Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Welcome Back and See-ya, Mis Amigos!

Amigos de las Américas volunteers, staff and hopefuls break the ice by holding hands and then "untying" the knot of people without letting go of each other. That's Sarah King, center. (Click to enlarge the image.)

A group, about 25 people, gathered under the Lubber Run Park pavilion Sunday afternoon to celebrate the return home of volunteers in the Amigos de las Américas program, and to recruit the next batch for nine-months of training before next summer's trip.

“We had 23 volunteers go down this summer, and all 23 came back!” said Sarah King, laughing. She is the president of the DC chapter of the national group.

The volunteers are at least 16 years old and have completed their sophomore year of high school as well as at least two years of Spanish instruction. After nine months of training in development, public health and organizational leadership, students go to countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

“They work with partnering organizations [such as CARE or a country’s health administration] in the countries that they’re in,” Ms. King said.

They live with a person in a specific village and help with community-based initiatives. Arlington Public Schools sent six students this summer:

From HB Woodlawn:

  • Megan Hauptman
  • Caitlin Levine

  • Washington-Lee:

  • Dylan Warburg

  • Yorktown:

  • Rachel Hargreaves
  • Hayley Tyneson
  • Brooke Huffman

  • “Arlington county schools give us a lot of kids,” Ms. King said. Often half the students are from Arlington.

    Family information sessions: Oct. 4, 3-5p.m.; Oct. 18, 1-3p.m. at Oyster Bilingual School, 2801 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC, two block west of the Woodley Park Zoo metro station.

    More information:

  • click here.
  • Email here: volunteer *at* amigosdc *dot* org.
  • Call 202-331-4999.

  • This was one of those times when I was caught unawares, as they say. I had no notebook, and only my cell phone to shoot photos. No Arlington students were at the event when I was there, or I'd have shot photos of them. I was watching my kids, though, so I only caught about 10 minutes of the event. --ST

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