International Volunteer Program

The two years I spent as a volunteer at NPH Mexico were both amazing and challenging as I strived to be a good teacher to my students, a good parent figure
to the girls I took care of and a good role model to all the children at NPH.
  - Michelle Robertson      

Natalie Klinkenberger at NPH HondurasThe NPH USA International Volunteer Program sends qualified individuals, married couples and families to support the staff and children living in the homes of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

Kelly Harless at NPH Dominican RepublicWhy Volunteer with NPH?

As an NPH volunteer you will learn and grow, both professionally and personally. NPH USA volunteers:
  • Receive pre-service preparation in Intercultural Communication and Building Cultural Competence.
  • Directly serve orphaned, abandoned and at-risk children in Latin America. Most volunteers serve in their professional arena or area of study.
  • Live in community with other volunteers from around the world. There is vacation time to travel and explore the country where volunteers serve.
  • Work alongside local staff in providing services and love to the children of NPH. Volunteer placements are professional positions. Volunteers are expected to follow the same work hours, dress code, and policies as all local staff.
  • Receive on-site training, support and evaluation throughout the year.
  • Develop language skills in Spanish or French/Haitian Creole.

It is a difficult and sometimes frustrating job, but extremely rewarding. Every day is an adventure. The children are amazing, and they are always quick to greet me with a smile and a hug.
  - Lisette Etcherling     

Financial Arrangements 
  • NPH does not charge volunteers to apply or serve. There is no fundraising commitment either.
  • NPH volunteers receive room and board, as well as access to basic medical care and a monthly stipend ($50-$100 US, depending on the country).
  • Volunteers must pay for their transportation to and from the country where they serve. NPH staff meet volunteers at the airport/bus station.
  • Volunteers with weak language skills must pay for additional language training prior to beginning service.
  • NPH volunteers from the U.S. pay for a portion of their health insurance. NPH USA will pay $250 of the cost, and volunteers usually pay up to $150. See below for details on health insurance.

My year of service with NPH (Guatemala) has changed me for the better. Never have I been called to love so unconditionally. I learned to measure my success at the end of the day not necessarily by how much I got done but rather by how patient, positive, and kind I was.
  - Jessica Heintz               

Michael Hoyt at NPH MexicoVolunteer Opportunities
Most volunteers work in their professional arena or area of study. We are usually looking for volunteers to serve in:
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Administration
  • Coordination
  • Childcare
  • Social Work
Volunteers work alongside local staff. We try to match a volunteer’s skills and interests with the homes’ needs.

Check the page for the current opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays for a volunteer's health insurance?
NPH USA volunteers who commit to serve for a year are eligible for a $250 stipend if they purchase health insurance through IMG’s Patriot Plan. We require volunteers to purchase coverage that includes a $250 deductible, and a $100,000 annual limit, as well as international emergency care with a $500,000 limit for medical evacuation and up to $50,000 for emergency reunion.

Volunteers may purchase other plans that offer the same benefits, but will not be eligible for the stipend.

Volunteers must provide us with proof of insurance, either through IMG or another provider, prior to beginning volunteer service.

Do I need to speak Spanish/French?
Volunteers who have a strong command of the local language(s) are better able to serve the children and will be given priority in the selection process. We ask that you are proficient in the language and/or make a commitment to attend a language school before you begin volunteering.

Is there an age requirement?
The minimum age for volunteers is 21. We have successful volunteers from ages 21 through 70 serving in NPH homes.

How long is the commitment?
In general, the minimum volunteer commitment is 12 months. Honduras requires a 13-month commitment. This allows time for the volunteers and the children to form lasting relationships. Longer commitments are encouraged.

No one told me that one of the hardest parts about NPH would be leaving to continue with your life at the end of your year.
  - Rachel Norman               

Do you accept short-term volunteers?
In the past we have had a short term volunteer program in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In recent years that program has shrunk and we do not accept many summer volunteers. We may be interested in former year-long NPH volunteers, Spanish or French teachers and/or volunteers who may provide a vital skill that we need. To see if you may be a good fit, please contact our International Volunteer Coordinator at

Kristen DeBellis at NPH HondurasWhen should I apply?
Most homes have volunteers begin in either January or July. For a January start date, please submit an application by July 1. For a July start date, please submit an application by January 1. We often have opportunities to fill after the application deadline. Even if the deadline has passed, you are encouraged to apply.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. It is best to apply early, since there are limited opportunities!

Where do volunteers live?
Volunteers are provided free room and board at the NPH home. Housing varies by country and ranges from apartments to dormitory-style room with fellow volunteers.

Is volunteering safe?
As with any international travel, risks are involved and it is important to be aware of your surroundings. NPH strives to provide a safe and secure environment for the children, staff, and volunteers.
Read volunteer testimonialsCan I speak with a former volunteer?
Yes! Please contact us and we will put you in touch with a current or recently-returned volunteer from the country you are considering. Talking with a former volunteer can answer many questions and help you decide if NPH is the right place for you.

Joe Cotton at NPH NicaraguaWhat makes a successful volunteer?
Successful volunteers are cooperative, extremely flexible and very patient. They have strong work ethics and are able to adapt to multi-cultural environments. NPH volunteers work with staff and volunteers from around the world. They are respectful of their host country and its culture, and have positive attitudes to share with the children.

For more information, please call our International Volunteer Coordinator at (503) 741-8111 or e-mail

After a year of service, my greatest memories and strongest connections are with the kids, and it is these relationships that give me a lasting bond with NPH.  
  - Dan Peck       

How to Apply

  • Visit the NPH web site at
  • Click on the volunteer section to find the application.
  • We prefer to receive applications via the NPH secured server. Using this form will speed up the application process. You may save your work and return to the application as many times as needed before submitting it. Please keep in mind that the application represents you to NPH; make sure that it is free of grammatical errors and typos.
  • If you must use the Word Document, please send it electronically to
  • Once you have submitted your application, NPH USA will review it and contact you about the next steps.
  • You will be contacted for a phone interview if your application is approved.
  • Please expect the application process to take two to four months ... Apply early!
If you have any questions throughout the application process, you may contact the International Volunteer Coordinator at (503) 741-8111 or e-mail

Are you a former NPH volunteer?
We would like to hear from you!
Click  here


Related Information:
International Volunteer Program Fact Sheet
International Vounteer Program Guide
Watch the NPH Volunteer Experience video
Meet our current International Volunteers
Volunteer Posts on our Blog
Volunteer Testimonials

The “snapshots” of my life as a volunteer will stay with me forever, as I continue to process them and view them from new angles. The skills I have developed will also stay with me, not the least of them patience, independence, self-motivation, quick problem solving and Spanish fluency. What I am most excited to carry with me, however, is the open-endedness of how these will continue to affect me as I grow and move forward in my life. It has been a unique experience, and one that I will be learning from forever.  

  - Andrea Mulhausen   

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