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Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS) – Chicago North Chapter is proud to announce the return of 21 local high school students who volunteered with service projects across Latin America.  These Volunteers joined more than 500 other high school and college students for up to 9 weeks this past summer to volunteer in communities in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.  

Volunteers included Evanston Township HS students Emilee Crabbe (Nicaragua), Nicholas Greenberg (Ecuador), Zach Grossman-Torres (Dominican Republic), Chapin Low (Paraguay) and Moira Mulhern (Dominican Republic).  Of his time in Paraguari, Paraguay, Chapin Low writes:  “Amigos has allowed me to see the world in a completely new way.  My experience fully immersed in a culture other than my own made me truly reconsider what I find important in my own life.”

“For many volunteers, their summer in Latin America is a life-changing event, challenging them to view the world in new ways and providing them with unparalleled leadership skills.” says a parent of a former volunteer.  

Other Volunteers attend Deerfield HS Nina Graham  (Panama); Glenbrook North HS Graham Cohen (Dominican Republic) and Kimberly Stencel (Nicaragua);, Glenbrook South HS, Jacob Bassin (Dominican Republic), Marlye Jerva (Mexico) and Madeline McMillin (Panama); Hinsdale Central (Haley Anderson-Nicaragua); Libertyville HS Emily Sun – Panama; Loyola Conor Huh (Ecuador); New Trier HS Christy Chang (Nicaragua), Sophie Chevalier (Panama), Kevin Murphy (Costa Rica) and Catherine O’Brien (Ecuador); North Shore Country Day Emily Leiter (Ecuador); Prospect HS Clare O’Carroll (Panama); and Tulane University Emily Redstone (Mexico).

Often described as a “mini-Peace Corps” experience, AMIGOS Volunteers work with their communities to identify and implement community-based initiatives such as construction of libraries, playgrounds, latrines, community gardens, fuel-efficient stoves, water storage tanks, bus stops, recycling systems or health education programs. AMIGOS Volunteers also led youth-to-youth projects to promote healthy social development, improve leadership skills and foster creative expression of young people in their host communities.

AMIGOS Volunteers trained and fundraised for months to prepare for their community service assignments in Latin America. The AMIGOS training program provided the Volunteers with the skills needed to meet the challenges of conducting community service programs with confidence and cultural sensitivity.  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 information about AMIGOS’ upcoming 2016 Summer Program and Project Locations, please visit the AMIGOS websites: www.amigoslink.org for a descriptive program video and www.amigoslink.org/chicagonorth for a schedule of upcoming October Information Sessions (also listed below) and application deadlines. Interested students, along with a parent or guardian, should attend one of the following October Information Sessions.  Partial financial needs-based scholarships are available.  Please direct inquiries to amigoschicagonorth@gmail.com.  

Sat., Oct. 10, 2015 2-4pm      Winnetka-Northfield Library, 768 Oak St., Winnetka

Wed., Oct. 14, 2015 7-9pm    Winnetka-Northfield Library, 768 Oak St., Winnetka

Thurs., Oct. 15, 2015 7-8:45pm         Deerfield Public Library, 920 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield

Sun., Oct. 18, 2015 2-4pm     Deerfield Public Library, 920 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield

Thu., Oct 22, 2015 6:45-8:45pm        Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook

Sun., Oct 25, 2015 2-4pm      Glenview Public Library, 1930 Glenview Rd., Glenview

Mon., Oct 26, 2015 6-9pm    Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., Evanston