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.

Program Details

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 to implement the Youth Ambassadors program across the Americas. CIED/GU manages the inbound exchanges for students from Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, and 12 nations in the Caribbean. In addition, CIED/GU conducts outbound exchanges for U.S. students to Central America.

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.

Impact

This program strengthens the leadership skills of young people from the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States, and builds bonds of friendship and understanding between people of the Americas.


Case Studies

Edwin Morataya standing in front of a park water fountain

Edwin Morataya

Youth Ambassador Alum receives prestigious Walton International Scholarship award to attend Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas to study computer science.

“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, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Related News

Youth Ambassadors Goes Virtual!

October 10th, 2020

When the COVID crisis hit and travel plans were cancelled, Twenty-four (24) U.S. youth and teachers took part in an innovative virtual exchange that focused on leadership development training and cross-cultural connections.

Two Youth Ambassador students looking at a display. students

Youth Ambassadors Visit the United States

March 1st, 2019

CIED’s first program of 2019 was the Youth Ambassadors Spanish-language group. The 43 participants from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Panama participated in a three-week leadership development exchange in the United States from January 22 to February 9.

Youth Ambassador students in an agricultural nursery.

Youth Ambassadors Three-Week Exchange to the Dominican Republic

October 19th, 2018

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.