These are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to contact us.
- Cozumel is not a part of mainland Mexico. Why did you build Ciudad de Angeles on an island?
- I am planning a visit to Cozumel. Can you provide food, housing and transportation?
- Is it safe to travel to Ciudad de Angeles?
- Do I need to be able to speak Spanish to become involved with Ciudad de Angeles?
- How can I get from my cruise ship to Ciudad de Angeles?
- What can I bring with me to help Ciudad de Angeles? How do I get through customs?
- From where do you get the children of Ciudad de Angeles?
- Where do the children attend church?
- From where do your house parents come?
- Why aren’t your children available for adoption?
- When do the children leave home and where do they go?
- How much of my donations go directly for children?
- What is the cost to sponsor a child at Ciudad de Angeles?
- Why do you have an American Director and a Mexican Director?
- I would like to have a paid position with Ciudad de Angeles. How do I apply?
Originally, Cozumel was chosen because it offered an excellent support system for the children. There are opportunities for education and training for future jobs in its tourist economy. The local church is strong and aids in the spiritual development of the children.
The fact that Cozumel is an island dependent on a tourist economy has also helped remove it from the drug violence and crime found in other areas of Mexico. At the moment, criminal activity on Cozumel is usually minor. This means the children, our staff and visitors can live and work in a safe environment.
Currently, we are only able to house and feed the children and our workers. We do have links to websites designed to assist visitors to Cozumel. Our volunteers have stayed in many of the hotels and rental properties on the island. You will find several American chain restaurants for dining. Many of our volunteers also enjoy the local restaurants found in the tourist areas. There are also several convenient stores that offer various grocery items for sale.
San Miguel is a small town and you will find many things are within walking distance. Taxi cabs are available for longer trips. Although rental cars and scooters are available, we do not recommend driving in Cozumel.
One of the advantages to being on an island is the lack of major crime. Everyone needs to keep up with travel advisories and make their own decisions about their safety. As of this writing, we are not aware of any physical danger to tourists. As in any town, petty crime does occur from time to time.
While fluency in Spanish is helpful, it is not essential. Cozumel has a tourist economy so many of its people speak English. The house parents and even the children of Ciudad de Angeles speak some English. Many of our volunteers, though, have found it helpful to review or learn some Spanish to make conversations easier.
Cruise passengers or day visitors are strongly encouraged to contact our day visitor coordinator () several weeks before their voyage. Because the safety of our children and staff is of the utmost importance to us, no one is allowed to proceed to the property without notifying us first. Andrea will give detailed instructions for day visitors to give to any cab driver. The cabs are found near the docks and it only costs a few dollars to take a cab to our main office.
When you work with one of our coordinators to arrange your visit, they can inform you of what items we currently need. We also have a wish list of items we currently need available here. Please check with us before bringing donations. There may be some items that are overstocked or not helpful to us.
Before coming to Mexico, please check the internet to verify current customs regulations for Mexico. We suggest that any donations are below the limits which would require paying duty. Remove all tags and wrappings. (They suggest you wish to open a retail store.) Pack the items in your regular suitcase. It helps to keep receipts in case you are questioned by customs agents. Generally, there are no issues, but it can confirm the value of items that may be overvalued by agents.
Ciudad de Angeles has a national license to operate in Mexico. Currently most of the children are from the state of Quintana Roo, which includes Cozumel and a large part of the Yucatan. Our children are orphaned, abandoned or have been removed from their parents permanently by the government because of severe neglect or abuse.
The children attend church with their house parents at one of the two Church of Christ congregations on the island. They are also involved in the classes and activities of the congregation they attend.
Our house parents come to us from all over Mexico. They are faithful Christians and come to us with excellent references. We have them work initially for a trial period to make sure our ministry is a good match for their skills. Upon successful completion of this trial period, they are offered long term employment.
Our agreement with the government is that Ciudad de Angeles retains full custody of the children until adulthood. This allows us to ensure the children receive the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual care they need.
In reality, adoption of Mexican children by non-Mexicans is a very difficult process. We know of people who have waited for years for adoptions to complete with mixed results.
The children of Ciudad de Angeles do not have to worry about finding someone to adopt them into a permanent home. Ciudad de Angeles is their home – complete with house parents, siblings and special families.
We are committed to caring for all of our children until at least the age of eighteen. Some may stay longer as they complete their education. Because of their backgrounds, many of our children come to us with little formal education. As a result, they often need extra time to complete their secondary education. After they reach the age of eighteen or complete their education, we hope to help them continue on to college or assist them in finding jobs. Our oldest children are just beginning to reach adulthood, so we are still learning the best ways to help them transition into independence.
Ciudad de Angeles is committed to being good stewards of your donations. We make every effort to control overhead costs. We want to ensure that every dollar possible is spent in creating a better life for the children of Ciudad de Angeles.
If you would like more information on how your donations are spent, we encourage you to study our financials.
Child sponsors are asked to cover part or all of the $500 per month it costs to care for a child. Children may have between one and four sponsors. Sponsors will often send birthday and Christmas gifts. Most of them will also travel to Cozumel periodically to visit the child they sponsor.
Cozumel is a tourist area that caters to people from all over the world. Because it is an island, everything must be shipped from the mainland. As a result, many prices are comparable to those found in the United States.
Ciudad de Angeles is committed to raising the children in the same type of environment we would want our personal children raised in. We strive to hire only the most qualified employees and pay them a fair wage. We also ensure the children have all the support systems they need to grow to be productive Christian leaders in their communities.
If you would like more information on how to sponsor a child, click here.
Running a children’s home well is a very complicated and difficult job. When multiple countries and cultures are involved, there is an added layer of complexity.
The two directors divide the various responsibilities of running the home. In addition, our American Director Dennis Wilson, is the primary liaison to the Board of Directors and visitors from the United States and Canada. Alejandra Sanchez, our Mexican Director, helps ensure the children are being raised in their own culture. She also helps the American Director liaison with the local community and government.
We want the children of Ciudad de Angeles to be raised in their own culture. As a result, the vast majority of our employees are Mexican. We have rare openings for the handful of jobs filled by people from other countries. These openings will be posted on our website when they become available. If you are interested in becoming a long term volunteer or intern, please read our policy and guidelines for detailed information.