Creating Smiles, Improving Lives
Medical Mission Trips
Each year, Austin Smiles completes two to three medical mission trips in partner countries in Latin America, offering surgical and postsurgical care to 100-150 children born with cleft lip and/or palate who would otherwise go without treatment. Austin Smiles offers a continuum of care to children born with this condition on annual trips to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru, often treating the same children into adulthood.
Our Upcoming Mission Trips
With a team of 30+ volunteers, we will evaluate upwards of 80 patients, and perform surgeries on about 50 patients. We are excited to return to our partner hospitals and serve children who are in desperate need of care.
Guatemala City, Guatemala 2022
September 24th- Oct. 2nd at El Centro Moore
We will be at the Moore Center in Guatemala City
San Salvador, El Salvador 2023
February 18th-25th at Hospital Militar Central
We will be at the Hospital Militar Central on February 18th, 2023 in San Salvador.
Lima, Peru 2023
June 2nd-11th at Hospital Nacional Hipolito Unanue
Additional COVID safety protocol has added expenses to our trips including PPE, patient rapid COVID testing, vaccination and more. Learn more about how you can help fund a medical mission trip below. Or sign up to be added to our medical mission volunteer email list and be notified when we send out trip applications.
Our Recent Mission Highlights
33 Lives Changed in San Salvador!
Austin Smiles 2022 medical mission trip to San Salvador was a huge success! Our team of 40+ volunteers assisted in the completion of 33 cleft lip and palate surgeries for children who had waited for treatment for far too long.
To make this trip possible and to navigate through COVID safety protocols, Austin Smiles completed a virtual pre-trip triage of 80 patients to preselected candidates for surgery.
We are grateful to each one of our volunteers who made such an incredible sacrifice in deciding to take time out of their busy schedules in the midst of pandemic. Despite countless obstacles with COVID, the team seamlessly came together to deliver outstanding, life-changing care. Indeed, the risk we took as a team was definitely worth the rewards. Thank you to all our donors and supporters for making this possible!
Our International Impact
Many Latin American countries have limited access to adequate medical resources and their residents lack sufficient income to afford necessary medical treatment. Austin Smiles has supported these communities for almost 35 years, helping to create smiles and improve lives. We work internationally with underserved low-income children and families, offering hope and new opportunities for a better more inclusive life. We provide our patients with access to primary surgeries at a young age, as well as orthodontic care, speech therapy, and ENT services. Austin Smiles has worked to improve the lives of over 5,000 patients, collaborating with our medical partners abroad to provide an excellent continuum of cleft care since 1987.
Our life-changing services not only improve the quality of life of the child, but also provides them an opportunity to live more productive, inclusive, fulfilling lives, free from isolation, stigma and mental health issues that often present if left untreated. We work closely with local doctors and nurses in the areas we visit, making follow-up trips, and collaborating with medical personnel abroad to provide the best comprehensive cleft care and treatment.
About our International Cleft Team
Each trip our medical mission team generally consists of up to 30 licensed medical professionals. These may include board-certified plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, speech pathologists, otolaryngologists, surgical nurses, and surgical technologists. Additionally, we have 2-5 non-medical volunteers who provide translation, administrative and technical support.
Our Sustainable Model of Care
Our life-changing services not only improve the quality of life of the child but provides them an opportunity to live more productive, inclusive, fulfilling lives, free from isolation, stigma and mental health issues that often present if left untreated. We work closely with local doctors and nurses in the areas we visit, making follow-up trips, and collaborating with medical personnel abroad to provide the best comprehensive cleft care and treatment.
The Difference a Week Makes
In a typical one-week mission, Austin Smiles will change the lives of 50+ children and their families. To date, we have completed thousands of reconstructive surgeries on over 5,000 children in Latin America who would otherwise go without treatment. It is incredibly powerful to see a child be reunited with their mother after surgery. Moreover, it is extremely gratifying to see past clients on subsequent visits as happy, healthy and attractive young adults whom we first met as infants.
Become a Medical Volunteer
Learn more about Austin Smiles Local and International Programming
Make a Difference
Every day hundreds of children are born with a cleft. With your help we can ensure these children have access to safe, quality and life-changing care