Jóvenes En Acción

Country: Mexico    |   Duration: September 2012 to April 2017    |   Funders: Secretaría de Educación Pública , US Dept. of State - Bureau of Educational and Cult    |   Contact:  youthprograms@worldlearning.org LEARN MORE

Program Description

Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action), is a four-week summer exchange program in the U.S. focused on civic education, community service, and youth leadership development for Mexican high school students.

The program includes subthemes that focus on how local communities can develop a culture of lawfulness by addressing problems related to gangs; violence; substance abuse;  bullying; human rights; social disintegration; access to a clean environment, financial literacy; creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; and technologies and methodologies for English language learning.

Participants engage in a variety of activities such as workshops on leadership and service, community site visits related to program themes, interactive training, presentations, and visits to high schools, supplementary English language classes, and local cultural activities.

Follow-on activities with participants are an integral part of the program. Students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired by planning and carrying out service projects in their home communities.

Program Cycle

Students travel to the U.S. in July, and visit World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. The students then participate in homestays in cities across the U.S. before concluding their program in Washington, DC.

Alumni conferences are held regionally throughout Mexico, as well as annually in Mexico City. 


The program taught me I can be a part of change in the world, and that I can influence another generation.

2016 Jóvenes en Acción participant

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Program Goals

(as defined by the U.S. Department of State)

  • Promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and Mexico;
  • Prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities; and
  • Nurture a cadre of students to be actively engaged in addressing issues of concern in their schools and communities upon their return home, and to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become citizen activists. 



The whole program was an amazing experience...I learned a lot and met some of the most important people I may ever know.

2015 Jóvenes en Acción participant

Examples of Jóvenes en Acción Alumni Projects

¡No te bajes, espera tu parada! (Don’t get off, wait for your stop!) – Youth in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, created a peer tutoring program in their school to help students succeed in their studies. They are also coordinating workshops and motivational speakers for after school events.

No conoces mi historia. (You don’t know my story.) – Youth in Monterrey, Nuevo León, have been facilitating anti-bullying, leadership, and positive values workshops in their high school as well as a local preschools and elementary schools.

Alza la mano por un hogar sano. (Raise your hand for a healthy home.) – Youth in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, have been leading monthly workshops and conferences for parents and high school-aged students to teach tools for managing healthy relationships.


I feel so happy and proud that my example and my actions are the guide for other young people.

2014 Jóvenes en Acción participant


During a Digital Story Telling Workshop in Vermont Jóvenes en Acción participants were challenged with creating a short two-minute video to capture their Host Community programs, highlighting host families, professional visits, volunteer activities and the qualities that made their host community unique. Videos created by 2016 program participants can be found at:


Program Links

Visit Jóvenes en Acción on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.