Amigos de las Americas - Dominican Republic

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About

Dominican Republic participants work with their local communities to develop a sports league and then travel to tournaments around the region. Our local partner agency, Plan Dominican Republic, also supports participants' work on a variety of community-specific development projects. This country is a hub of local youth involvement in AMIGOS and most volunteer partnerships include students from the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. Participants enjoy the richness of this Caribbean island culture and the energy and enthusiasm of local children and community members.

Highlights
  • Develop a sports league alongside local community members
  • Live like a local with a host family
  • Explore the region
  • Lead daily activities for local youth
  • Improve your Spanish through authentic cultural immersion

Impact

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 11 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.7
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 11 of 11
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Adriana
10/10

My Summer in the Dominican Republic

My summer in the Dominican Republic was one of the most fruitful, inspiring, and rewarding experiences I have had in my life thus far. Amigos de las Americas is an incredible program that allows teenagers to have foreign experiences in the most important years of their life. This program was so crucial and important to my growth as a teenager into adulthood. I was able to learn about another culture by fully immersing myself in my community through food, customs, music, and sports. I made some of my best friends on this program, in both the Dominican Republic and spread out across the U.S. I will never forget the day my partner and I decided to hold a meeting during midday, right around the time it started to rain, and quickly learned that none of the community members would show up with the rain still pouring. I ate so much delicious food, learned how to dance bachata and merengue, and got my fair share of "outs" in baseball. This program was the best summer I have ever spent in my life.

Yes, I recommend
Rosalinda
10/10

Life Changing

My time there was the most amazing/hardest experience I have ever encountered. I was probably homesick for the first day but than got very involved in my community and recovered fast. My community is called Ingenito and is located in the mountains of San Juan dela Maguana. I have never felt so safe and at peace than when I touched foot on this land. I recommend this program to any one and everyone because I believe everyone can benefit from it in some way or another. It helped me grow and become way more independent.

How can this program be improved?
If there is something I could change from it personally would be the cost of it. I would love for everyone to do this program but I know from personal experience how expensive and difficult it might be to a lot of people. I believe more financial aide should be given out and more financial support from the program would be awesome.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
M
10/10

Great program and affordable cost

Amigos is a great experience for high school and college students alike. I participated in the program this past summer and had an amazing experience. You are placed in a community, generally rural (although the DR is the most urban country in the program, I believe) with one or two other partners. You live with a host family, lead activities with children, and collaborate with your community on a project.

The best part about Amigos is that you're on your own. Yes, you have a host family, and yes you have a partner or two and a supervisor, but you are the one who makes sure you finish what you need to. You're in control of your own experiences, and while there is a great staff and support system, it all comes down to how much you want to get out of it.

On top of that, Amigos is affordable, especially in a chapter where you fundraise together. I was given a scholarship through my chapter due to my family's low income, bringing the price down to about as much as the flight would cost.

The Dominican Republic is a great place to go with Amigos. The people are friendly, they're willing to help, and the music is non-stop. While the dialect is difficult to understand, you get it eventually. The climate is hot and humid, but the rain cools it down.

How can this program be improved?
My only negative experience was a lack of communication between my partners and me and our organization.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Esli2012
9/10

Amigos is Interesting

I loved the experience but I'm not sure if I would do it again anytime soon. I remember crying the first 2 weeks because I wanted to go home since I was not comfortable in a house with a latrine. It takes some getting used to. Eventually I had to move to another host family which was a better fit host family for me. By the end of my trip I was crying because I didn't want to leave. The first month or two that I came back to the U.S., I was longing to be in the Dominican Republic and found any way possible of communication with my friends from over there. The phone bill even reached the $500 mark due to long distance calls.... Now I look back at it and absolutely loved that it happened but am not sure if I am willing to go through all of that emotional stress a second time. It was definitely a character building experience for me, and the challenge helped me to grow.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Spruce
9/10

My life-changing experience

I volunteered with AMIGOS in 2000 in a small community between Neiba and Barahona. I lived with two other high school volunteers from the USA in a small, rural community. We stayed with host families and volunteered with the school and helped to get a project started that would create a communal park space for children to play. The program was 8 weeks long and very hot and dusty! The best thing was that the people were so nice and loving, like our own families. Even though the power went off frequently, the bachata, merengue, and salsa music never stopped flowing! Since then, I've been inspired to volunteer with the Peace Corps and eventually become a Spanish teacher. I still volunteer with AMIGOS, but as a trainer for volunteers preparing to go abroad, and as a board member with my local chapter. This organization has only gotten better over the years since I was a volunteer. I definitely recommend this program to anybody with the desire to get to know the people and community in which they'll live, and to volunteer their time for the projects.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
cabracrazy
10/10

AMIGOS in the Dominican Republic

I volunteered with AMIGOS in the DR in '07. I stayed with a host family in a town called Hato Nuevo. My partners and I ran a day camp with the local kids to teach them dental hygene, water purification, played sports etc and we also raised money and supplies to paint and fix up the local school. Our day camp kids also helped us paint a mural at the school. I fell in love with the country and the people and the culture. My host family took great care of us and we felt safe walking around the town. We rarely had electricity and sometimes didn't get our bellies full, but it was such an AMAZING expierence!!! I wouldn't have changed a thing. Our supervisor checked in every week and addressed our concerns and evaluated our progress towards our goals. He always made us feel so comfortable. I did get a nasty chest cold and had to stay a few nights at the supervisors headquarters on a cot, but they got me some medicine and I was fixed up in no time. I feel like our program really made a difference to the people in the town and I cherish the time I spent there. I dream of going back one day. I highly recommend AMIGOS de las Americas.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Callie
8/10

My amigos rating

I became homesick the first ten minutes of being in community but after that I was fine. The community members were extremely open and had fun asking all kinds of questions. The Spanish speaking part was one of the most difficult challenges I had because native speakers talk so much fast than your average Spanish teachers do. I picked up quick. Through out my experience as an Amigo volunteer I grew up alot and I became so much more confident. AMIGOS really changed the way I view life.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
9/10

Amazing Summer Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed the eight weeks i spent with AMIGOS as a volunteer of the San Juan Project. I lived with a host family in a rural community and taught children's rights as well as facilitated a community and youth based initiative to institute a trash collection system. I learned so much about the culture, learning to dance, cook, and play dominoes and I made amazing friends. This was one of the best experiences of my life, I have gained greater self-confidence as well as cultural insight. My host community was incredibly safe; however, the weather was quite hot. Overall, I would strongly recommend this program.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
egp123
8/10

Great summer

I had a great summer with Amigos de las Americas. I spent the majority of the day with my host family and also teaching classes at the local school. I had a very hard time getting over the language barrier but once that passed, I had nearly no difficulties. I would recommend this to anyone.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
parulk
9/10

Rare Hands-on experience for high schoolers

The most hands-on experience that you can get in high school. I never realized how intense and rigorous the program was until I went through college and explained to people what I had done. It gave me great insight on my long-term career interests although I didn't realize it at the moment. The highlight in working with Amigos was really the ability to apply what you have learned and collaborate with the global communities to facilitate health and outreach projects to educate and empower each other. Because of its rigorousness of the program, the proven difficulty was remaining open and leaving your comfort zone.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
amiga1992
10/10

No other program like this

I have been with AMIGOS for 4 years now, and as it continues to grow, I have watched so many kids--including myself--flourish and become confident, independent, curious young adults. No other program for students gives the same level of responsibility paired with freedom. AMIGOS provides kids with experiences they will never have under any other circumstance, and I think it is extremely valuable in this sense. Some of the most transformative moments of my life took place when I was an AMIGOS volunteer.

Yes, I recommend

Interviews

About Amigos de las Americas

Established in 1965, AMIGOS is the industry leader providing international cultural immersion and leadership experiences for youth. Participants ages 13 to 25 are immersed in the language and daily lives of their host community, bringing that...