About Amistad International
Amistad International serves impoverished people at the request of communities
around the world. Our objective is to share our knowledge and resources as they
are needed and wanted, understanding many cultures are fragile and even in danger
of disappearing completely. Our goal is to be in solidarity with developing communities,
helping as we are able yet leaving as small a footprint as possible.
We believe in empowering indigenous cultures by sponsoring literacy classes,
education, and promotion of enlightened community leadership. Toward this end,
we provide scholarships for worthy students. Our scholars are now pursuing careers
in teaching, nutrition, nursing, ministry, agriculture and the trades, having
returned to their communities as role models and leaders.
In various countries we enable villages to build water systems, small solar projects,
and chicken and livestock businesses. We help families to build small homes and
start micro-enterprises. We promote sustainable agriculture, family planning
and adult literacy. We help to sponsor many projects around the world. Here are
a few of them:
- Sponsorship of a primary school for Untouchable caste children in Varanasi,
Uttar Pradesh, India. Founder and director, Rajan Kaur.
- We help to sponsor the Achlal School for impoverished children in the
ger (yurt) district of Mongolia's capital, Ulan Bator. Achlal School provides
a free education for children who have no families, or who live and work
in the city dump. We help abandoned women and impoverished families in
Mongolia start micro enterprises such as sewing, boot making, and market
stalls and we sponsor schools, clothing and food for impoverished children
in the Gobi Desert. We support students in higher education, provide medical
care, and purchase gers (yurts) and livestock for destitute nomadic families.
- In Zimbabwe, we sponsor the Murwira Orphanage, founded and directed
by volunteer, Paula Leen. The orphanage outreach includes dams, wells,
orchards, and gardens for food production. Program services include transportation
of the ill and injured to hospitals and clinics, medicines, and clothing
- Amistad provides assistance for the Lambano Sanctuary, a home for infants
and toddlers with HIV+ in Kensington, Johannesburg, South Africa. Founded
by Melanie Streicher in 2000.
Founded by Karen Hanson Kotoske and Thomas E. Kotoske, Amistad Foundation
was incorporated in 1980 in California.
Our initial project served the Huichol Indians living in one of Mexico’s
poorest regions, the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains. Our first project
was to help the flying medical clinic begun in 1953 by pilot William Baxter.
In the mid-1980’s, at the request of the Huichol, we began community development
projects to improve Huichol health and prosperity. We’ve since helped communities
build water systems, school libraries and kitchens, teachers’ offices, a
dental clinic, solar light projects, a community center, poultry programs
and provide hot meals for students. Student scholarships for higher education
and dental clinics began in the 1990’s. Also in the 1990s we began community
development among other Mexican indigenous tribes.
In 1996, we began expanding our community development work in more than
dozen other countries. In 2001 we changed our name to Amistad International,
thus reflecting our expanding global outreach.
Karen Hanson Kotoske
Board of Directors
Thomas E. Kotoske, President
Melanie Reiber Boyd, Treasurer
Martha Rudolph, Secretary
Loren Seibold Ph.D.
Alan Latta, DDS
Richard Macias M.D.
Peter Nelson, DDS
Suzanne Nelson R. D. H.
Dagoberto Cirilo Sanchez
Carmen Ajo Seibold R.N. M.Div.
Vesna Wallace, Ph.D.
Amistad International is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization operating
under IRS code 170b 1A (vi) and is a public charity. We have been incorporated
in the state of California since 1980.