You have arrived at the website of a growing group of animal lovers who live in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala.

Simply stated, our work is about the care and well-being of homeless and impoverished dogs and cats in our region.  These animals live on the streets and beaches of our lakeside communities.  Often, their food supplies must be foraged from the gutters and dumps.  They are routinely seen limping from being hit by taxis, as well as bloody from cuts made by the machetes of drunks. They are often found tied in bags and left to die by the river.  If never sterilized and vaccinated, they become a perpetual factory of unwanted offspring, venereal diseases, and general health risks.

Traditionally, the population of these animals has been controlled through semi-annual poisonings during the Easter and Christmas holidays.  Organized groups and individuals distribute strychnine-laced meat into the streets, causing both homeless and family pets to die in agony in public places.

We believe that the work we do has made a continuing difference in these horrific practices.  We believe that the results of our work have significantly reduced the overpopulation of homeless animals.  And we believe that the food and medical treatment we have enabled has raised health standards and new awareness in the communities.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our publishing site and feel free to ask us about anything.  We try to keep our news stories interesting so do come visit us often to see what we’ve been up to.

Select the About Ayuda page for details about the scope of our work.

Please select the Donations page if you would like to make any kind of contribution for the animals.  And if you are planning a trip to Guatemala, then please see our Visiting? page for a list of everyday items which can be easily packed in a suitcase.

5 thoughts on “¡Bienvenidos!”

  1. Hello guys I am a Venezuelan veterinarian and I have been living in Guatemala for about a month now ,I just recently visited Atitlan and San Pedro de la Laguna and realise there are loads of animals whose need help si I would love to participate and help them! Please let me know when can I join you!

  2. Hi Selaine! I have a bunch of vet supplies for you – how can I get them to you? Keep up the great work…Melissa Turnbull

  3. Congratulations to everyone at AYUDA for the great work. Though we here at ARCAS also love domestic animals, we are dedicated to the rescue and conservation of Guatemalan wildlife. If you see anyone trafficking, selling or mistreating wild animals, contact CONAP at 2238-0000 X2005, X2006 (vida silvestre) or you can make an anonymous denuncio via the CONAP website http://www.conap.gob.gt. You should include as many details as possible. Please let us know at arcasguatemala@gmail.com or 7830-1374 that you have made the denuncia so we can follow up. If you know of any pet owners who want to voluntarily donate their wild pets, you can contact us or CONAP as well. We are especially interested in macaws and yellow-naped amazons as we have captive-breeding for conservation programs of these species. Sorry, we can’t accept adult, non-releasable monkeys.

  4. I have been coming to Panajachel, Guatemala for 15 years and living here for the past 4 years. Much has changed.

    Many years ago when walking in less populated areas, you needed some rocks or a big stick to protect yourself from hungry and/or wild dog packs. And often you would see dogs starving and abused. And of course, with these problems left unchecked, the population grew and grew.

    Since Selaine and her husband Harold have been working and organizing people to feed, neuter and care for these animals, the change is astounding and obvious.

    The population has slowed in growth, many animals have been placed in caring homes, the dogs in the street are being tended to if they are sick, and animals are being given food to keep them from starving.

    Selaine and Harold know all the dogs in the street and give them care, love and food when they need it. They have been working tirelessly and this is a better place for us all to live because of them.

    They deserve support and aide for their work.

    Kathryn Laurain

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