Give a year,
gain a lifetime of love.

International Volunteer Program

About the Program

International Volunteers are essential members of the NPH family. Our volunteers serve alongside the local staff, and provide services that are hard to find in Latin America. All volunteers hold a job during the day and spend time each evening and weekend with children. Our volunteers come from all around the world, and live in community at our NPH homes. We accept single volunteers, married couples and families.


  • Volunteers must be 21 years old, and in good health.
  • Volunteers must be able to serve for 13 months. Many volunteers extend their service beyond the initial 13-month commitment.
  • Volunteers must be conversational in Spanish (or French for Haiti). If they are not yet at that level when they apply, they must attend and pay for language school prior to beginning service.
  • Volunteers must have experience working with children prior to applying.
  • Successful volunteers are cooperative, flexible and patient. They have strong work ethics and are able to adapt to multi-cultural environments. They are respectful of their host country and its culture, and maintain positive attitudes.

Volunteer Opportunities

We try to match the skills and interests of volunteers with what NPH wants and needs. All current volunteer opportunities are listed at These are some common volunteer jobs and areas in which volunteers serve:

Volunteers serve as teachers, tutors or librarians. Many homes have their own schools that educate our preschool through middle school students. We need volunteers with teaching and tutoring skills at all levels. Librarians work with school staff and caregivers to increase the students’ literacy skills.

Volunteers serve as doctors, nurses, clinic assistants and therapists. All the homes have “internal” clinics that serve the children and staff of NPH. Some homes have clinics and hospitals that serve the surrounding community as well. Our volunteer therapists provide otherwise unattainable speech therapy, play therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

button-yellow-apply now


•  Meet our current volunteers
•  Former volunteers
•  Program Fact Sheet
•  Program Guide
•  “NPH Volunteer Experience” video
•  Volunteer Posts on our Blog
•  Volunteer Testimonials


Partner Agencies

Catholic Volunteer Network

Haiti Hub
Serve Smart


Volunteers serve as Communication Officers, Project Coordinators and in our Sponsorship program. Administrative volunteers work with the home and the network of global fundraising offices to communicate with donors and the public about NPH.

Volunteer Coordinators help support the current volunteers and screen and place pending volunteers. Visitor Coordinators assist visitors from around the world who come to see and experience NPH first hand.

Youth Development
Volunteers lead and coordinate programs such as women’s empowerment, men’s empowerment, youth leadership, life skills and community support projects.

Unique Opportunities
We often have unique volunteer opportunities that may not be listed on the website. These can include architect, environmental educator, swim instructor, activities coordinator, catechist, pharmacist, etc.
button-yellow-apply now

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.

If you must submit a Word document, please send it electronically to

After your application has been submitted, NPH USA will review it and contact you about next steps. You should hear back from our staff within 2 weeks of submitting the application. The entire process can take 2 – 4 months.

Volunteers generally start in either January or July, and applications are due by July 1 for a January start date and January 1 for a July start date. We often have openings after the application due date, so we encourage you to apply even if you have missed the deadline.

Apply now

“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


If you have any questions, please contact our International Volunteer Director, Vicky Medley, Certified Volunteer Administrator, at (503) 741-8111 or

Are you a former volunteer? We want to hear from you!

Financial Arrangements

NPH does not charge volunteers to apply or serve and there is no fundraising commitment.

Volunteers receive room and board, as well as access to basic medical care and a monthly stipend ($50 – $100 U.S., depending on the country).

Volunteers must pay for their transportation to and from the country where they serve, but NPH staff will meet you at the airport/bus station.

Volunteers with weak language skills must receive/pay for additional language training prior to beginning service.

NPH USA pays for the IMG Patriot Plan for international insurance. See details below.


“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


What makes a successful volunteer?

Successful volunteers are cooperative, flexible and very patient. They have a strong work ethic and are able to adapt to a different cultural environment, including working with people from around the world. They are respectful of their host country and its culture, and have a positive attitude to share with the children.

Is there an age requirement?

The minimum age for volunteers is 21.

Do I need to speak Spanish/French?

Volunteers with a strong command of the local language(s) are better able to serve the children and are given priority. We ask that you are either proficient in the language and/or will make a commitment to attend a language school before you begin volunteering.

What is the time commitment?

The minimum volunteer commitment is 13 months. We require the commitment because it 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?

For the most part we do not accept short term volunteers. In recent years we have had few or no short term positions available in the summer months. To find out if we may have summer openings please contact our International Volunteer Program Director at

When 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. Even if the deadline has passed, you are encouraged to apply.

It is best to apply early, since there are limited opportunities!

Where do volunteers live?

Volunteers receive room and board at the NPH home. Housing varies by country and ranges from apartments to dormitory-style rooms with fellow volunteers.

Is volunteering safe?

As with any international travel, risks are involved and it is important to be aware of your surroundings and the local situation. NPH strives to provide a safe and secure environment for the children, staff, and volunteers. Each home has safety guidelines that volunteers must follow.

“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


Can 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 help answer your questions and assist you in deciding if NPH is right for you.

Who pays for a volunteer’s health insurance?

NPH USA covers the costs of the IMG Patriot plan for all US volunteers. The plan 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.

What happens after I apply?

All applicants apply online at Within two weeks our staff will contact you regarding your application. If you qualify, we will arrange for a phone/skype interview. During the interview we will ask you many questions, assess your language skills, discuss possible placements, answer any questions that you may have about serving with NPH, and discuss the next steps in the selection process. After the interview we will check your references. The process is long and will require patience on your part.

For more information, please contact our International Volunteer Director, Vicky Medley, Certified Volunteer Administrator at (503) 741-8111 or e-mail


“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