Voluntourism: Assisting The Flying Doctors in Mexico

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  07.02.07 | 2:50 PM ET

imageThe first time I ran into a couple of Flying Doctors was in the tiny, dusty Baja town of El Rosario, a wide spot in the two-lane Transpeninsular Highway about half a day’s drive south of the border. They’d just dropped in for a short while and were having lunch at Mama Espinoza’s. In addition to offering much-needed medical aid to locals, they seemed to be having the time of their lives. In Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle story about volunteer opportunities in Mexico, I learned The Flying Doctors also sometimes travel with mere civilians. Writes Janice Green, who volunteered with the group known in Spanish as Los Médicos Voladores: “Besides medical volunteers, LMV welcomes translators, pilots and unskilled folks like me—I learned to test for blood glucose levels a week before the trip.”

Green found herself with seven others in Bahía Tortugas, at a makeshift clinic they opened at 8 a.m., working hard.

“Like many volunteers, I’ve found there’s little work more soul-satisfying,” whe writes. “And for those interested in visiting Mexico beyond the tourist sights, there are scores of volunteer opportunities. Most include food, lodging, training and local transportation—but not airfare to Mexico—in their cost, some of which may be tax-deductible.”

Greene notes a number of other opportunities, as well, including monitoring reefs and teaching English with Global Vision International in the Yucatán and teaching English in Queretaro and Dolores Hidalgo via Global Volunteers.

Related on World Hum:
* Ask Rolf: I Want to Volunteer Abroad. Are There Any Programs Without High Fees?
* An Island in Costa Rica
* Tsunamis Bring Out the Best in Travelers

Photo by nalilo via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

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