Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Continues Community Support in Mexico

A recent trip with the Rancho Feliz Charitable Foundation to Agua Prieta, Mexico provided a weekend of community building, providing food and shelter for those in need

Recently Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty and the RL Foundation, the non-profit charitable and service work branch of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, returned to Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico to continue building houses with the Rancho Feliz Charitable Foundation and assisting individuals at the local migrant center who were deported from the United States and awaiting asylum.

“There is nothing like a weekend at Rancho Feliz to put life into perspective,” said Stephanie Stewart, president of the Russ Lyon Foundation. “The work Rancho Feliz does to help the quality of life for those just across our border is heartwarming. It is an honor and it is humbling to be able to serve those who have so much less than we do. It makes you grateful for all that you have, but also increases your desire to share more of what you have.”

Upon the group’s arrival in Agua Prieta, Mexico, the team from RL Foundation, which consisted of 26 agents, owners, managers and their families, visited a local Migrant Center that is dedicated to assisting individuals deported from the United States or awaiting asylum. The center provides essential resources such as food, water, and clothing, and aids in transportation back to their places of origin. The team was deeply moved by the heartbreaking stories of two women seeking refuge from the violence of the Cartel in southern Mexico, said Stewart.

Following their visit, the team spent the weekend with the dedicated staff of the Rancho Feliz Charitable Foundation, with whom they engaged in meaningful work, contributing to the construction of three houses led by RFCF and assisting at a dog rescue facility. Completing two houses, handing over the keys to families, and participating in the painting and drywall installation of the third house marked a rewarding experience.

“The Russ Lyon Foundation has been involved with Rancho Feliz for 10 years,” said Founder of the RL Foundation Todd Gillenwater. “The RLF provides multiple education scholarships for children, direct financial investment and annual hands-on service work weekends. The consistency of RLF support helps Rancho Feliz budget and plan for future growth and stability, while providing our real estate advisors and employees the soul-nourishing opportunity to help so many deserving people that live so close to us, yet a world apart.”

The group dedicated their final days to aiding a dog rescue that housed 160 dogs, many of whom would either find homes in the US or spend their lives at the shelter. Followed by serving local families as they distributed 750 bags of food and warm blankets to those living in extreme poverty. The food bags, designed to sustain a family of five for a week, were distributed based on a careful selection process by a food distribution committee. Recipients earned their provisions by collecting a minimum of 20 discarded plastic bags or bottles, fostering a sense of community involvement and environmental responsibility.

Branch Manager Sherri Monteith, who brings her son with her each time she goes, stated that “Grateful isn’t a sufficient enough word to describe this experience, however, it’s all I have. To be born where we were, to have the opportunity to serve those in need is a feeling like none other. Watching a single mom have a safe place for herself and her children, providing food for a family and even the dogs are going to live a better life because of these efforts is something that you can’t buy, you just have to feel.”

The trip to Agua Prieta not only allowed the team to witness the challenging circumstances faced by migrants and those living across the border, but also provided an opportunity to actively contribute to positive change.

To view photos from the RL Foundation’s trip, visit

To make a donation to the Rancho Feliz Project please visit