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Molly Abbruzzese, President

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Amigos! I was a volunteer with the Seattle Chapter in 1982 and 1983, giving vaccinations and building latrines, respectively, in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.  I am grateful to Amigos for inspiring my career path – I studied global health and development, volunteered with the Peace Corps in Ecuador, and have now come full circle, working in Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  What I love the most about Amigos is how it empowers youth – and I am super proud that my daughter was a participant in 2017! Email me at


Lilia Fannin, Fundraising Coordinator

Hola! I was a 1977 Seattle Chapter AMIGOS volunteer in Nicaragua where I gave polio and DPT/Tetanus vaccinations in the Aldeas surrounding San Miguelito.  It’s absolutely amazing how AMIGOS gives opportunities for students to have amazing life changing experiences. This is my third year as a board member and I look forward to supporting our chapter in Fundraising.  Please support the Seattle Chapter through our traditional holiday citrus sales. We are also adding coffee to our fundraising events this year.  Please check back soon to order your citrus and coffee!  Muchas gracias!


Emma Schnee, Training Director

I was a volunteer in Cotopaxi, Ecuador in 2014, which was an influential experience. Since then I stayed involved with Amigos through being a veteran trainer for the Marin chapter and being a Project Supervisor on the Palmares, Costa Rica project summer of 2019. I have learned immensely from every role I have held with Amigos and am excited to be starting as Training Director this year. Aside from Amigos I am finishing up my time at the University of Washington studying International Studies and Entrepreneurship! What keeps me coming back to Amigos is the amazing community, and the intercultural connections and appreciation that is formed. Get in touch with me at


Clara Yardley, Assistant Training Director

Buenas buenas! Soy Clara. I am a senior at the University of Washington studying International Studies and Global Health. I am very excited to be the assistant training director for the 2019-2020 training year. While I have not been an Amigo volunteer myself, I have participated in similar cultural immersion programs, as well as social entrepreneurship and leadership programs in Latin America, India, and here in the U.S. I also have many friends who have participated in the program, and have loved hearing about and learning from their experiences. I believe deeply in the power of young people to shape our world– you all are our future! I’m really looking forward to diving into this training year and preparing volunteers for the experience of a lifetime. Reach me at



Sam Vaux, Training Advisor

Hola! I was first introduced to AMIGOS in high school and had the chance to spend 8 weeks in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. In this short time, I was able to grow so much as an individual and learn about my capabilities as a leader. I learned to appreciate the beauty in the Spanish language and the culture surrounding it. My experience with AMIGOS showed me the power of young people to foster relationships, implement sustainable community projects and be positive role models. AMIGOS had an incredibly positive impact on my life and I stay involved because I see the transformation of so many young students to culturally curious global citizens.


Dr. Edward La Cava, Medical Director

Dr. La Cava is a clinician/clinical investigator endocrinologist at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, WA.  Previously, he has served as the Chief of Endocrinology and Diabetes and chair of the Department of Medicine at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland, WA, and founded Evergreen Diabetes and Endocrinology Group, PLLC. He completed his endocrinology/diabetes fellowship at the University of Washington/VA Medical Center in Seattle, WA. Dr. La Cava has served on the Faculty of Medicine at both the University of Washington and the University of Southern California. He is a Fellow with the American College of Endocrinology and a former senior editor of the ADA’s Diabetes Forecast Magazine. He has been listed in Best Doctors in America (2005-2006, 2007-2008, and 2011), Seattle Magazine as a Top Doctor (2013-2014), and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine (2014-2015). Additionally, he has was awarded the National Patient’s Choice Award in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. Dr. La Cava has lectured regionally, nationally and internationally (Argentina, Germany, Mainland China, Mexico, and Puerto Rico) on topics related to diabetes, as well as endocrinology and male Hypogonadism.


Jill Chelimer, Secretary

I am a Spanish teacher at Shorewood High School, in the Shoreline district, where I have taught for more than twenty years.  Many of my students have participated in Amigos over the years.   While I didn’t participate in Amigos myself, the cultural exchange and language immersion that Amigos provides has always seemed very powerful to me.  It reminds me of the experience that I had as an exchange student in Costa Rica in 1992.  I’m proud to say that my daughter was a volunteer with Amigos in the Dominican Republic in Summer 2019!


Tom Lucas, Treasurer

I am serving as the Treasurer for Amigos Seattle. I have been involved indirectly over the years through my sister Molly (President). I am happy to be able to contribute directly to this wonderful organization as the Treasurer. I grew up in Bellevue, and have lived in the area for most of my life. I have worked at Microsoft for the last 23 years. Still there!  Currently, I am a software engineering manager.  Although, I used to be an accountant in an earlier life.

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Charity EIN: 23-7209800

PO Box 30129
Seattle, WA 98113
T: (425) 610-8239