Tecate Fire - Rancho La Puerta
Events Calendar
Types of Events:
Spa Services



Words of gratitude are not enough to thank you for your contribution to assist families in Tecate, Baja California that suffered the loss of their homes during the Tecate fires in October, 2019.

I want you to know that your donations did not only help build new homes for these families but the donations rebuilt their hopes and dreams that were also lost that terrible night.  In their own words, their message to you is, “even though we do not know you, we want to THANK YOU.  We do not know how to return your kindness except by saying, GOD BLESS YOU”.

Executing the project was not an easy task.  We were trying to build homes during a very cold and rainy winter but it was possible because of you and many other people that joined in the effort with their time, expertise and lots of good faith.  To be able to deliver this help has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I join these beneficiaries in saying, “THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU”.


Lily Kellenberger
Executive Director of Fundación La Puerta, June 2020

Donate Here

Donations can also be made by check or: ​
P.O. Box 69, Tecate, CA 91980 USA

Immediate Action

The city has been issuing titles and expediting building permits to help families in need. The immediate goal is to provide a two room shelter, a living space and a bathroom, made of materials that can can be repurposed into the roof of the permanent dwelling, so none of the initial investment is wasted. It takes $2,000 in materials and one day of labor with a crew of volunteers to build a shelter that can house a family until their permanent home can be built.

We have purchased the materials and every weekend, crews of volunteers will build shelters such as these as quickly as possible.

As permits and titles clear, construction will begin on the permanent homes. Designs have been completed comprising a functioning 350 square foot core with a kitchen, bathroom and a multipurpose dining room/ living room.

Families will be able to add bedrooms to these homes as needed.  Relief funds from the Mexican federal government are used to purchase building materials and our crews along with many volunteers will be lead the reconstruction effort. After much deliberation, this approach gives the greatest benefit the greatest number of families.


Spring 2020
We’ve built and delivered 25 homes so far!


October 26, 2019

November 23, 2019

November 24, 2019

November 25, 2019


December 31, 2019

Letters from Deborah

Dear Ranch Family,

For almost 80 years, Rancho La Puerta has shared in the life of the community of Tecate. On October 25, 2019, wildfires destroyed 114 homes and took the lives of four residents. At first it was a “small” fire, but driven by fierce winds it grew into a massive conflagration within moments. Residents fled for their lives. Nothing remains.

This week I toured the devastated area. As I gazed at the partial walls and charred ground, the only thing that kept me from sobbing was the thought that we could help. And, yes, we will help.

I knew I could count on the guests and friends of The Ranch, along with our staff of over 400, and I began writing this letter as we drove home.

For almost 80 years now the Tecate community has welcomed us, fed us, supported us and protected us. Almost everyone who works at the Ranch calls Tecate home. Tecate is family. Now they need us.

I have never asked for help like this before, but today I am asking. Money donated through the San Diego Foundation, Friends of La Puerta Fund will enable our displaced neighbors to rebuild their lives. Any amount will be helpful, and your gift is tax deductible.

Your grateful friend,

ps.  Donations can also be made by check: ​
P.O. Box 69, Tecate, CA 91980 USA

Letter From The Ranch

Dear Rancho La Puerta family and friends,

We’re counting our blessings as Thanksgiving approaches. The rains have come and our mountain is clothing itself anew. Green shoots rise from the charred earth. The root crowns of sumac, sage and chemise show us miracles of rebirth and determination.

We are grateful for our big-hearted family of guests and employees. You have been beyond generous. Collectively, your donations of more than $200,000 are helping house families that lost their homes to wildfire on October 25, 2019.

Here you can view the plan unfolding in collaboration with city officials, the federal government and the Tecate Association of Architecture.

As we gather to express gratitude for each other and our abundance in the United States, we also celebrate the generosity of our local community in Tecate. Now, they need our help. Some families are still homeless as winter rains and cold winds approach.

Your donations will give them shelter, just as Tecate has given us a home for eighty years. May blessings of warmth, nourishment and togetherness make this a truly memorable Thanksgiving.

Your Rancho La Puerta Family,

Deborah Szekely and Sarah Brightwood
Roberto Arjona, CEO
Lily Kellenberger, Executive Director of Fundación La Puerta