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Teens return from service trips to Latin America

Journeys made with Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS)

Alan Gomez of Lakeridge High School, Alex Rivera and Jacklyn Stellway of Riverdale High School, and Haley Mooney of Jesuit High School recently returned from a service project trip with Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS).

Along with 500 teenagers from the U.S. and other countries, Gomez, Rivera, Stellway and Mooney worked for up to eight weeks this summer to volunteer on public health, education and environmental projects in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Paraguay.

Volunteers lived with families in communities and worked in small teams on projects such as the construction of libraries, playgrounds, latrines, community gardens, schools, fuel-efficient stoves, water storage tanks and bus stops.

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.

The Portland area youth trained and fundraised for months to prepare for their community service learning assignments in Latin America. AMIGOS training programs give youth the skills needed to meet the challenges of conducting community service programs with confidence and cultural sensitivity, both in their home communities and in Latin America. Their Portland training included participating in service learning with several local social service organizations.

For more information, visit www.amigoslink.org and www.portlandamigos.org .