*TRIP INFORMATION BELOW DETAILS THE “TYPICAL” TRIP BUT PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT DEPENDING ON LOCATION AND DATE, SPECIFICS MAY VARY. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR TRIP LEADER FOR MORE DETAILS*

SINGLE DAY TRIPS (Tecate, Tijuana or Local):

  • Funded by volunteer
  • 1-2 Optometrists with 4-6 Optometry students, unlimited lay volunteers
  • Generally we meet at the USA-Mexico border early in the AM on a Saturday. We will either drive across or walk across depending on location of site. Single day trips usually occur on Saturdays but can vary. Typically we see 30-60 patients. In Tecate, we are able to send patients across the hall for same day, fully funded cataract surgery done by volunteer Ophthalmologists and Ophthalmology Residents.
  • We usually wrap up by 3-4 and start making our way back to the USA!

MULTI-DAY OR WEEK LONG TRIPS (Internationally)

  • Reserved for Optometry students and Volunteer Optometrists
  • Usually occur over student spring break
  • Locations may vary, please see Calendar for details
  • Please contact your trip leader for very SPECIFIC details about your trip

Healing California Clinics was established in 2018 and offers vision and dental services at “Stand Down” events for low income and homeless veterans. They currently have an auto-refractor, lensometer, 2 slit lamps, an I-Care tonometer, five tripod phoropter stands and two patternless edgers. They have the capacity to examine about 200 patients each day and fabricate about 200 pairs of single vision  eyeglasses on-site. Custom bifocals are ordered through the Essilor Vision Foundation for dispensing later. Healing California has 20 clinics planned throughout California in 2020.


If you are going on a VOSH trip, you must be a VOSH California member and sign the Legal Release Form. In almost 50 missions, VOSH/California has never had a participant injured. We have had our share of insect bites and “Montezuma’s Revenge” but never any serious ailments. Our trips are planned by highly seasoned travel and mission specialists. Planning includes air arrangements, immigration and visa preparation, local transportation, local housing, meals during the clinic hours, translators and security. We have traveled to El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua during times of civil strife. Our clinics ran without incident in every location visited. Local hosts were careful to avoid serious trouble spots and local police and private security assured uneventful missions. We provide all VOSH teams with USA team leaders and local hosts with exceptional language and cultural capabilities. Our purpose is to have an enjoyable and fun-filled trip. We go to extraordinary lengths to provide that experience of a lifetime.

Handy Packing Tips: Here are some handy guidelines for traveling with VOSH/CA. Be sure that you membership is paid.  Trips are reserved for members only! Have a current passport. Photocopy the front page of the passport and keep in separate location. Have name tag on all luggage. You will be notified if a VISA is required and we coordinate this for you. Always a good idea to have current Hepatitis A & B shots. Specific areas require additional shots: we’ll let you know what is needed! Doxycycline tablets (100mg: once a day) are a great anti-malarial and terrific as prevention for intestinal problems. Bring all medications as a carry-on. Sun block is usually essential. Bring a spare set of glasses and spare contact lenses. Pack light- maximum of one check-in and one carry-on. Bring good walking shoes. Jeans and Dockers are perfect.  Many countries frown on women in shorts! One good outfit for local social events. Leave ties, suits and prom dresses at home! Check the Internet for international weather. Light rain gear as needed. Light jacket or sweater depending on altitude and time of year. Bathing suit and towel for the beach.  Many sites don’t have large bath towels! Sunglasses.

Doctors should bring their re-chargeable hand tools, cover paddle, penlight2 or 3 tools for dispensing. Bring 1 or 2 bottles of mydriatic and topical anesthetic. A box of handy-wipes for clinic hygiene. Bring one roll of toilet paper (from home) for the special remote locations.