Hogar del Niño

“One of the best moments was hearing your name being screamed from across El Rancho when the children would see you. I think in our own small way, we made a difference. We made these children feel loved and important. Perhaps one of the most important things I realized was that the children also made me feel loved and taught me many things about life.”

Hogar Del Niño

Orphanage in El Salvador for Persons with Disabilities

Hogar del Niño is an orphanage in San Salvador, El Salvador, founded in 1986 by a Catholic priest named Padre Vito Guarato. It is home to 138 persons with physical and mental disabilities. Hogar del Nino is a safe, clean, and loving environment for its residents. In 2006, a HELP volunteer started a program to send volunteers and interns to live and serve in the orphanage to improve the quality of life of its residents. Hogar del Nino is a program of HELP International, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty and empowering people around the world.

El Salvador is a small country in Central America. It has a tropical climate with wet and dry seasons. El Salvador has over 300 rivers and lush, green mountain ranges that cover a large portion of the country. The population of El Salvador is just over 6 million with 36.5% of the people living below the poverty line. Spanish is the official language. The main ingredient in Salvadorian cuisine is corn. The most popular dish is papusa, a handmade corn tortilla stuffed with cheese, spinach, beans, and sometimes, meat.

With HELP International, you can volunteer or intern abroad during the summer or during the winter/spring in Mbale, Uganda. We have a year-round program available at Hogar del Niño Orphanage in El Salvador. Individuals join our program from a wide spectrum of academic background, interests, and career goals.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Rachel Nielson at rachel@help-international.org.

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Program Information


Apply Now!


Program Information

Interns will live in a small, private house on the orphanage premises, most likely with 1 or 2 other interns. Internship credit is available, depending on your college or university. Please contact your general or department advisor to discuss possibilities to earn internship credit.


Dates are flexible. Interns are asked to commit to a period of at least two to three months, generally within the timeframe of a school semester.

  • Winter/Spring: January - April
  • Summer: May - August
  • Fall: September - December

Program Cost


Program costs include housing, food, program director, training, and other associated costs. Does not include airfare, passport, visa, and additional food and travel expenses. The cost remains the same within a two to four month period. It is totally possible to fundraise your entire program cost. HELP International provides various training, workshops, and resources for fundraising.



As an intern, you will work on a variety of different projects, varying day-by-day. Interns are expected to work around 40 hours a week. You will often create projects based on the needs of the residents. Some of last year’s projects include:

  • Tutoring residents in reading, math, and English
  • Assisting residents with communication books and devices
  • Providing therapeutic recreation
  • Collaborating with orphanage teachers on curriculum development and teaching methods
  • Planning children’s games, music, and lessons
  • Painting murals in the residents’ dormitories
  • Visiting families in the community with children who have disabilities; providing assistance, education, and recreational therapy


Apply Now!

You must be at least 18 years old to apply. Must have some experience with persons with disabilities and/or work or study in a related field. Spanish proficiency is preferred.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You will be asked to provide short-answer essays and contact information for a professional and character reference. Once we have reviewed your completed application, we will contact you. Apply early to ensure a spot!

Application deadlines:

  • Fall Program: August 15
  • Winter/Spring Program: December 15
  • Summer Program: April 15