Who we are

International Samaritan focuses on community-level aid to raise the standard of living in entire neighborhoods. We also focus on a very tailored and holistic approach: when we enter a community, we work with that community to understand their needs and then bring in programs that address those specific needs, either directly through International Samaritan or through partnerships with other nonprofits or government agencies.

For International Samaritan considers itself present in a community when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • We have a team of locally-hired individuals overseeing our programs.
  • We have established an academic scholarship program that serves students from pre-K through college or trade school.
  • We have at least one of our other programs present in the community.

Paso a Paso Scholarship Program

Present in: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua

Due to the challenges facing the community we serve, most students have to drop out of school by the end of 6th grade – either because there aren’t schools in commuting distance, tuition fees are too high, or families need the extra hands to help feed the family. Easily our largest program, International Samaritan offers a scholarship program that assists students from nursery age through college or trade school. Besides covering school enrollment fees, our scholarships are designed to assist in covering other school-related basic needs that, without them, often leads to students dropping out of school: School supplies, uniforms, transportation to and from school, and food. Our goal through our scholarship program is to give students the resources so that they don’t have to drop out of school to work in garbage dumps.

By Timothy Bouldry

Learn, serve, grow partnership curriculum

Present in: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua

International Samaritan wants to help cultivate a heart of service in all of our partners. That’s why, beginning in 2020, we’re asking all of our partners to join us for Learn, Serve, Grow, an approach dedicated to taking service and partnership to new heights. The program includes LEARN, a way for partners to learn in-depth about garbage dump communities and extreme poverty – and help our scholars learn as well; SERVE, our maintained core of service both abroad and from home; and GROW, where we ask students to take all they have learned and act as advocates for communities facing extreme poverty worldwide, helping us reach even more individuals and communities who need aid.  

By Timothy Bouldry

Health & Wellness Initiatives

Present in: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua

Many families in the communities we serve are unable to get proper medical care. They are also consistently exposed to waste and pollutants in the garbage dumps and can lack access to proper nutrition and safe water. All of these combine to lower their average life expectancy to 35 years of age. International Samaritan aims to improve the health and well-being of people in these communities by working with local health care providers to increase access and addressing structural and environmental factors of health. This includes building and supporting medical and dental clinics, improving water and sanitation infrastructure, promoting health education and providing supplies to protect families from diseases such as Covid-19. 

We also provide opportunities for medical and dental professionals and regular people to assist us in providing health care in these communities through medical mission trips and telemedicine initiatives. These are cooperative efforts with professionals on the ground in order to provide the most sustainable and excellent care possible.  

If you’re interested in volunteering on a medical mission in the future or helping with a telemedicine initiative from your own home now, check out our medical missions page or email Dan Piaskowski at dan@intsam.org.

By Timothy Bouldry
By Timothy Bouldry
By Timothy Bouldry

Capital Investment Projects

Present in: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua

25 years ago, International Samaritan started with providing family housing in Guatemala. We have continued this tradition and expanded upon it: not only building homes, but community centers, health clinics, recreational areas, libraries, communal sanitation centers, and schools. We hire contractors from the community for these projects, aiming to provide jobs as a secondary goal for our capital investment projects.

In the wake of COVID-19, we’ve been giving special priority to investment projects that promote health and sanitation, including digging new wells, building communal hand washing stations and water fountains, and building or partnering with health and wellness clinics. 

By Timothy Bouldry

See our impact in real time by following us on social media.

About Us

International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan.

View our Privacy Policy.


(734) 222-0701

803 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

M-F: 9am-5pm, S-S: Closed