Amigos de las Americas (Houston, TX)


  • Name:Ms. Jennifer Politi
  • Title:Manager, Annual Giving

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Amigos de las Americas
  • Address:5618 Star Lane
    Houston, TX 77057
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:1-800-231-7796 -133

Organization Web

User Address

  • Address:Santa Clara University
    500 El Camino Real
    Santa Clara, CA 95050
    United States

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS) is an international, non-profit organization that provides community service opportunities for young people while concurrently contributing to the well-being of hundreds of communities throughout the Americas, but more specifically, in struggling Latin American countries. Amigos imbeds students from both high school and college in different host communities, where they work together to improve things such as: shelter, education, infrastructure, and overall social well-being. The mission statement of this organization reads as follows; “Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS) builds partnerships to empower young leaders, advance community development and strengthen multicultural understanding in the Americas.”
    The main focus of this organization is operating youth-led programs that will not only teach leadership to those volunteers, but also improve the health and well being of the millions of people who live in the developing nations of the Americas. A large network of North American chapters, pan-American chapters, and partnerships with many private agencies brings about the success of this group. These youth leaders have seen success in developing education systems, irrigation and farming techniques, and even simply building playgrounds and schoolhouses for the children of that country. We are still waiting to hear back from the program director about specific projects that are needed for the future, our group feels that our grant will most likely support an education project that would occur in Mexico.
    This organization is different in that instead of simply sending any volunteers, of all ages, to third world nations and having them participate in some kind of “charity” work, Amigos sends the nations youth to do the work in hope the experiences they receive there will shape them for the real world ahead. They value leadership in youth and believe that the experiences of these people will shape them as a person and give them new insight in to how to operation in the real world once they have completed their education. In 2009, AMIGOS touched the lives of more than 1,100 teenagers and young adults from across the Americas, who spent the summer working in 260 communities in Latin America.
    Success can also be measured in the types of projects completed in 2009. In Mexico, Amigos developed a project called the Oaxaca Project, a project that was divided into two themes. In the “Community Nutrition” theme, Volunteers promoted the cultivation and consumption of amaranth, a highly nutritious native grain, through house visits and cooking demonstrations, as well as other nutrition education activities with children. In the “Digital Culture” theme, Volunteers held workshops at the local secondary schools to train local youth in the use of video, photography, blogs, and other digital resources to investigate and document local culture. These projects are meant to promote the well being of fellow human beings and create a common good. Each project is dedicated to improving the living conditions on people in various locations around Central America.

  • History:
  • In 1965 several hundred young people from Houston volunteered part of their summer to fight a growing epidemic of polio in rural Honduras. Their efforts protected thousands of lives from the crippling disease, while establishing new friendships between the people of Honduras and the United States. This first group of AMIGOS Volunteers returned home far more mature, appreciative of other cultures, and aware of the personal benefits of helping others. Their success underscored that young people can make a positive difference in the world.
    Out of that summer AMIGOS was born as a non-profit organization. Since 1965 AMIGOS has consistently maintained a strong tradition of empowering young people to take leadership roles through community service in their home communities and in Latin America. While remaining headquartered in Houston, AMIGOS has grown throughout the United States, with affiliated chapters in many major cities.
    During the past 40+ years, more than 20,000 high school2 and college-aged students have received the AMIGOS training and volunteer opportunity. Today approximately 750 young leaders annually participate in AMIGOS training and Latin American programs through which they, their adult mentors, and their host communities learn skills and forge friendships that last a lifetime.
    Through the years, AMIGOS' community service programs have evolved to meet the changing health and development needs of Latin America. Until the 1980s, AMIGOS Volunteers primarily engaged in immunization campaigns, and administered more than one million vaccinations against smallpox, polio, tetanus, measles and other crippling diseases. Subsequently, projects began to focus on community sanitation, dental hygiene and health promotion, resulting in the construction of thousands of latrines and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of toothbrushes.
    In recent years, Volunteers have focused more on skill-building of local youth and have conducted a much broader array of health and education activities in response to priorities identified by host communities. Each year, AMIGOS partners with highly respected international development agencies, local non-profit and government agencies, and host communities on a wide range of projects that improve health, education and environmental conditions in hundreds of communities.

  • Year established:1965
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:3
  • Advisory board size:3
  • Staff size:21

Board and Executive Names

  • Board Members / Trustees:
    Clyde Layne -Chairperson
-U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Arlington, VA
    Mary Stelletello -Vice Chairperson
-Senior Associate
La Piana Associates
Emeryville, CA
    Alan Wolf -Legal Counsel
Robbins, Salomon and Patt, Ltd.
Chicago, IL
    Dayton Vorhees, M.D. -Medical Director 
Corrales, NM

    Samantha Barbee
-CFO and VP, Finance, Administration and IT
International Youth Foundation
Washington, DC
    Elizabeth Blowers-Nyman
-Senior Director, Health Policy and External Affairs Merck Vaccine Division
Merck & Co., Inc.
Collegeville, PA
    Phil Bratten
-Manager - Policies and Compliance
HJ Heinz Company
Pittsburgh, PA
    Kelly Burkholder
Burkholder Ullmann Cotton Co., Inc.
Fresno, CA
    Lauren Cantor
-Executive Director, Interest Rate Derivatives
UBS Investment Bank
Stamford, CT
    Edward C. Cazier
-International Production Development
Maersk Olie og Gas AS
Copenhagen, Denmark
    Karen Crossley
Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission
Madison, WI
    Thomas J. Edwards
-Vice President-Investments
Wells Fargo Advisors
Houston, TX
    Stephanie Falkenstein
-Marketing Manager
IAC Search and Media
    Eitan Fenson
-Founder and CEO
InPoint Systems, Inc.
Los Altos, CA
    Martha Freedman
-Houston, TX
    Karen Grover
-Director, Education Services
Kansas City, MO
    Andrew Howick, Chapter Representative-
Director of Program Development
Univ. of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics
Middleton, WI
    Sarah Johnson
-Principal Program Associate and Deputy Director
Center for Leadership and Management
Management Sciences for Health
Cambridge, MA
    Robert E. Lee
-Vice President-Financial Advisor
Merrill Lynch
Houston, TX
    Justin Nelson
-Seattle, WA
    Steven Otillar
Baker & McKenzie LLP
Houston, TX
    Scott Roberts
-Retired, Royal Dutch Shell
Houston, TX
    Lisa Roney, Chapter Representative
-Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC
    Rishi Schweig
-Point Reyes, CA
    Susan Stevenson
-SVP for Strategy and Business Development
Sister to Sister Foundation
Washington DC
    Dorn R. Wenninger
-Vice President, Global Supply Chain
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Jim Zimmermann
-General Manager – Land
MHI Partnership, Ltd.
Houston, TX

    Julia Mergendollar -Project Director 
Herrera, Panama
    Beca Wing
-Project Director
Oaxaca, Mexico

    Mario Molina 
-CFO & Director of Administration
Amigos de las Américas
Houston, TX
    Emily Untermeyer 
-Executive Director/President
Amigos de las Américas
Houston, TX

  • Executive Director / President:
  • Emily Untermeyer, MPH
    Kristin Kaper, MPH 
-Vice President Programs
    Mario Molina, MBA
-Chief Financial Officer
Vice President of Administration

Staff Names

  • Key Staff:
  • Tari Bariwei -Financial Services Associate
    Elizabeth Bonilla-Contreras
-Administrative Assistant
    Luke Carriere
-Alumni Services Associate
    Jesse Corvino
-Regional Director
(Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras & Paraguay)
    Holly del Junco
-Program Associate
    Allison Fishbein
-Correspondent Volunteer Program Associate
    Jacque Perna Fuller
-Information Associate
    Erin Hein
-Marketing and Communication Manager
    Sara Lamson
-Managing Director of Latin American Programs
    Kate McGuire
-Senior Regional Director
(Nicaragua & Panama)
    Rosivel Merino
-Senior Administrative Assistant
    Heidi McPherson
-Managing Director of Training
    Daniel Pacheco
-Correspondent Volunteer Program Manager
    Jennifer Politi
-Manager, Annual Giving
    Reed Renfrow
-Chapter Services Associate
    Jesús Rodríguez 
-Executive Assistant to the President
    Celdie Sanabria
-Managing Director Volunteer Services
    Jill Sanders
-Manager, Legacy Giving


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • Tax ID: