International Samaritan

International Samaritan

Non-profit Less

International Samaritan

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International Samaritan, or IS, formerly known as Central American Ministries (CAM), is a non-profit organization headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan near the campus of The University of Michigan. Its mission is to alleviate the gross poverty in garbage dump communities across the globe and raise consciousness about the living conditions of the poor in the developing world.

International Samaritan offers service learning trip for students, medical personnel, and others to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, and Egypt. With the help of its partners, the organization builds schools, nurseries, homes, medical facilities, community centers, adult training schools and funds microloans and food programs.

Immediate goals include expanding services in Egypt, where 40,000 people live in the Cairo City Dump, as well as Nicaragua (10,000 in LaChureca City Dump) and the Philippines (12,000 in Manila City Dump). International Samaritan's ten-year plan is to extend services to Cambodia, Panama, and Sierra Leone.


International Samaritan was founded in 1995 by Jesuit priest Father Don Vettese. In the summer of 1994, the former president of St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy took several students from the high school to Guatemala City, Guatemala. While driving, their van came upon a car accident and was detoured. Traffic brought the van to a halt at the 750-acre city dump. At the time of their visit, the Guatemala City Dump allowed children to work in the dump collecting...
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