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A Healthy Smile is Just the Beginning®

El Salvador is a country known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, and volcanoes. Although there has been steady economic growth in recent years, natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes have hindered its progress. The World Bank reports that over one-third of the population lives in poverty and lacks access to basic healthcare.

GSF volunteers have been providing much-needed cleft care in San Salvador since 2006 through annual outreach cleft programs in conjunction with Hospital Nacional de Niños Benjamin Bloom, the only children’s hospital in the country and the main treatment center for children with cleft. With limited resources, the hospital can only provide care for an average of 150 patients per year, leaving a gap in the needed coverage in care for the rest of patients.

GSF’s comprehensive cleft care is enhanced by the skilled efforts of doctors Patty Calderon, Pamela Bolanos, Laura Vargas, and Sofia Perez, who provide care for patients year-round.

Most Recent Trip: January 12-21, 2024


GSF volunteers provided life-changing care, including:

  • 48 Patients screened
  • 39 Surgical procedures for 25 patients
  • 167 Dental procedures for 45 patients

The GSF Team

  • 12 Surgeons (5 GSF & 7 Salvadorian)
  • 6 Anesthesia & CRNA (3 GSF & 3 Salvadorian)
  • 8 OR Nurses (3 GSF & 5 Salvadorian)
  • 3 PACU Nurses
  • 1 Peri-Op Nurse
  • 1 Pediatrician (Salvadorian)
  • 1 Dentist &  1 Orthodontist (Salvadorian) 
  • 5 Administrative Coordinators
  • 1 Photographer
  • 12 Salvadorian volunteers

Our next trip to San Salvador will be in January 2025.

Current OMPs