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17935 Sky Park Cir
Irvine, CA, 92614
United States

(949) 752-7788



The Gratitude Series: Mexico

Lindsey Malcolm


As the Gratitude Series continues, we turn our focus to Tijuana, Mexico. We are so thankful our work has taken us south of the border, just 100 miles from our headquarters in Irvine, California. Did you know the U.S.-Mexico San Ysidro border crossing in Tijuana is the busiest border crossing in the world? Did you know it's also a gateway for human trafficking?

Tijuana is home to Zona Norte, the largest red light district in North America. Estimates of more than 500 girls are working in one of the city's largest brothels. These numbers are staggering, but emphasize why International Sanctuary must have a presence in Tijuana. The need is enormous and we are prepared to face the challenges, but we can't do it without your help! 

Our Tijuana Sanctuary will be the recipient of our Giving Tuesday campaign. Every donation given will go directly toward increasing our resources in this Sanctuary. When you give financial support, you'll help a girl escaping human trafficking discover a better, brighter future through healing, training, and love. We believe in these young women, and we know you do too. 

We give thanks for the tremendous work that has already been accomplished in Tijuana: the partnerships that have been formed, the beautiful space we can offer the young women, the welcoming of our first participants, the local community that has embraced our mission. And this time next year, we'll be grateful for the wonderful faces who fill the Sanctuary with love, laughter, and joy...all because you gave on Giving Tuesday 2017. 



Lindsey Malcolm

For many families, Thanksgiving is a celebration built on traditions. Whether it’s Grandmother’s dressing, the family Turkey Trot, or all of the cousins packing up the leftovers and heading out for the Black Friday early bird specials, the anticipation and joy that comes with each ritual is a great way to kick off the Holiday Season.

Some of the International Sanctuary staff and volunteers shared their favorite Thanksgiving traditions:

“Our family goes around the table and we all say one thing that so are very thankful for in that year.”

“My mom and grandma always have a glass of sparkling wine with raspberries the night before while cooking!”

“My family immigrated from China to the U.S., so Thanksgiving for us means the whole family getting together to cook - everyone bringing their favorite recipes and we all create unique, Chinese dishes. Last year, I made the turkey and, instead of traditional stuffing, we filled it with rice and veggies. It was so good!”

“I grew up overseas, so we would always invite other military members over to our house for Thanksgiving, especially those who had just arrived and their families hadn’t come over yet.”


Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but at the heart of it lies family, love, and peace, the very things our girls are discovering within the walls of our Sanctuaries around the world. It is not uncommon for these young women to share meals together and bond over the joys and struggles of everyday life. For some who did not have family or friends before International Sanctuary, they now have a safe, loving community where they belong.

What are your traditions? Head over to our Facebook page and share your favorite Thanksgiving activities!