YAPSA Stories 2: Learning from a unique perspective

by Daniel Alexander

In October of 2017, Amizade welcomed a group of high schools students and adult mentors from Peru, for the third annual Youth Ambassadors Program with South America, or YAPSA. YAPSA, is a unique exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. In this Second installment of the YAPSA blog series, we’re going to revisit some of the lessons learned by the youth ambassadors, while delving deeper into their cross-cultural journey through Pittsburgh and Washington D.C.

From learning new sports to engaging with their host families, these young travelers had the opportunity to experience American culture from a unique perspective, which allowed them to grow as leaders and global citizens. Now, that they have returned to their home country, they are putting all the knowledge they gained towards the implementation of community action projects.

Stay tuned to our blog for exciting updates from these young leaders!

Stories shared on Instagram using the hashtag #AmizadeGSL and #YapsaPeruvianos.


Leesa Regalado

“Playing sports is an exciting hobby, but creating, developing and sharing a new sport with people is the best thing I have ever heard. Today, we met Greg Manley of City of Play, who created this new sport called “Circle Rules Football.” We learned that even though some goals look really difficult to achieve and we have a lot of fears in doing it, we have to fight for them. We have to fight to make all those goals real.”

Anthony Salazar

“It’s been more than a week here, and I realized a lot of things. One of them is wherever you go; you will meet a lot of kinds of people. You would think that you only see beautiful families in your city or town, but that is not right. On this trip, I had the opportunity to meet the Rosenberg Family, who were my host family, I stayed in their house for some days, and I saw that they are lovely people. They are unique, and I’m so thankful for staying with them. I never thought I would meet this kind of people, but I had this chance, and I am going to enjoy every moment of it. It’s been only a week with them, and I already feel like part of their family.”

Anghela Ruiz

“Today I learned how we can change the world, and how many things I can see through the keyhole. Because there’s no we without me, and there’s no me without we.”

Cynthia Pinchi

“Always keep in mind: I am because we are and we are because I am. Your roots make your story, and the most important thing is that don’t forget it.
Thank you Ujamaa Collective for showing us the huge value everyone has. The strength of women and furthermore of black people, minorities that everyday fight against the divided society.”

Ana Fernanda Juro

“I’m thankful for all the new knowledge I got today at different museums and monuments, and for a great time I had with my friends. American history is fascinating. I learned that if you want your people to be proud and identify with their country, you need to give them the opportunity to learn about it, and make them feel loved, for all the good and bad times people had to face to make their country a fantastic and safe place where to live.”

Cesar Ramirez

Steven Garcia

“Learning while serving! Now, it’s time to use this knowledge to develop our Community Action Projects. Let’s go! We can create a big change.”