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Santa Cruz Region



Population of young children (under age 6)


Percentage of young children living in poverty

(Click for a detailed map.)

The Santa Cruz Region covers almost all of Santa Cruz County, the smallest county in the state of Arizona. Situated in the Sonoran desert of southeast Arizona, Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz Region are home to six communities: Nogales, Patagonia, Rio Rico, Sonoita, Elgin and Tubac. Nogales is the county seat and is one of the largest ports of entry between Mexico and the United States. The area surrounding the Amado community in the northwestern corner of the county is assigned to the Pima South Region.


The Santa Cruz Regional Partnership Council makes strategic investments to support the healthy development and learning of the young children in the region. The council’s priorities include:

  • Strengthening families through voluntary home visiting and family resource centers
  • Oral health screenings and fluoride varnishes
  • Improving the quality of child care and preschool programs
  • Scholarships for children to access high-quality early learning

Learn more about what we fund

First Things First Staff

Francisco Padilla

Regional Director, Santa Cruz


Jessica Harrington

Sr. Director, Southeast Regional Area


Susan Faubion

Administrative Assistant II - Santa Cruz


Regional Office

1740 N Mastick Way
Nogales, AZ 85621
Laura Monarque

Laura Monarque is Santa Cruz’s 2018 Champion for Young Children

Laura Monarque has been selected as the 2018 Santa Cruz First Things First Champion for Young Children.The award is given to local champions who actively…

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Family Stories — Santa Cruz More Stories

Home visitation program prepares Nogales preschooler for kindergarten and beyond

​Nicole Velasquez had heard of the Healthy Families AZ program, which includes home visitation through the family resource center in Nogales, where she took…


Nogales mother learns how to prepare her daughter for kindergarten

Yesenia’s baby daughter Melanie was only 18 days old when her mother enrolled in the Healthy Families Arizona program in Nogales.She was already a mom to…


Nogales kindergartner finds success at family resource center

It was a random visit to a neighborhood park where Jessica Fierro first learned about the Nogales Family Resource Center.A conversation with another parent…

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