The AMIGOS East Bay Chapter is part of a 10 Chapter Network that recruits, trains, and supports AMIGOS volunteers and families in their local community before leaving for their summer experience in Latin America.

Each AMIGOS chapter is run by a volunteer board of directors and is a locally registered 501(c)(3). The purpose of the Chapter is to support volunteers and families with group fundraising, service learning, community building, and overall preparation through the training program.

Our training prepares volunteers for their experience. We provide space for young people to connect across communities and create positive change at home and abroad.



Since the East Bay Chapter’s incorporation in 1968, over 1,000 youth from the East Bay have volunteered through the chapter path, fundraising and training locally before the summer.



East Bay Chapter volunteers attend public and independent high schools from all over the East Bay including: 

Acalanes, Alameda High, Berkeley High, Bishop O’Dowd, Campolindo, El Cerrito High School, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Piedmont High, Richmond High, Ygnacio Valley, and many more.



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 Alumni

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 Alumni


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 with a host family 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 Summer Programs.



The deadline to apply to the local East Bay Chapter of AMIGOS has passed. We are still accepting applications through our National Chapter! You can learn more about the National Chapter here.



If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact [email protected].



The East Bay Chapter is dedicated to supporting the inclusion of students from all family backgrounds to access this life-changing experience. 

To provide the AMIGOS experience to all volunteers without regard to family financial circumstances the East Bay Chapter will: 

  • provide chapter discounts
  • offer financial assistance
  • cover local program costs through fundraising activities

It is our mission to support every student that wants to participate in AMIGOS, regardless of family income. We offer a range of financial assistance packages on a case-by-case basis and encourage you to apply and work with us to find the price point that works best for your family.



We provide need-based financial assistance determined by family income, number of dependents, and special financial circumstances.

Each year, about 20% of volunteers receive financial assistance ranging from $500 to $3,500. Qualified applicants are selected and receive assistance as deductions on family fee payments.

To learn more about program fees, check out the Fees and Financial Assistance webpage.



Go to the website to fill out the application: https://amigos.my.site.com/Apply/s/login/

Pro tip: cut and paste your answers to the questions since some of them are the same on both applications.

On the application, students should select “Yes” that they intend to apply for financial assistance in order for the Financial Assistance (FA) Application to appear on their dashboard. 

We can waive the $75 application fee for financial assistance applicants if needed. At the end of the application, select, “I request a waiver.” 

The FA Application is then filled out on your dashboard after the main application is submitted. You will need to provide a recent tax return, description of extenuating circumstances, or other documentation requested by the chapter.

FA Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis starting in December until the deadline. Please contact the Chapter Treasurer at [email protected] for more information.

While this income scale represents a potential range for family fee, each financial assistance application is reviewed for special circumstances that may not be represented in family income. Our goal is to make the AMIGOS program as accessible as possible.

  • Please reach out to the AMIGOS East Bay Treasurer with any questions regarding financial assistance via email at [email protected].


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.

  • 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
  • Saturday, Feb 10th: 12-4pm Family Kick-Off Meeting at Samuel Merritt University Bechtel Hall, 400 Hawthorne Ave Oakland
  • Sunday, March 3rd: 1-5pm Training Session #1 at Lafayette Creekside Commons, 1035 Carol Lane Lafayette, CA 94549
  • Saturday, March 23rd: 1-5pm Training Session #2, Location TBD in Alameda County
  • Sat – Sun, April 20th-21st: 2pm – 10am Overnight Training Retreat #3 at Chabot Regional Park Two Rocks Group Campsite, Oakland
  • Sunday, May 5th: 1-5pm Training Session #4 at Lafayette Creekside Commons, 1035 Carol Lane Lafayette, CA 94549
  • Sunday, May 19th: 2-4:30pm Despedida Going Away Picnic, Location TBD
  • Sunday, Sept 8th: 2-4:30pm Return Party, Location TBD



For many years we used to sell grapefruits and poinsettias as a group fundraiser. Since our training now starts later in the year, we no longer sell products. But just in case someone asks you about it – yes, AMIGOS grapefruit was a thing! 

Fundraising skills are an important component of the AMIGOS training program because they help volunteers practice asking for support by communicating with family, friends, and extended community about why they are excited to participate. It also helps raise awareness of AMIGOS programs in the community and expand your network of support.

Our main group fundraising activity now consists of a letter writing campaign. Volunteers receive guidance from the chapter with regard to fundraising strategies.


Letter Writing/Donor Contacts

The ability to compose a persuasive fundraising letter allows our volunteers to raise funds to accomplish their training for the summer projects. This support extends not only in their host community, but also in their own communities upon their return home. 

Each volunteer is required to send physical letters to friends and family to request tax-deductible donations that support AMIGOS projects. The revenue from this effort is pooled into the collective fundraising goal.

To see some of our fundraising efforts from last year, check out our Summer 2023 CauseVox Campaign here.


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

President ([email protected])
Currently Vacant Winter 2024. If you are interested in joining please email April McMurtry at ([email protected]).

Vice-President, Facilities & Tech ([email protected])
Elba Rios

Co-Treasurer ([email protected])
Jacqui Richter, MD – Parent (also Health and Safety)

Secretary & Co-Treasurer
Bob Schutt – Parent

Training Directors ([email protected])
April McMurtry – Alumna & Parent
Samantha Hooper – Alumna

Letter Writing Director ([email protected])
Stephanie Lipow – Parent

Health and Safety
Jacqui Richter, MD – Parent

Outreach Coordinator ([email protected])
Lee Kirbach

Andrea Akel – Parent
Renita Vinluan – Parent

Share Your Time and Talent!

The East Bay Chapter of AMIGOS is always looking for volunteer board members! If you are interested in contributing to our chapter either as a board member or as an ad-hoc volunteer, please email [email protected]. Prospective board members are invited to have a phone call with chapter leadership and attend a board meeting to see if joining the board is a good fit. Board members receive training and onboarding and can anticipate in participating in 1-3 events per month.