My AMIGOS experience gave me a chance to grow, learn, and have experiences I never could have dreamed of. This program had large focuses on cultural humility, community, and service. I feel like I learned so much on this trip, from classes about biofuels and solar energy at a local university, to lessons on the history Central America and cultural humility led by our supervisors, to hands on experience volunteering. Some of my highlights include repairing a clay and brick oven, exploring the Canyon of Somoto, and the many city tours focused on history and culture. But I think what made this truly great was the volunteers and supervisors I was experiencing it with. Everyone was incredibly kind and supportive, and it was so fun to spend three weeks with a group of teens like me with a passion for learning, meeting new people, and giving back to our communities. Some of my fondest memories are just the long bus rides spent talking or the nights playing cards.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we were not able to do much volunteering, and we also didn't get to spend much time with the local communities practicing Spanish. Because nearly all of the volunteers on the trip were from the US, we almost always reverted back to English when talking among ourselves. As a result, I don't think my Spanish improved significantly over the course of this trip. However, with these covid precautions I felt incredibly safe, and these challenges would be present in any trip like this during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall this was an amazing experience that let me grow and learn about the world around me. This was one of the best experiences of my life, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a volunteer trip in Latin America.