Luna – Parent

Health and Safety

Kate Kasberger, MD – Parent (Health & Safety)
Jacqui Richter, MD – Parent
Andy Sorensen, MD – Alumnus and Parent

Donor Outreach (Donors)

Chuck Kallgren – Parent

 

 

MEDIA