The mission of the North American Community Service (NACS) program is to enhance the capacity of young North Americans (Mexicans, Canadians and Americans) to understand and respond effectively to our shared cultural, environmental, social and economic challenges through cross-border exchange and voluntary youth service with community-based projects.


NACS has been developed by individuals from Canada, Mexico and the United States who are currently involved in designing and implementing community-based projects, cross-cultural exchanges, academic programs and international cooperation efforts. It builds on many years of experience on the part of both the individuals and the organizations that they represent and takes advantage of existing resources within collaborating organizations. NACS is a partnership among organizations involved in youth exchanges and community-based projects in the three countries and it will use their existing infrastructure to carry out its work. Primary responsibility for recruiting and overseeing the youth teams will be undertaken by Canada World Youth in Canada, Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico and the Student Conservation Association in the United States. With support from the North American Institute (NAMI), Canada World Youth will serve as the lead coordinating agency and contact point for NACS.


The inhabitants of the North American continent share resources as well as problems that require cooperation to manage. Economic integration means that the well-being of people and the natural environment in our three countries are increasingly interdependent.

The future of North America offers both promise and tremendous challenges. Our ability to achieve positive outcomes depends largely on our capacity to develop innovative approaches to dealing with both our new context and our long-standing problems. In effect, we require transformations in our ways of thinking and doing. Young people are often best-placed to undergo this type of transformation and cross-cultural experiences often provide the catalyst. Local communities are capable of the type of experimentation and innovation that may be difficult at other levels. By putting the two together in a spirit of volunteerism and cooperation, we hope to encourage a new understanding of our shared North American context along with the sense of responsibility and the skills required to invent a future which benefits all of the inhabitants of our continent.


To raise awareness on the part of North Americans (Mexicans, Canadians and Americans) of shared cultural, environmental, social and economic challenges and to increase their capacity to confront these challenges in collaboration with one another.

NACS Partners

Canada World Youth is a national, non-governmental organization that provides young people from Canada and around the world with the opportunity to travel, live and work in different communities, to learn about localand international development, and to gain important job skills for the future.

The Universidad Veracruzana is the premier institution for Higher Education in the State of Veracruz, Mexico. Established in 1944, the Universidad Veracruzana has a strong commitment and made many research contributions to the study of the Arts, Humanities, Literature, and Philosophy. It is located in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America's largest and oldest provider of national and community conservation service opportunities, outdoor education and career training for youth. SCA volunteers and interns annually perform more than one million hours of conservation service in national parks, forests, refuges, and urban areas in all 50 states.

Cornerstones Community Partnerships works in partnership with communities to restore historic structures, encourage traditional building practices, and reinforce cultural values.

The Columbia Basin Trust supports efforts by the people of the Basin to create a legacy of social, economic and environmental well-being and to achieve greater self-sufficiency for present and future generations.

For more information about the North American Community Service Program, contact:

David Griscom, Executive Director
708 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 982-3657
[email protected]

Sen. Jack Austin
The Senate of Canada
Victoria Building
140 Wellington Street, Room 304
Ottowa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A4
Tel: 613-992-1437
Fax: 613-995-7329
Email: [email protected]
708 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: 505.982.3657
Fax: 505.983.5840
Email: [email protected]
Amb. Jesus Reyes Heroles
Pestalozzi 522
Colonia del Valle
Mexico DF 03020
Tel: 011 52 555 639-3791
Fax: 011 52 555 639-4624
Email: [email protected]
© 2002 - 2017 The North American Institute
"The NACS program epitomizes the increasingly diverse and complex relationship between
the United States, Canada
and Mexico. This program
helps young adults recognize the value of being part of a larger North American community and teaches them the power an
virtue of voluntarism
and service."

—former US Ambassador
Jack Vaughn

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