THE STORY OF AMA
In 2017 a small team of 3 from Grand Rapids, Michigan, traveled to Zapopan, Mexico, with a dream to make a difference. While there, they met some amazing people, and their visions aligned. A bridge was created with a unified goal to love and serve vulnerable communities. The American team’s international programs date back to 2014, and the first trip abroad was in 2016; however, it wasn't until 2017 that Ama was born and given an identity. Then, we became an international organization. The word “Ama” actually means love in Spanish. We chose to create this logo as a representation of giving and receiving. Our logo serves as a visual representation of this concept, reflecting our mission to spread love and compassion through our work.
Ama was incorporated in 2018 and awarded our 501c3 Public Charity Nonprofit status from the federal government in 2019.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Ama actively supported vulnerable communities by providing essential supplies and resources. Our efforts included distributing over 70,000 masks in Kent County, feeding 4,500 people in Michigan, and assisting 20,000 individuals in Mexico. We partnered with local organizations, engaged volunteer delivery drivers, and established crucial collaborations to reach those in need.
Ama serves an area in Zapopan with over 300,000 people living in extreme poverty. Areas of make-shift housing, no running water, no electricity, and a lot of disparity. The people in these neighborhoods are some of the kindest and most hospitable humans you will ever meet, deserving of the opportunity to grow and develop their lives.
We aim to avoid toxic charity, focusing on sustainability, consistency, and trackable growth. With this in mind, we work to build lasting relationships with the communities we serve. Our community outreach programs allow us to maintain relationships as well as bring joy to the neighborhoods of Zapopan.
Taking inspiration from Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we look at each person we serve as a whole person, understanding that basic needs must be met before one can be educated and empowered. Providing humanitarian relief is the first step towards being able to transform lives in poverty with education.
Ama has served an estimated 200,000 human beings since its inception.
Ama has expanded its impact by initiating workforce development and mentorship programs in the United States, specifically targeting vulnerable and underserved communities. Our vision is to replicate these successful pilot programs not only across the United States but also in Mexico, Latin America, and beyond, creating a long-term global impact.