The mission of Amigos Multicultural Services Center is to promote respect for human rights and to advocate for the needs of immigrants from Latin America whose dignity and capabilities have been challenged by poverty, unjust treatment, and social exclusion.
Amigos is particularly proud of its Latino immigrant youth group Juventud FACETA (JF), founded in 2002, whose members range in age from 14-24. Most of the current twenty-three members of this group are from Mexico, but others are from Central and South America. Some have come from indigenous communities in Latin American Nations.
JF is aimed at youth leadership development and training youth to become human rights advocates. The youth engage in political analysis, strategic planning, and participatory research in order to push for adequate services and respect for immigrant and human rights in their community. Members of JF engage in human rights trainings and immigrant rights activities; learn the communication skills needed to conduct forums and workshops on immigrant rights as human rights; are given the tools to become peace makers; and acquire the abilities to do effective outreach and organizing work among other Latino youth and their families.
JF members have spoken on the radio, in classrooms, and at churches, conferences, and community forums. They have provided "know your rights" workshops; organized others to participate in immigrant rights rallies and forums; produced human rights videos for community-wide showings; and, contributed their knowledge, skills, and many talents to local cultural events.
JF members have been recognized as leaders in the Eugene area community and serve as important role models for all youth, including non-immigrants.
Amigos' Teresa Montes became our executive director in early 2012. Teresa was a member of our youth group Juventud FACETA and, like many of our youth, served as a youth member of Amigos' board of directors. She graduated from the University of Oregon and received a Master's in social work from Portland State University. Teresa practices clinical social work at a local agency. In that role she helps to close the gap in services for local immigrants and is now giving back to our community's youth and their families. Teresa is just one example of the positive impact that Amigos' Youth Program has had in developing leaders and human rights advocates in the Latino community. And there are many more examples we could highlight.