San Salvador, El Salvador

Photos from the 2018 Mission Trip

Our San Salvador Story

El Salvador is a country known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, and volcanoes. It currently has a steadily growing economy, but natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes have hindered its progress. El Salvador is among the most impoverished countries in Latin America.

Approximately 95% of the children born with cleft lips and palates in El Salvador live in impoverished conditions and they cannot afford or access cleft treatment. Hospital Nacional de Niños Benjamin Bloom is the only hospital that treats children with clefts. With limited resources, the hospital can only serve approximately 150 patients per year, while the number of infants born with a cleft lip or palate increases annually by 600. In response to the significant need, GSF volunteers have been traveling to San Salvador since 2006.


Hospital Nacional de Niños Benjamin Bloom is publicly funded and offers a variety of services for patients including oncology, craniofacial, and dental care. It is the only hospital in El Salvador that treats children with clefts. In 2012 Bloom Hospital finished a seven-year, $50 million state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). GSF’s comprehensive cleft care is enhanced by the skilled efforts of Dr. Patty Calderon and Dr. Laura Vargas, who continue to see patients year round.

Most Recent Mission Trip:
January 12-24, 2018

Our 12th Mission to El Salvador

The GSF team included:

  • 18 Medical Personnel (surgeons, nurses, pediatricians, anesthesiologists)
  • 2 Speech Therapists
  • 10 Coordinators, Logistics, IT support, and Photographers

Cleft Repair: 75 patients were screened and 29 surgeries performed.

Speech Therapy: 41 speech/feeding sessions were provided and 4 training speech sessions were provided.

The next trip to San Salvador will be January 11-20, 2019.

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