Sunday, December 29, 2013

Los Amigos de las Américas

I mentioned in an earlier post about buying handicrafts which I donate to an auction to benefit an organization called "Los Amigos de las Américas".  One of the blogs which I follow regularly is "An Alaskan in Yucatan" (you will find a link to it under my blog list).  Today, its author, Marc Olson, published a post on his experience as a volunteer with "Los Amigos" when he was in high school.  Marc is a much better writer than I, and I recommend that you read his description of how his work as a volunteer changed his life.

I know that I am being a copycat, but this is such a worthwhile group, that I felt compelled to mention "Los Amigos" again.  More people should know about this organization and the work that they are doing.

"Los Amigos" is a non-religious, non-governmental, non-profit group which sends high school and college students to Latin America each summer to work as volunteers.  The students live with a host family for six to eight weeks and participate in health and environmental projects in poor communities.  Back when I was in high school, I had never heard of "Los Amigos".  (Although the organization began in 1965, the chapter in Ohio probably was not yet in existence back in those days.)  As I explained previously, one of my Spanish students became involved with "Los Amigos".  He spent the summer before his junior year of high school teaching dental hygiene to children in Costa Rica.  It was a great experience for him.

For the past several years I have been donating to the annual auction of the local chapter.  In addition to bringing back handicrafts, each year I have painted a landscape to put up for auction.  Here is the painting that I did for the 2013 event, a view of the archaeological site of Cantona in Mexico.

As soon as I return from my winter trip, I will begin work on another painting for the 2014 auction in April.

Once again, I will give you the link to the "Amigos" website...

Frankly, I cannot think of a more deserving organization... not only for its work among the poor of Latin America, but for its impact upon hundreds of young Americans.

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