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A Healthy Smile is Just the Beginning®

Global Smile Foundation (GSF) is now the largest provider of comprehensive cleft care in Ecuador. Our volunteers have been involved with outreach cleft programs in the country for more than 3 decades. We have maintained relationships with our patients and their families, many of whom have grown up to volunteer with us and one has even joined our staff as a full-time employee.

GSF supports a Comprehensive Cleft Center at Hospital León Becerra to provide a full range of integrated and interdisciplinary cleft care throughout the year, at no cost to all patients and their families. The center is managed by Fundación Global Smile-Ecuador, established in 2012 to ensure the sustainability of GSF’s humanitarian work.

Our mission takes place at Hospital León Becerra, a facility dedicated to pediatric care for children and families of low socioeconomic status. The hospital is managed by the Benemérita Sociedad Protectora de la Infancia, an institution devoted to serving the children of Guayaquil.

GSF launched the first advanced training program in NasoAlveolar Molding (NAM) therapy in outreach settings based in Guayaquil. This training supports ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive and multi-disciplinary cleft care year-round and empowers and sustains local healthcare capacity. As GSF and Fundación Global Smile-Ecuador have grown, so has the awareness of our humanitarian cleft care outreach programs. To meet the needs of the patient population, GSF added a second annual mission trip in 2016.

GSF is grateful to the Gobierno del Guayas for their partnership and support that have been critical to the success of our outreach cleft programs and comprehensive cleft care in Ecuador.

Most Recent Trip: March 6-19, 2023


Cleft care provided includes:

  • 270 Patients screenings
  • 223 PCRs done (patients, guardians, & team members)
  • 192 Surgical procedures for 70 patients
  • 140 Dental procedures for 73 patients
  • 168 Psychosocial interventions
  • 39 Nutrition consults
  • 43 Speech and Language Pathology Sessions

The GSF & GSF-Ecuador Teams

During the two-week mission, our team included:

  • 17 Surgeons (2 GSF-Ecuador)
  • 10 Anesthesia Staff
  • 13 OR Nurses
  • 6 PACU Nurses
  • 1 Periop Nurse
  • 5 Pediatricians (3 GSF-Ecuador)
  • 8 Dentists (6 GSF-Ecuador)
  • 5 Psychologists (GSF-Ecuador)
  • 9 Admin Coordinators (4 GSF-Ecuador)
  • 1 Photographer
  • 2 IT Coordinators
  • 1 Nutritionist (GSF-Ecuador)
  • 1 Speech and Language Pathologist (GSF-Ecuador)
  • 44 Volunteers (GSF-Ecuador)
  • 4 International Volunteers

The next trip to Ecuador will be September 5-17, 2023.

Current Missions