Friends of the Poor has no paid staff or administrators.
100% of donated funds goes directly to those most in need.

Our Founder

Dr. Anita (white-haired) with friends at Casa de Los Pobres in Tijuana, Mexico.

Dr. Anita Figueredo

Co-founder and (former) President Emeritus

Dr. Anita Figueredo, who passed away in 2010, was a fulltime physician-surgeon and mother of nine. She exhibited a life-long concern for the physical and spiritual well-being of others, manifesting in non-stop efforts to address the most pressing issues of those in need, in a spirit of joyful, loving service. The first project of the organization she founded with others – Friends of the Poor – was to assist the nuns at Casa de Los Pobres in Tijuana, Mexico. Dr. Figueredo, a native of Costa Rica, was interested in helping the Mexican Franciscan Missionary Sisters at “Casa” respond to the hundreds of individuals who were displaced from their homes by flooding. This group of nuns in Tijuana continues to this day to provide food, clothing, and medicines free of charge to thousands largely accomplished with the help of Friends of the Poor.

Dr. Figueredo with Mother Teresa in the 1960’s.

In June of 1988, after persistent requests from her longtime friend Dr. FigueredoMother Teresa of Calcutta moved the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity priests to Tijuana. While Mother Teresa never accepted funds directly from any source, Friends of the Poor was instrumental in establishing Mother Teresa’s workers in the area, securing land, building buildings, and providing for the people living there in destitute poverty.

An award-winning biography of Dr. Figueredo called A Trail of Light, by Sarita Eastman, was published in 2009, and is available on Amazon and/or may be ordered from your local bookstore.

Our Executive Director

Teresa Figueredo Doyle, PhD
Executive Director

In 2001, Dr. Teresa Doyle, left her professional work as a scientist at the Salk Institute in order to respond to a deeply felt call to assume the day to day operations of Friends of the Poor, co-founded in 1982 by her mother, Dr. Anita Figueredo). Teresa’s daily volunteer responsibilities include not only all of the administrative tasks relative to Friends of the Poor, but project fund development, the coordinating and mentoring of volunteers, and many hours behind the wheel of her car, as she drives all over San Diego to pick up donated food stuffs from bread bakeries and grocery stores for delivery to Tijuana and homeless shelters in San Diego. She is on the steering committee of the Hospital San Ignacio in Rosarito, Baja California, and has been honored as a “Woman of Dedication” by the Salvation Army