Amigos de las Americas: Sacramento-Davis Chapter
The Sacramento-Davis Chapter is a youth and community development organization that trains young people to actively engage their own community, think critically about social inequality, and implement sustainable community development praxes. The organization has operated since 2004 as a licensed chapter of Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS), which sends high school and college aged youth to Latin America to live and work as community organizers. Currently, the Sacramento-Davis Chapter is collaborating with the International Office of AMIGOS to develop a new local program that borrows from the existing models implemented in Latin America. Although the Sacramento-Davis Chapter has extensive experience training and placing youth from California’s Central Valley in Latin America through AMIGOS’ international based programs, developing the new locally focused program (currently named The Backyard Program) is a new and interesting venture.
The Backyard Program aims to provide the support and training necessary for young people to identify and respond to opportunities to enhance social equity in their community through innovative research methods and community development praxes. In line with AMIGOS’ approach to partnerships, youth leadership, and cross-cultural exchange, the Backyard Program collaborates with local agencies, empowers youth to participate and take on high levels of responsibility in the development process, and creates a safe and supportive environment for positive youth development and cross-cultural learning. The program is open to include teens from broad socio-economic and cultural backgrounds that live within the greater Sacramento area. The program runs all year and is flexible enough to support any and all youth led action geared towards youth and community development. The intention is to provide the AMIGOS international experience to more than privileged youth, increase visibility and AMIGOS community in the area, and set the foundation for a sustainably funded and staffed organization.