Parent Organization: Vanderbilt
AMIGOS is an organization focused on uniting students with a passion for the Spanish language and Latino culture to serve and empower the Latino community in Nashville. Not only do we connect volunteers directly with volunteer opportunities in the greater Nashville area, but we seek to advocate for this community and celebrate the diversity that they bring to our city. On campus, our mission is to instill volunteers with a passion for service and a love for all people regardless of culture, background, or status.
Our primary role is as a liaison and supplier of volunteers to our 9 (an ever-expanding list) community partners, but we also have a major campus fundraiser once per semester and send volunteers on a service trip to Honduras over Spring Break. The current volunteer programs we offer include tutoring, legal translating, medical interpreting, youth mentorship, ESL classes, and more.
AMIGOS was founded in 2008 by Ingram Scholar Laura Ballenger ((BA 2010, MD 2014), inspired by the service-learning course offered by Dr. Elena Olazagasti-Segovia, Spanish for Oral Communication. Since then, there have been several milestones. Under the presidency of Emily Hogan (BA 2011), in 2010 AMIGOS hosted Latina speaker, Enedina Casarez Vasquez. AMIGOS commitment to the Latino Community was recognized in 2015 with the Outstanding International Student Organization Award (Dora Saclarides BA 2015, MA 2017). Thanks to the leadership of Jeremy “Britt” Hatcher (BS 2017) and Alexandra “Sasha” Thompson (BA 2017), two major events were instituted: Calle Commodore and the Spring Break service trip.
In the 2015-2016 school year, AMIGOS experienced a period of rapid expansion, with over 500 service hours logged at our nine different volunteer projects. Our first Spring Break medical brigade was a huge success, with volunteers receiving the highest praise from the leadership of our local partner (Central American Relief Efforts). In the 2016-2017 year, with significant contributions from VP of Expansion Lauren Lambert (BA 2019), AMIGOS focused on improving our relationships with community partners and expanding our campus and community presence. Over 600 hours of service were logged, and Calle Commodore raised over $1,100 for the second annual Spring Break trip to Honduras.
We are looking forward to another incredible year of learning to love, respect, and serve the Latino community around us in Nashville, bridging the gap between people in an effort to spread a message of love and compassion. Join us this year!!!!