The Flying Samaritans is an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing underserved populations in Mexico with free health services via clinics, hospitals, and other facilities in various communities. There are currently chapters in Arizona, California and Mexico. With the collaboration of DIF, the UCSD branch of the Flying Samaritans was founded in the year 2000 as a member of the Palomar Chapter. Unlike the other Chapters, the branches of the Palomar Chapter do not fly. Since we operate clinics just across the border, we drive each month. The Palomar Chapter operates six clinics. Two are for eye care, an optometry clinic and an opthalmology clinic, co-located in Tecate. The other four are general medicine and dentistry (when a dentist is available) and are located in El Hongo (east of Tecate), El Testerazo (between Tecate and Ensenada), Chapultepec (near Ensenada) and Valle Redondo (between Tecate and Tijuana). The four general medicine clinics are each run by a different student organization, from UCSD, UCI (pre-med and med) and UCR/Cal State Fullerton.
The UCSD Flying Samaritans run a general medicine clinic in the Chapultepec region near Ensenada. Throughout the year we gather donations, fundraise, and coordinate other activities, all revolving around the operation of our clinic. Monthly, we drive down to Ensenada with donations, medicines, health care professionals, and volunteers to open our clinic. A typical trip sees an average of 30 patients. The Flying Samaritans aren’t just students. Members also include professionals from many different walks of life interested in helping provide healthcare services at no charge to the people in Baja California, Mexico who otherwise have no access to medical care. We are physicians, nurses, dentists, translators , technicians, social scientists, volunteers, and many other people. We are a non-sectarian organization and our bylaws clearly establish that our purpose is to offer medical assistance and education to the underserved people in rural areas of Mexico. All Flying Samaritan Clinics are operated free of charge to patients.
The Flying Samaritans currently has over 1500 members internationally and is governed by an International Board of Directors with representatives from all ten chapters. The Flying Samaritans is an organization recognized as exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.