FAQs

How do I visit El Sauzal Home for Children?

Can I adopt a child from El Sauzal Home for Children?

It’s unlikely. Most of our children have known relatives, making it impossible for them to be adopted. Adoption in Mexico is also very challenging for non-Mexicans. Parents must be approved by the government, which requires a lawyer, considerable expense, and a lot of patience. Even when adoption is possible, DIF (Mexico’s Department of Social Service) matches parents and children; parents are not allowed to select a child.

How many children are at your home?

Typically there are 30-40 children, but we have had as many as 100 kids in our home.

How do the children end up at your home?

Most have been brought to us by DIF (Mexico’s Department of Social Service). Occasionally, parents or grandparents ask us to take children because they can’t afford to care for them. Many kids who come to us have been abandoned and/or abused. Each child has emotional needs; for some the pain is very deep.

 Where does your support come from?

We receive very little support from the Mexican government. Our primary supporters are non-Mexicans, mostly from the US. For over 50 years, God has faithfully provided for our needs. He has touched the hearts of individuals and groups who have sustained us with donations.

What does the logo mean?

In the logo, children are being held by the red-brick arm of El Sauzal Home for Children. Our home is supported by the arm of God, holding the cross of Jesus. Together, God and our home support and love the wounded children who come to us.

Does it make a difference if I give to El Sauzal Home for Children or El Sauzal Foundation?

Yes, if you want to receive a tax deduction. The foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity registered in the US to help raise funds for our home. Our home is a Mexican corporation and is not eligible for non-profit status in the US. Donations made to El Sauzal Foundation, Inc. are tax-deductible. Donations to our home are not tax-deductible.

How do I visit El Sauzal Home for Children?

What will I eat and drink?
• The cultural standard is to have a regular breakfast, a large mid-day meal, and a small, light snack for dinner (like milk and animal crackers).
• It is easy to purchase drinking water at a local store.
• You can either bring your own food to prepare or eat with the kids.
• If you bring your own food, you will need to coordinate with the kitchen staff about when you can prepare and eat your food to avoid conflicting with their schedule.
• If you bring money to help with food costs for the home, you can eat with the kids. Plan on helping with food preparation, working with the kitchen staff.
• Either way, please help with washing dishes, cleaning, and sweeping.
• It is a good idea to bring snacks along such as trail mix, granola bars, nuts or pepperoni. There are little stores within walking distance that have Mexican snacks.
• There are some restaurants and food stands nearby.

What do I need to bring?

Pack similar to what you would use camping. Also consider:

•Photos of your family. Culturally, families are very important. The children and adults will enjoy seeing your family. Americans ask, “What do you do?” but Mexicans want to know about your family. It helps them to understand about you.
• Baby wipes. These are great for cleaning up, especially if showers (and water supply) are limited.
• Flashlight
• Small first aid kit
• Sleeping bag, pillow, sheet
• Towel, washcloth
• Sunscreen
• Bug spray (can be a life saver)

What is the purpose of El Sauzal’s sponsorship program?

The mission is twofold. First, to strengthen relationships between you (our donors and supporters) and the children and staff at our home. This connection is made by pairing each donor with a specific child. Second, to establish a more secure financial base for our home through regular giving.

Do my donations go directly to the child I choose to sponsor?

Your sponsorship money will not go directly as cash to the child you choose to sponsor. It isn’t reserved in an account in that child’s name to use for things like clothing or toys. When you choose to sponsor a child, you are connecting yourself in a unique way to the home. Your donations will go to meeting the needs of not only your child but the children of the whole home. Depending on the time of year, these needs and expenditures will vary. Maintenance needs may take up most of your donation one month, while school supplies could top the list during another. Needs that never change include electricity, water, taxes, and sup-plies like food and toilet paper.

Why choose to sponsor a child as opposed to sending general donations?

There are advantages for both you and us! El Sauzal will be better able to calculate and anticipate monthly giving, and you will be connected to us through one child. You will receive updates on your sponsored child, including photos, and you will have the opportunity to see one of the home’s children grow over the years. What a blessing for the us and for you!

How much of my donation goes directly to the El Sauzal Home for Children?

All the workers of El Sauzal Foundation help on a volunteer basis. They have no corporate office. Their overhead costs are low. Historically, of donations directed to El Sauzal, about 96% of the money goes directly to the home, while about 4% is used by El Sauzal Foundation, Inc. for communication, fundraising, and other operating expenses.

Will I receive a monthly statement of giving?

El Sauzal Foundation, Inc. will provide you with a statement of giving on an annual basis.

Will my sponsored child write to me?

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that your sponsored child will write to you. But as mentioned above, we are committed to keeping you updated on your child.

Can I send gifts to my sponsored child?

We ask that sponsors send monetary gifts rather than packaged gifts for children. Because our children are outside the US, high customs charges and the possibility of damage, loss, or theft make sending packaged gifts difficult and expensive. Moreover, cash gifts allow us to evenly distribute what is received so that some children are not showered with gifts while others receive none.

However, you are encouraged to write to your sponsored child, especially on his or her birthday. You are welcome to include lightweight items with your letters or greeting cards. Snapshots, balloons, paper dolls, or stickers make wonderful gifts.

How can I write to the child I sponsor?

Letters can be sent to
El Sauzal Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 154

Auburn, WA 98071-0154

Is it possible to visit my sponsored child?

We always welcome visitors to our home! Check our calendar and read about visiting us.

What if my child leaves?

Sometimes our children are returned to parents or family members, or they leave our home for a variety of reasons. If this happens, we will contact you to see if you would like to sponsor another child.

For other Sponsorship questions, contact gary.stark@elsauzal.org.

If you have a question not listed here, contact us.