- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Provided By: Independent Provider
- Session Start: June, July
- Session Length: Two Weeks, Six Weeks, Four Weeks, Three Weeks
- Entering Grade: 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, PG, College
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Community Service
- Sub-Categories: Spanish, Environmental Science, Wildlife Conservation
- Selective: No
- Ages: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
- Minimum Cost: > $3,000
- Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
- Career Clusters: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
- Credit Awarded: Yes
- Meeting: Schedule a Meeting
AMIGOS is an international nonprofit, founded in 1965, that inspires leaders through authentic service and immersion experiences. Our vision is a world where all people are lifelong leaders sharing responsibility for our global community.
AMIGOS offers summer service and immersion programs for ages 13–19 in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama.
- Costa Rica: Cartago y Caribe
- Conservation & Climate Justice (2 weeks, no Spanish required) - Explore community efforts to adapt to climate change in Costa Rica! From the mangroves of the Caribbean coast to the cloud forests, we will examine local conservation initiatives that have persisted despite challenges due to a changing climate. We will also dig into the root causes of climate change and how international actions can have a profound effect on local communities. There is no Spanish requirement, but you'll get to use introductory Spanish and take Spanish Classes!
- Costa Rica: La Bahia
- Conservation and Biodiversity (2 weeks, no Spanish required) - Travel to Costa Rica with a group of students to learn about global issues like climate change, conservation, and preserving endangered wildlife! Earn 24 service hours while you do hands-on community service with local organizations and visit nature conservation sites. Explore Costa Rica's beautiful Pacific beaches and immerse yourself in the tropical forest of the Brunca Region.
- Costa Rica: La Brunca
- Sustainable Development (3 weeks, Spanish required) - From farming and coffee growing to conservation and wildlife corridors, explore how local communities in southern Costa Rica practice sustainable development. Volunteer with women-led community organizations that are transforming the buffer zones of protected areas! Stay at a nature reserve and a lodge in the rolling hills of the Brunca region! Immerse yourself by living with a host family and learning how farmers support conservation.
- Costa Rica: Los Santos
- Food Justice: Coffee & Communities (6 weeks, Spanish required) - Explore different farming practices in Costa Rica from the mountains to the valleys. What impact does international demand for Costa Rican coffee have on local communities? What does local food production have to do with agroforestry practices? From cultivation to consumption, dive deep into food systems by learning from communities in Costa Rica. Live with a host family and immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture.
- Costa Rica: Montanas y Mar
- Conservation and Biodiversity (2 weeks, no Spanish required) - Experience the abundant biodiversity that Costa Rica offers and contribute to its protection! Explore ecosystems, sea turtle protection, and natural resource management all while volunteering with local environmental conservation initiatives. Spend time on the coast near Marino Ballena National Park and in the rolling hills near Chirripo National Park.
- Costa Rica: Olas y Cerros
- Conservation & Climate Justice (3 weeks, Spanish required) - Explore community efforts to adapt to climate change in Costa Rica! From sea turtle protection on the Caribbean coast to the cloud forests in Valle Central, you'll get hands-on with local conservation projects. Dig in to the root causes of climate change and how international actions affect local communities. And, get to know Tico culture by living with a host family on the Caribbean coast!
- Costa Rica: Pezeta
- Community Entrepreneurship & Conservation (2 weeks, Spanish required) - Experience the incredible biodiversity that Costa Rica has to offer on the Pezeta Project! Spend your time abroad getting to know your host family in a rural community surrounded by lush green plants and the chatter of tropical birds. You’ll volunteer at an environmental conservation reserve and visit community entrepreneurship initiatives to learn how they approach conservation efforts.
- Ecuador: Chimborazo
- Youth Entrepreneurship (6 weeks, Spanish required) - High in the Andes mountains, immerse yourself in the life of rural Ecuador. During your time in the community, you might learn to harvest potatoes alongside your host dad or help your host sister milk the family's cows. Throughout the summer, volunteer alongside Ecuadorian students to develop and support entrepreneurship and community development initiatives.
- Ecuador: La Sierra
- Indigenous Rights and Food Security (3 weeks, Spanish required) - How does the popularity of superfoods impact resources, water, and food sovereignty in Andean communities? Travel to the highlands of Ecuador to explore food security and justice in rural indigenous farming communities. Meet local leaders, food producers, and youth making an impact on food systems in the region.
- Ecuador: Santa Elena
- Youth Empowerment (4 weeks, Spanish required) - Venture into rural, coastal communities throughout the beautiful province of Santa Elena, Ecuador while volunteering and living with a host family! Earn 48 service hours while supporting local initiatives to empower youth through collaborating on service projects. Truly immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Ecuador's Pacific coast by getting into the day-to-day rhythm of life in your host community.
- Panama: Coclé
- Community Health (4 weeks, Spanish required) - Explore the intersection of environmental protection and community health in the heart of Panama! Promote healthy living, climate-friendly environmental practices, and mosquito-borne illness prevention by learning and working alongside locals and the Ministry of Health. Explore the tropical scenery and the diverse geography of the Coclé region in Panama.
- Panama: El Pacifico
- Intro to Service Abroad (2 weeks, no Spanish required) - Travel to Panama with a group of students to learn about environmental issues like conservation and preserving endangered wildlife! From exploring beaches for turtle eggs to hiking through nature reserves, you'll earn 24 service hours. See how local youth are getting involved with issues they care about. Enjoy Panama's unspoiled Pacific beaches and immerse yourself in the tropical forests of the Veraguas Province. This project is for middle school students ages 13 and 14.
- Panama: Tierras Altas
- Stewardship and Sustainable Harvests (3 weeks, Spanish required) - Explore the Panamanian highlands near the Costa Rican border! This region produces most of the food for the whole country. Learn about sustainable environmental practices through community service activities on organic farms, compost plants, and community gardens. Live with a host family and enjoy the pastoral scenery in your host community.
- Panama: Valle y Veraguas
- Community-Driven Conservation (3 weeks, Spanish required) - Head to Panama this summer to explore how local communities conserve the country's unique plants and wildlife! Spend a week in the Valle de Anton, supporting reforestation efforts and working at an orchid conservation center. Next, travel to a quiet town on the Pacific coast that's home to a sea turtle protection project and live with a host family. Enjoy the pristine coastline and do hands-on volunteer activities that help make the area safer for the sea turtles that nest and hatch there.
A summer spent with Amigos de las Americas is a summer that you'll never forget. I had such an amazing time. I went for one of the longest programs and I think I could've stayed for another month or two. Everybody was so positive, not just in my community but the AMIGOS staff as well. It was infectious! I had never done anything like it before; I'd never left my parents for more than a week, but stepping out of my comfort zone really helped me grow and become more confident as a person.- Claire, Participant in Panama Summer 2016 - September 21, 2016