Youth Ambassadors

Youth Ambassadors is a cultural exchange program designed to strengthen the leadership skills of young people from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. It builds bonds of friendship and understanding between people of the Americas and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

La aplicación para candidatos de Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panamá y la República Dominicana para el año 2019 está actualmente vigente del 1 al 26 de octubre de 2018.

El programa Jóvenes Embajadores ofrece becas completas para participantes de 15 a 18 años (y adultos chaperones) con el propósito de fortalecer sus conocimientos en las áreas de responsabilidad cívica y emprendimiento social. Para los participantes de los países nombrados el intercambio cultural en los Estados Unidos se llevará a cabo del 22 de enero al 9 de febrero de 2019.

Los criterios específicos para los candidatos son los siguientes:

  • Costa Rica: Los candidatos deben ser estudiantes o maestros del programa ACCESS y residentes del cantón Pérez Zeledón para ser elegibles.
  • Guatemala: Los candidatos deben ser residentes de los municipios de Santa Bárbara o Malacatancito en el departamento de Huehuetenango para ser elegibles.
  • Panamá: Los candidatos deben ser estudiantes o maestros del programa ACCESS y residentes de Chiriquí para ser elegibles.
  • República Dominicana: Los candidatos deben ser residentes de Bonao o Jarabacoa para ser elegibles.

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 Program Goals

The program aims to develop a cadre of young adults who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, an awareness of current & global issues, and strong interpersonal leadership skills. Activities foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups; with the goal of promoting mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between the United States and our Western Hemisphere counterparts.

In December of 2017, CIED/Georgetown University joined a consortia led by World Learning and including Amigos de las Americas and SUNY Plattsburg, New York to implement the Youth Ambassadors program across the Americas. CIED/GU manages the inbound exchanges of students from Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela, as well as the outbound exchange of U.S. students to the Dominican Republic.

During the three-week exchanges, youth and adult mentor participants engage in workshops, meetings with community leaders, community service activities, interactive trainings, cultural presentations, visits to high schools, local cultural activities, homestays with host families, civic education programming, and more. Program themes of social entrepreneurship, environmental protection, and community development, enhance skills and knowledge and prepare participants for a lifetime of leadership and community service. The exchange agendas include ample time for face-to-face interaction and dialogue which build strong people-to-people connections.

Case Studies

The First Youth Ambassadors Program

A group of 25 Youth Ambassadors participants from Central America meet with American entrepreneurs.

“Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.”

-Kofi Annan

Related News


CIED Georgetown University is in need of a partner to manage the on-the-ground activities of recruiting and interviewing candidates, preparing them for their three-week exchange to the U.S., and providing them with support when they return home to become engaged in their communities.
CIED Georgetown manages the Youth Ambassadors Program in Central America. We work in cooperation in a consortium led by World Learning to bring together high school students and adult mentors from countries across the Americas to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.


This summer, CIED conducted a three-week exchange in the Dominican Republic for 29 U.S. Youth Ambassadors (American citizens from 14 states and the District of Columbia). The themes of the program were youth leadership, social entrepreneurship, and environmental protection. CIED partnered with the DREAM Project to develop educational and highly interactive exchange activities. After arriving in the capital of Santo Domingo and meeting with the U.S. Embassy and Peace Corps, participants traveled to the north coast where the spent nine days in the small community of Los Brazos. While there they lived with local families and participated in community service activities that included beautifying the community park and facilitating a summer camp for children and teens.