Amigos de las Americas - Nicaragua

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Amigos de las Americas.

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About

AMIGOS is running two projects in Nicaragua in 2018.

Matagalpa, dubbed "the city of eternal spring," is in the mountainous coffee growing region of Nicaragua. Participants engage in projects focused on community health and civic participation and attend regional workshops alongside local youth.

The Chontales project will complement Plan Nicaragua's activities centered on fostering gender equality through sports. Participants will work with local youth each through daily activities and collaborate with their community on a sustainable project.

Highlights
  • Live like a local with a host family
  • Improve your Spanish through authentic cultural immersion
  • Lead daily activities for local youth
  • Explore a new region in a new country
  • Collaborate with community members on a service project

New virtual gap year program

AMIGOS & Tufts University just launched a new virtual gap year experience for fall 2020: the Civic Action Gap Semester! Explore social change across the Americas, make an impact through a civic volunteership, engage with your community, and earn college credit.

Questions & Answers

Like Mimi said, AMIGOS requires minimum 2 years of spanish. So look into spanish classes! There are so many of them and you would benefit extremely from them not only for the program but for many other things like jobs or internships. Best of luck!

Reviews

9.54 Rating
based on 13 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 13
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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best of the best!

Some of the best weeks of my life include the six weeks I spent in a rural community in Nicaragua. In 2011, I challenged myself in ways I did not think were possible. By living with a host family and working with community members on a collaborative service project, I strengthened my Spanish speaking abilities, leadership capacities, and cultural competency. My community in rural Nicaragua is one of the most beautiful places I have ever traveled to. I spent many hours hiking through the lush green mountains with another volunteer from the U.S. (my partner in community) and local community members. Each week, we were visited by our Project Supervisor, an AMIGOS staff member, that checked up on our health and the progress of our community service project. 8 years later, I am still in communication with my partner in community and my Project Supervisor. The community of AMIGOS is truly spectacular and full of inspiring people that are dedicated to creating positive social change.

Throughout my application, training, and summer experience, I felt supported by Amigos staff. Amigos headquarters in Houston, TX supports chapters all across the U.S. Chapter members provide in person training and workshops to local chapter volunteers. I currently serve on the Urban Chicago Chapter board, and I am excited to share AMIGOS with you! Thank you for reading, and I hope you check out the amazing AMIGOS website and social media.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate a fruit that is similar to a grape, but includes a pit. They are called mamones in Nicaragua.
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Rebecca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amigos de las Américas en Nicaragua

I signed up to be a project supervisor for this non-profit, Amigos de las Américas, in the summer of 2014. Before I knew it, I was boarding a plane and flying to a country I'd never been to- Nicaragua. As soon as I got there, I realized I had no way of reaching the project director, and I was the only staff member coming at an off time. Several Nicaraguans in the airport graciously offered me their phones to call my boss on his Nica phone, and everything went smoothly after that.

It's hard to describe in 200 words what this experience meant (and means) to me. I lived in a 2-bedroom house with 9 other people- it was cramped, but they were my family. We supported each other, we laughed, we cried- I don't think I've ever become so close to a group of people the way I did with this staff.

Nicaragua is known as "La Tierra de Lagos y Volcanes" and it definitely lived up to its name. But besides the great natural beauty of Nicaragua, I was blown away by the people. I felt like I really got to be a part of these rural communities- I was not just a visitor or a tourist, and I think that's what makes Amigos so unique. We don't come into these communities with our North American views and try to impose them on others. Rather, we come in with open minds, ready to engage in cross-cultural exchange. Of course, some of our "North-Americanness" inevitably peaks out over the summer, but it's about adjusting to a different lifestyle. I struggled to embrace the rural, laid-back lifestyle, but I also really learned from it.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish Amigos would let staff leave the project site for a few days for major events. I really wanted to work for Amigos again this summer, but I cannot because my best friend's wedding is at the end of June, and all of the programs start end of May/beginning of June.
Rosalinda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome!!

I recently came back from AMIGOS this August. I was completely impacted by this program, in a good way. I have never felt so safe and at peace then I was with this program. I had this most amazing experience and would do it a thousand times more if I had the chance to. It really does help you find yourself and really makes you value your life back home. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a life changing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe it could be improved by making it more affordable or including a lot more scholarships. I believe it would be a great way to get more people on board with AMIGOS
Mimi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Madriz, Nicaragua

The summer I went to Madriz I was a Supervisor in the program. Madriz is beautiful- lush green, mountains all around, open fields, and rivers. Nicaragua is pretty rural, but really beautiful. The weather was perfect too, tropical but not humidity that is unbearable. I LOVED THE FOOD!!! Gallo pinto which is a rice and bean dish is really good, and rosquillas which are a bread cracker they eat with coffee. Nicaraguans are super nice and understanding, they are easy to talk to and if your Spanish isn't perfect they are willing to slow down and repeat. I am going back this next summer because I loved the program so much. It truly gives the opportunity to be immersed. AMIGOS is really unlike any other program out there and focuses not just on the participants youth development (building leadership and facilitation skills, etc) but on leadership development for local youth too. Participants on this project were from the united states, from Nicaragua, and from the Dominican Republic. At the end of the project there were a few days to chill out all together where we all went to the beach and explored the city of Leon.
Super cool place!! Highly recommend!

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Andrea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nicragua is a beautiful country full of color and fun

I was a supervisor for the Matagalpa project in 2014 and I had an amazing time. The community members and host agency members i had a chance to work with were lovely and genuinely wanted to work and experience the AMIGOS experience. I had amazing volunteers they overcame a plethora of challenges but also learned and lived a colorful experience. The staff and the host agency made it so easy for my position to succeed. I had a challenging time but I never felt any negative stimulus. I loved every second of being a supervisor in Nicaragua. GREAT PROJECT.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel very strongly about the medical resources and the health professionals in Matagalpa Matagalpa Nicaragua; I believe it was a difficult experience getting my volunteers help concerning medical. I would have loved a project nurse on our project. All my volunteers eventually got the resources needed when they were sick and they left the country healthy like they came but it was a challenge on my part to maneuver the process of clinics and checkups etc.
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Tessa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would suggest AMIGOS to anyone!

I chose to do AMIGOS because I wanted to have an authentic experience living specifically in Nicaragua and my summer in Matagalpa was absolutely one of the best times of my life. I was paired with a Nicaraguan volunteer as my partner (every community has 2-3 volunteers), which meant I almost never could speak english. If you have taken spanish through Spanish 4 or AP, ten I would absolutely suggest requesting or saying you would be ok with a Latin American volunteer. My Spanish improved so quickly and I think the fact that she was from Nicaragua helped us integrate into the community. Whether or not you have an LA vol like I did, AMIGOS has the potential to change your life. It will likely present you with many challenges, but the independence and confidence you gain is so worth it. A major tip is that if you may be eligible, apply for financial aid through your chapter or the international office. The full cost would not have been realistic for my family and we were surprised by how generous AMIGOS was. So if money is the thing holding you back, there are ways to get around it!
AMIGOS is so unique in how you really get to live in your community. My host family welcomed me as their own, I had friends and I (sort of) got used to the food. It is hard to write a review, because every AMIGOS experience is so different. There are so many moving parts (your community size, your partner, your host family, your meal plan, your project, your camps, etc.) but I have almost never met an AMIGOS volunteer who didn't love their experience. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me because I love this program and I LOVE Nicaragua!

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Laurel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

Amigos is an amazing program that really changed the way I see the world. I was placed in a rural town of 300 people with one other volunteer from the US. We worked with the community to raise money to do repairs on the school, and we also taught campamentos (educational summer camps) to the kids, focusing on children's rights. I lived with a host family and was completely immersed in the culture. In addition to improving my Spanish dramatically, I learned to understand and appreciate another (very different) way of life. And I gained many lifelong friends, who I still keep in touch with over a year later. Amigos is a program where you are given a lot of responsibility and independence, and it's a wonderful opportunity. I highly recommend it.

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D.Lee
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMIGOS will change your life!

How can I describe my AMIGOS experience? To start off, it was the single most eye-opening, transformative, genuinely life changing experience in my life. I spent 7 weeks in a rural community in Boaco, Nicaragua in 2012 and honestly, I STILL think about it every day. AMIGOS works to improve sustainable community development and youth leadership in rural Latin American communities and in my opinion, is the absolute best volunteer program out there for high school and college aged students.
AMIGOS transforms your entire view on what it means to be a volunteer, and also helps you with leadership and communication skills. I will always remember the incredible people I met in my community, especially my awesome host family and the kids who never got tired of playing with my partner and me. I cannot thank AMIGOS enough for the incredible work they do in Nicaragua and throughout Latin America!