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 and work on sustainable community service projects while living with a host family. 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 Summer Programs.
READY TO START YOUR APPLICATION?
- Click here to start your application.
- Complete your application.
- An AMIGOS Headquarters representative will contact you to set up an interview.
November 4th: Financial assistance application deadline
December 9th: Deadline to join the East Bay Chapter
April 7th: Final deadline to join AMIGOS through the National Chapter
October 3rd / 6:30-8:00pm / Danville Public Library / Danville, CA
October 6th / 5-6:30pm / Berkeley Sports Basement – Community Space / Berkeley, CA
October 7th / 7-8:30 pm / Stanley Middle School – Multi-Purpose Room / Lafayette, CA
October 14th / 7-8:30pm / Miramonte High School – Library / Orinda, CA
October 19th and 20th is our Interview Weekend. Please let us know if you can’t make this and we will accommodate you separately. Sign up via this form.
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.
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
PROGRAM COSTS are all-inclusive and are comprised of:
- Round-trip international airfare
- 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 through a combination of a Family Fee contribution and fundraising.
Click here for more information about Fees & Funding.
Family Fee (based on sign-up date)
$3,950 – Local Discount: With full product sales fundraising. Deadline November 4, 2019
Financial assistance applicants must participate in all fundraising and apply by November 4, 2019
$4,400 – Partial Sales: With half-portion product sales fundraising. Apply before November 28, 2019
$5,000 – Late Entry: No product sales. Application deadline December 9, 2019
Please see Fundraising descriptions below.
The Letter-Writing fundraising is required for all volunteers.
AMIGOS Application Fee: $50 (non-refundable)
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND FUNDRAISING
OVERVIEW OF 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 needs-based, determined by family income, number of dependents, and special financial circumstances.
Financial assistance applications are due by November 4th, along with the standard AMIGOS application, at the interview. Volunteers must participate in product sales fundraising (outlined below) in order to qualify for financial assistance.
OVERVIEW OF FUNDRAISING
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.
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!
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.
TRAINING & CALENDAR
The transformative AMIGOS experience starts before leaving home.
With 50 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
THE TIME COMMITMENT FOR TRAINING ACTIVITIES INCLUDES:
- Training meetings
- Online assessments to determine readiness for the summer
Jan 11 (Sat) 10 AM-4 PM: Training #1 (AMIGOS 101 refresher/Team Building/Letter Writing)
Parents: 2:30 PM-4 PM: Letter writing training
09 (Sun) 10 AM-4 PM: Training #2 (CBIP/Letter Turn-In)
Parents: 2:30-4 PM: Parent Preparation Manual presentation
22/23 (Sat/Sun) Training #2 OVERNIGHT – Camp Bothin (Marin Co)
1/7: Virtual meetings by phone/internet
21 (Sat) 11AM-5 PM: Training #3 (Health and Safety)
Parents: 3 PM-5 PM: Health and Safety overview/ Parent Module #2, CALM Plan
18 (Sat) 10 AM-4 PM: Training #4 (Youth Leadership/Multicultural
Parents: 2:30 PM-4 PM: Summer Communications/Packing/ Parent Module #3
TBD: Bay Area AMIGOS Youth Encuentro
16/17 (Sat-Sun) 3 PM to 12 PM: Overnight Training #5 (Virtual Community/Stakeholders/Final Thoughts) – Maude Whelan group campsite/Briones Regional Park
31 (Sun) 2-5 PM Graduation/Despedida/Ticketing – Newt Hollow, Briones Regional Park
August 2020: Welcome home party!
Our projects give young leaders the opportunity to explore their potential and rise to the challenge of independent responsibility within a multicultural setting. Each summer AMIGOS volunteers spend four to eight weeks living in a host community in locations throughout Latin America. They will be leading service projects developed in consultation with the local residents, sustainable projects intended to benefit the people and community and to provide valuable educational experiences for our volunteers. The projects include topics like health and hygiene programs for kids, environmental sustainability, entrepreneurship, and human rights.
To learn more about the leadership benefits of becoming an AMIGOS volunteer with the East Bay Chapter of AMIGOS, sign up to attend an informational session in late September and early October by contacting our Recruitment Coordinator, Lucy Schaefer, at email@example.com.
East Bay Chapter Board of Directors
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.
Ray Chavez – Parent
Bob Schutt – Parent
Dr. Jacqui Richter – Parent
Training Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Karsen Paul – Alum
Recruitment Coordinator (email@example.com)
Lauren Peterson – Alum
Facilities & Events
Andy Sorensen, MD
Product Sales Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thomas Spirgi – Parent
Letter Writing Director (email@example.com)
Stephanie Lipow – Parent
Letter Writing Coordinator
Mary De Luna
Health and Safety
Kate Kasberger, MD
Jacqui Richter, MD
Andy Sorensen, MD