HOUSTON, June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 800 young adults
from across the United States will volunteer for five to eight weeks this
summer with Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS). They will volunteer in more
than 250 communities on public health, education and environmental projects
in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
and Paraguay. Volunteers will begin departing for their country assignments
Teens will live with host families in rural communities with one or two
other volunteers. They will partner with community members on sustainable
development projects such as health and environmental education for
children, the construction of fuel-efficient stoves and technology
Participants train and fundraise for months with one of the AMIGOS
chapters across the United States, located in most major cities.
Additionally, they have the option to train online through the
correspondent volunteer program if they do not live near a chapter.
"AMIGOS has been a life-changing experience," said Guthrie
Graves-Fitzsimmons, 19, who volunteered in Veraguas, Panama, last summer.
"I have improved my Spanish and learned what it means to partner with
people from a different culture to accomplish common goals."
Veteran volunteers, usually in their early 20s, serve as Project Staff
to oversee the projects. They plan summer projects, place volunteers in
host families and ensure the health and safety of volunteers throughout the
summer. AMIGOS was founded on the belief that youth are capable of
achieving amazing goals when given the opportunity, and this has provided
the basis of AMIGOS' success during the past 42 summers.
Volunteers consistently report an increase in leadership skills,
cultural sensitivity and Spanish-language abilities. For example, in a 2007
volunteer experience survey:
-- 87 percent noted growth in their personal confidence and communication
-- 91 percent reported improvement in their ability to plan, implement and
-- 90 percent noted increased leadership skills
-- 94 percent noted an increase in their ability to communicate verbally in
Founded in 1965, AMIGOS is an international non-profit organization
that provides opportunities for young people to simultaneously develop
leadership and decision-making skills while making a positive difference in
the health and well-being of communities. For more information, visit
www.amigoslink.org. Press may contact AMIGOS to set up interviews with
Volunteers, Project Staff or alumni.
SOURCE Amigos de las Americas