Amigos de las Americas - Nicaragua
95% Rating
(12 Reviews)

Amigos de las Americas - Nicaragua

By Amigos de las Americas Reviewer Verified Badge   Reviews (12)   95% Rating

Matagalpa is in the cool, mountainous, coffee growing region of Nicaragua. Participants are assigned to support the work of three partner agencies: the Centro de Servicios Educativos en Salud y Medio Ambiente, UCA San Ramon, and the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral. Depending on the agency assignment, participants will engage in projects focused on sustainable and socially just business practices or community health initiatives. Participants also also take part in campaigns for gender equality and human rights.

The Madriz project will complement Plan Nicaragua's activities centered on fostering local youth participation in educational and service activities and participating in campaigns to increase awareness about children's rights. In this beautiful and remote region, participants collaborate with community members on creative expression and arts initiatives. Plan Nicaragua will also support participants' work on a variety of community specific development projects.

Locations
North America » Nicaragua
Starting Price
$0.00/week
Other Locations
Boaco

Questions & Answers

Hi Joshua! With AMIGOS you need a minimum of 2 years or equivalent of Spanish to participate. Start taking Spanish class! It would be a great investment and then you would be able to go on this awesom...
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 othe...

Rating Values

  • Impact
    93%
  • Support
    98%
  • Fun
    86%
  • Value
    93%
  • Safety
    95%

Program Reviews (12)

Rebecca
Female
27 years old
San Francisco
University of California- San Diego

Amigos de las Américas en Nicaragua

9/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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
Female
20 years old
Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona State University

Awesome!!

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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
Female
23 years old
Davis, CA
University of California- Davis

Madriz, Nicaragua

10/10

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!

Andrea
Female
23 years old
Monterey Bay
California State University- Monterey Bay

Nicragua is a beautiful country full of color and fun

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Tessa
Female
18 years old
Massachusetts
Barnard College

I would suggest AMIGOS to anyone!

10/10

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!

Laurel
Female
18 years old
Madison, WI
University of Minnesota

Life Changing Experience

9/10

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.

D.Lee
Female
23 years old
Chicago, IL
University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign

AMIGOS will change your life!

10/10

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!

Christine
Female
23 years old
Chicago, IL
DePaul University

AMIGOS Experience in Nicaragua

9/10

I have worked with AMIGOS as both a volunteer and a project supervisor in Nicaragua, Peru, and Panama, and I sincerely have a special place in my heart for Nicaragua. I volunteered there in 2009 in the region of Chontales, and had the most wonderful experience living with my host family, working with the local youth, and learning about Nicaraguan culture. Before I left for my 6 week trip, I spent the year attending meetings at my local AMIGOS chapter to learn about what I could expect to be doing over the summer, and how I could prepare myself. I still remember getting dropped off in my community, watching the bus drive away, and thinking to myself, "What am I doing here!" Those feelings quickly faded as I got to know my community and truly felt like I belonged there. My two partners and I worked very closely with the school throughout the summer, and our Community Based Initiative project was constructing a kitchen in the main school, and putting in a water pipe to the more rural school in the community. We also helped organize a fundraiser and were able to buy supplies for the community health center. It's been a little over four years since my first AMIGOS experience in Nicaragua, and I can't wait to return and see my host family, and the community that taught me so much about life. If you're reading this and considering volunteering with AMIGOS, do it!

How can this program be improved?

I wish I could have stayed longer!

Julianna
Female
18 years old
Boston
Other

AMIGOS experience in Nicaragua

9/10

This was the most amazing, memorable and kick-ass experience of my life. Living in such primitive conditions, without communication to almost anyone you know, was the hardest thing I have ever done. But the AMIGOS program is without a doubt the best one out there. It doesn't throw a bunch of American teenagers into a foreign country to speak english, nor does it show up at communities, leave money and call it a day. AMIGOS collaborates with real people and gets everyone involved in changing the world. It was by no means easy, but what I personally got out of it is incomparable.

Melissajo
Female
23 years old
Arlington, Texas
North Georgia College & State University

Amazing opportunity in Nicaragua

10/10

This program is a great blend of volunteering as well as adventure. Two weeks are spent volunteering in your country of choice and then the next two are spent extensively traveling throughout the country. It was one of the best experiences of my life, so amazing in fact that I did another program with Amigos de las Americas the following year.

a.yu
Female
18 years old
Lafayette, CA
Other

Amazing opportunity

9/10

I spent six weeks in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. My community was beautiful and everyone I met was so nice and wanted to know about what I was doing there. While it was a lot of work fundraising and going to all the training retreats before actually going to Nicaragua, all of the work was definitely worth the experience. The whole time we were there, the project staff was completely supportive and helpful. I felt very safe knowing that I could contact my supervisor if I ever needed help. My community completely organized its own project and my two partners and I just spent most of our time hanging out with people and planning and teaching camps for the kids. I had a partner from Boaco, Nicaragua so we spoke pretty much only Spanish while we were there. It was great to meet so many new and wonderful people. My Spanish skills improved tremendously and I am now more confident and capable. This was a great experience and I learned so many new things and met so many unforgettable people.

amigosvol
Female
18 years old
Maplewood, New Jersey
Other

Amigos Changed My Life!

9/10

During my 6 weeks in Matagalpa, Nicaragua with Amigos de las Americas I experienced some of the scariest, saddest, proudest, and most joyful moments in all my 17 (at the time) long years.
I came to appreciate the endless complexities of my rural Nicaraguan host community and its needs.
My other experiences with community service had not prepared me for sleeping in another family's bed, eating their food, sharing their latrine, watching their telenovelas. It was a slow and often awkward process, but, with help from my partner volunteer and loving Nicaraguan family, I began to feel comfortable in my host community. I spoke more often with more people, and I began to feel that I was a part of the daily life of my family. My partner and I worked each day at the school, facilitating educational activities about the environment and community health with los niños, beautiful, infinitely charismatic children who unfailingly brightened even our most homesick moments. My friends in Nicaraguan are some of the warmest, most generous people I have ever met.
Amigos has helped me to appreciate the beautiful process of building understanding between people across cultures. My experiences have inspired me to intensify my focus on social justice and human rights issues, and will certainly guide me in my future studies and career. It is so empowering to dive into such a challenging and unfamiliar experience and manage to accomplish the goals you set for yourself. You come out with valuable new leadership and communication skills and many new friends from across the western hemisphere.

About The Provider

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Established in 1965, AMIGOS is an industry leader providing international leadership experiences for youth. We provide high school and college-age volunteers with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and daily lives of a host community, bringing that community together to to determine, plan,

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