Most of the Gold Coast members are from San Luis Obispo County but there are members from all areas of California and Arizona. Flying Samaritans International has 10 divisions operating clinics in 10-12 remote areas of Baja California.

The majority of the missions are held over 3-day weekends making it an easy commitment for medical professionals, translators, pilots, and students. The Gold Coast division usually goes on the third weekend of the month, leaving on Friday morning and returning on Sunday.

Operating under Flying Samaritans International, a 501(c)3 organization which holds quarterly board meetings in rotating locations, the Gold Coast membership meets monthly in San Luis Obispo.

The first mission of The Flying Samaritans was in October 1961.


The Flying Sams History

Many have visited Mama Espinoza's Restaurant in El Rosario. The Flying Samaritans was born in El Rosario back in 1961. An American pilot, Aileen Saunders Mellott, with her friends returning to San Diego from La Paz was forced to land near the village of El Rosario. There she met Doña Anita Espinoza. Impressed by her and grateful for the assistance they received they decided to make a return trip to bring gifts and clothes to the needy village. A doctor, Dale E. Hoyt, came along.

The village had no regular medical services. Little did they know that an organization had just been born, The Flying Samaritans. They are doctors, nurses, and caring individuals that offer free medical services to remote villages and people who could otherwise not afford care. El Rosario calls them the Flying Angels. The first clinics were in the Doña Anita's home. The organization has handled over 250,000 patient visits since its founding.

La Doña Anita Espinoza has 112 living relatives spanning five generations. She traveled by wagon with her mother for 22 days in 1912 from El Rosario to Calexico, CA to escape the Mexican Revolution. The wagon used was recently restored and returned to her.