PeaceHealth and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (CSJP) sponsor an opportunity for their employees and members to volunteer in health care services in El Salvador. Both sponsors encourage and make available this service believing that it will further the mission of both. Volunteer participation is encouraged from Sisters and Associates of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and from PeaceHealth staff.
Volunteers serve on PazSalud medical or surgical mission teams. Typically, PazSalud sponsors a general medical mission each February. The medical missions are held in a different Salvadoran community each year, and include clinics in general medicine, gynecology, pediatrics and eyes. Our eye clinics are co-sponsored by the Bellingham Lions Club, which supplies eyeglasses and sunglasses and has donated the optometric equipment our doctors and volunteers use. We also offer a well-stocked pharmacy of donated medicines.
During the general medical missions, patients with cataracts are identified at the eye clinic and offered cataract surgery. The surgery mission usually takes place in a local hospital a few months after the general medical mission, and is co-sponsored by SEE, International.
For both missions, we seek volunteer providers, optometrists, nurses, interpreters and assistants. Since we provide interpreters, mission volunteers do not need to speak Spanish - but any level of Spanish will be very helpful!
PazSalud also welcomes individual volunteers who want to undertake specific projects in El Salvador. Projects and connections must be arranged through Kathy Garcia and Sister Susan Dewitt well in advance, and in most cases individual volunteers will need to have sufficient Spanish to be able to work without an interpreter.
For Prospective Volunteers
The El Salvador Health Mission is only accepting volunteers who meet one of the following criteria:
- PeaceHealth employees
- PeaceHealth affiliate providers
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace members
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace associates
If you are interested in volunteering either at the U.S. office in Oregon or in San Salvador, please e-mail Kathy Garcia, El Salvador Health Mission Program Manager, at email@example.com.
Find out about current Volunteer Opportunities.
Read our Volunteer Reflections for first-hand accounts of the volunteer experience.
For Current Volunteers
There are two important documents for you to read as you prepare to serve with us in El Salvador. For your convenience, we have made online copies readily available for you to view and download to save on your computer's hard drive.
Print-out, sign and mail ALL 3 PAGES of the Volunteer Application to:
PeaceHealth El Salvador Health Mission
P.O. Box 10905
Eugene, OR 97440