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Mission to Mexico

August 30, 1990

They come from hundreds of miles around--in the backs of pickup trucks, by taxi, some walking, others not.

From a 20-year-old girl who lost both her feet to disease to the farm worker who was thrown from a pickup truck, they seek new prostheses provided by Liga International, a philanthropic group also known as the "Flying Doctors of Mercy."

Liga's doctors, dentists and eye specialists regularly fly to Mexico to provide medical care. They treat patients and perform minor surgery. Members of the group, based in Santa Ana, have been providing these services for more than 55 years.

On a visit to Guaymas, Sonora, doctors and specialists from Southern California fitted 25 individuals with new prostheses, did minor surgery on more than 100 patients and arranged for several to be seen in U.S. hospitals. And while all services are provided free, it has its rewards, Liga members say: big smiles and un abrazo --a heartfelt embrace.

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