Our Guayaquil Story
Global Smile Foundation (GSF) volunteers have been involved with outreach cleft programs in Guayaquil, Ecuador for more than 3 decades. We have maintained relationships with our earliest 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 is now the largest provider of comprehensive cleft care in the country and supports a Comprehensive Cleft Center at Hospital León Becerra to provide a full range of integrated and multidisciplinary 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.
GSF launched the first advanced training program in NasoAlveolar Molding (NAM) therapy in outreach settings based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. 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 and a third annual mission 2019.
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 3 – 15, 2020
GSF founders and volunteers have been providing cleft care outreach programs in Guayaquil for 33 years.
The rapidly changing status of COVID-19 during this trip compelled us to make last-minute changes to increase our health and safety protocols. These changes included canceling our dental clinic and postponing non-urgent follow-up care.
GSF volunteers provided life-changing care, including:
- 259 Patient Pre-Screenings by Fundación Global Smile-Ecuador
- 226 Patient Screenings
- 82 Surgical Procedures
- 55 Patients Underwent Surgery
- 200 Oral Health Kits Distributed
- 70 Speech Therapy Sessions
- 30 Psychosocial Sessions
The GSF Team
The GSF volunteer team included volunteers from around the world:
- 13 Surgeons (11 GSF & 2 Ecuador)
- 8 Anesthesia Staff
- 7 OR Nurses
- 4 PACU Nurses
- 5 Pediatric Specialists
- 3 Dentists (1 GSF & 2 Ecuador)
- 2 Speech Therapists (1 US & 1 Ecuador)
- 2 Psychologists (Ecuador)
- 6 Admin Coordinators
- 4 Photographers
- 2 IT Managers
- 44 Volunteers (5 GSF & 39 Ecuador)