Support Healthy New Smiles

Photos from 2019

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. The World Bank reports that over one-third of the population lives in poverty and lacks access to even 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 main hospital in the country that treats children with clefts. 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 Dr. Patty Calderon and Dr. Laura Vargas, who continue to see patients year round. 


Hospital Nacional de Niños Benjamin Bloom is publicly funded and offers a variety of services for patients including oncology, craniofacial, and dental care. In 2012 Bloom Hospital finished a seven-year, $50 million state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Most Recent Mission Trip:
January 11-20, 2019

Our 17th Mission to El Salvador in 15 years

During the mission, GSF volunteers provided life-changing care, including:

  • 70 Patient Health Screenings
  • 31 Surgical Procedures
  • 164 Dental Procedures
  • 21 Speech Therapy Sessions

The GSF team included:

  • 4 Surgeons
  • 4 Anesthesia Staff
  • 3 OR Nurses
  • 3 PACU Nurses
  • 1 Peri-op Nurse
  • 1 Pediatrician
  • 1 Dentist
  • 1 Speech Therapist
  • 1 IT Coordinator
  • 1 Social Media Coordinator
  • 4 Photographers
  • 6 Coordinators

The next trip to San Salvador will be January 2020.

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