Help at a domestic animal rescue centre near Antigua, Guatemala, Central America
We are an animal welfare not-for-profit charity registered in Guatemala and in the USA.
The shelter is located in woodland at approximately 6000 feet above sea-level in the mountains above the tourist town of Antigua and just outside the K’ach’ikel Maya town of Sumpango - world famous for its annual Day of the Dead kite festival (November 1st). The shelter is a beautiful place and very peaceful – especially when the dogs are asleep.
We are home to some 350 dogs, 40 cats and a young horse. All the animals are spay/neutered, treated for intestinal parasites and fully vaccinated before being put up for adoption.
We need conscientious and responsible volunteers with a love for animals. A day’s work consists in help with cleaning kennels, exercising dogs and puppies, giving medication and other special care to sick animals, socializing and training the dogs, and keeping the cats company. Flicka the horse is always grateful for company and exercise too.
Volunteer veterinarians are very welcome, as are people with special skills in electrical or construction work. We also need help from people with writing skills and an interest in social media for newsletters, blogs, Facebook, fundraising, and general public relations.
There is separate, free on-site accommodation for volunteers, that shares a house with the animal food store. The accommodation is provided for free in exchange for your help. If you don’t want to stay on-site we can advise but will not direct you towards other paying accommodation options.
The accommodation is fairly basic but includes a hot shower and cooking facilities. We are not able at this time to provide food, but Sumpango has shops and an excellent market. And while the shelter is indeed located in a beautiful part of the world, beyond conversation with local people there is no social life. If you’re not adjusted to a quiet, tranquil life, you’d be better advised to stay in Antigua where the fun never stops. Antigua is an easy hour away by frequent bus.
DIY and building projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
Travel is always a mind-expanding (and often entirely unpredictable) learning experience. Time spent at the shelter will also considerably improve your command of Spanish.
Volunteers enjoy a hands on experience with the animals. Each day consists of cleaning kennels, walking dogs and puppies, giving medicines and socializing/training new animals. Lots of cats to socialize and a young horse who needs grooming and attention. We have rabbits and chickens also.
The accommodation shares a house with the animal food store. It consists of 2 bunk beds, bathroom with shower, kitchenette which includes a gas cook top, refrigerator and clean drinking water. It's also the home of two cats.
Remember that Guatemala is a poor country and we cannot be responsible for your well being outside of the rescue. You need to keep your street smarts about you when out and about but if you do, you won't have any problems.
Volunteers do get their exercise here so please keep in mind that we are at about 6,000 ft elevation and you will be walking (or running) with energetic dogs. Unless, of course, you'd rather opt for some peaceful time keeping the cats company.
We are approximately 1 hour by local bus from the internationally acclaimed World Heritage site, Antigua Guatemala, where you can enjoy hostels, bars, cafes, restaurants, the annual Easter extravaganza, travel to volcanoes, lakes, beaches, and much more.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Minimum 15 hours week (food not included)