Scots study in Latin America

Scots study in Latin America

Mia Hogan, Staff Writer

The Amigos de las Americas program is currently looking for motivated Spanish speaking Carlmont students to volunteer in Latin America this summer along with students all around the country.

Every summer, high school students across the United States have the opportunity to work in Latin America after completing the Spanish two course. Volunteers live with a host family for six to eight weeks along with at least another student from the county.

Amigos gives volunteers a wide variety of places to work, and every location has a different public services project and time frame. This summer’s destinations are all over Latin America ranging from Costa Rica to Paraguay. Mission projects include community health, business enterprise and children’s rights.

Spanish three student Claire Spivak said, “Amigos is a great opportunity to improve your Spanish, meet new people, and give back to the community.”

Many Carlmont students learn more about themselves and their ability as a leader. Full immersion results better Spanish skills, insights of cultural differences, and value of community service. Relationships form between volunteers, their partner, and the community, lasting a lifetime.

Participants go through training before arrival. Volunteers learn about cross-cultural sensitivity, networking, technical skills, personal health and safety.

Spanish student Nathan Kinsey said, “You are always with one other person and it can help you do stuff yourself and become a leader.”

Many interested Carlmont student can not participate this year due to summer plans of 2014 and age. High school students have to be at least 16 years old to apply, decreasing the number of eligible students.

Last year, 13 Carlmont students participated in the Amigos program.

Spanish two student Abbey Holbrook said, “ I believe only 13 students participated due to the high time commitment of six to eight weeks and the age restriction.”

This Sunday, there is an informational meeting in Hillsdale High School’s cafeteria.  Amigos staff from the Bay Area will be there from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and sign up after a brief orientation.