In 2000, El Ranchito de los Niños was founded by Mike and Kathy Mechenbier, local ranchers and farmers who saw a need to provide a permanent home for sibling groups who were separated in foster care. The children of El Ranchito are raised as a family in a rural farm setting, taught responsibility and educated as a means of building a foundation and breaking the cycle.

What Makes El Ranchito Unique:

  • Accept children of all ages (0-18 years)
  • Accept sibling groups
  • Long term placement (many children stay 10 years+)
  • Placement can be voluntary, private or court referred
  • Provide transition services such as job training, workforce or college once a child has turned 18
  • Home apartment available for children over 18 for sibling visits, holiday breaks, etc.,

Our Home

El Ranchito is located in Los Lunas, New Mexico just south of Albuquerque. The 7,200 sq ft ranch home is nestled among 23 acres of rural farm land and home to several animals that are integrated into our program. The kitchen, living areas and house offices are centrally located in the home. Separate boys and girls wings are located on opposite ends of the main living space. The home also includes a two bedroom apartment in each wing, as well as an additional apartment available for former child residents to stay during sibling visits, college breaks, etc.,


El Ranchito de los Niños is dedicated to keeping brothers and sisters together in a stable home where they grow into adulthood together.


P. O. Box 2400, Los Lunas, New Mexico 87031

Contact Information

(505) 565-4470 Office
(505) 866-9527 Fax



Children's Home: 24 Hours
Administrative Hours: Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm


Licensed for 16 children ages 0-18. We consider all children regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion or disability.


Long-term or permanent home. All medical, educational, and physical needs are met.

IRS Tax Status

501(c)(3), Not for profit Federal Tax ID #: 85-0471183

Funding Sources

100% of the home's funding is from private sources including individuals, businesses, corporations, in-kind gifts, corporate and private foundation grant funding sources. We do not receive any state or federal funding.


Licensed by the State of New Mexico CYFD
Certified by the New Mexico Christian Child Care Association

Home Governance

The home is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who approve policy and procedure, oversee the financial aspects of the home, and participate in program, development and fundraising efforts.