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.
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.
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.”