VISIT

Change your life by helping others

How do I visit El Sauzal Home for Children?

  1. Read below about visiting us. Plan a day visit or stay longer. 
  2. Check our calendar for open dates. 
  3. Email us with your questions and for an application. 
  4. Find us on the map.

Bring a group

Helping at our home can be a life-changing experience. Over the decades, thousands of amigos have visited—youth, singles, families with children, and retired people. Everyone has something special to offer.

If you bring a group, please consider:
• Medical release forms for minors traveling without a parent.
• Proof of citizenship to get back into the United States.
• Cultural expectations—Boy-girl relationships are viewed differently in Mexico than in the United States.
• Having “Mexiflex”; it helps to have an attitude of flexibility when dealing with different cultures.

Day Trip

What can you do in a day visit?
• Make crafts with the kids
• Play games
• Prepare a meal for the children and staff

Our campus is closed, so you will be required to sign in when you arrive.

Overnight Trips

Visitor requirements
There are government requirements to stay overnight at our home. (These regulations do not apply to day visitors.) Please send this information to our office at least two weeks prior to your trip.
Please note: These requirements are new as of 2015, and they are subject to change. To make sure that they are completely up to date, please contact our office at info@elsauzal.org.

Adults (age 18 and over) need:
• A letter to director Erika Espinoza with the dates of your stay and the names and ages of the people in your group.
(The letter should either request permission to visit or thank our home for giving permission.)
• A state background check
• Two letters of reference
• Copy of passport
• Tourist card visa, from the border crossing

Children (17 and under) need:
• Copy of photo ID (such as school ASB card, ID card, etc.) and/or passport or visa

To ask questions or send documents, contact info@elsauzal.org.

Needs Lists

Food
Personal hygiene
Cleaning supplies
School supplies

Find us

There are three ports of entry into Mexico in the Tijuana–Tecate area:
• San Ysidro that leads to downtown Tijuana
• Otay Mesa located near the Tijuana International Airport
• Tecate

Crossing the border
For San Ysidro: Take I-5 or I-805 to the intersection of I-5 at San Ysidro and proceed south to one of the Mexico Port of Entry Lanes overseen by Mexican Custom Agents.

At the crossing, if you get a red light and the bell sounds, you must enter one of diagonal parking spots in the customs inspection area. The Mexican customs agents also randomly direct vehicles into the customs inspection area. There is nothing to fear here unless you have items that you are trying to get across the border without authorization. If you have items that the Mexican customs authorities question, you can try to convince the Mexican authorities to allow your entry or in some cases you can pay a duty on items you are importing into Mexico. If you have a car full of items, you should go into the Declaration Lane and pay a 16% duty. Only new items are allowed to enter and you will need receipts.

Driving around Tijuana
After you leave the inspection, you will see signs directing you to Ensenada–Rosarito. Take this exit, which is a right-hand ramp that merges with the road that parallels the metal fence that separates the USA and Mexico. After merging, continue straight along the fence and up a very steep hill. At the top of the hill, the road turns sharply to the left and then drops down a heavy descending grade toward an overpass that spans the road you are on near the bottom of the down grade.
Before reaching the overpass, exit by taking the off ramp, merging to the right into a divided roadway. As you exit, be prepared to merge with heavy traffic. When you have an opportunity, merge into the left lane and follow it around a curve to the left as it turns away from traffic that is going to the Playas (beaches).

The toll road
The road straightens, and in a little over a mile, you will come to the first of three toll booths. Enjoy the view along the ocean. The next toll booth is at the south end of Rosarito.

East to San Antonio de Las Minas
After the last toll, be prepared to exit in approximately 1.6 miles at the first overpass you come to. Go under the overpass and turn right on the access ramp that will take you up and over the toll road. This new highway is Mexican Highway No. 3, which runs northeast to Tecate. DO NOT GO STRAIGHT AHEAD after crossing the overpass, as you will be pointed directly into oncoming traffic. You must continue circling to the right, at which point you will turn back left, merging onto the toll road’s westward exit ramp to Tecate.

Continue driving inland, away from the ocean, in a northeasterly direction for approximately 6.5 miles to the little twon of San Antonio de las Minas, where our orphanage is located. You will know you are there once you have climbed a series of steep hills and dropped into a picturesque valley, negotiating two sharp “S” curves. There are small stores and restaurants on both sides of the road.

Arriving at our home
Turn right at the traffic signal. Drive down the paved road, making sure to stop at stop signs. The local police department is waiting for someone to run one. Our home will be on your right in a little under a mile. Look for our sign!

Calle Benito Juarez #476
Ensenada, BAJA CALIFORNIA 22766
Mexico