It’s been a slow start to this new year but activities are now picking up to Ayuda’s normal pace. 2020 brought us two new mayors in Panajachel and in Santa Cruz La Laguna who both took office in mid-January. New partnership agreements were drafted and presented in early January.
Once officially in office, both new mayors signed the agreements along with the re-elected mayor of San Andres Semetabaj. The monthly schedule looks like this: 1st Thursday = Panajachel; 2nd Thursday = San Andres Semetabaj/Godinez on alternating months; 4th Thursday = Santa Cruz La Laguna/Tzununa on alternating months.
The 3rd Thursday of the month is under negotiation with another village in which Ayuda has never had a partnership agreement. We hope to finalize the agreement with the mayor this week and begin work in April. Watch for news!
Part of the agreement includes a municipally-sponsored office where Ayuda veterinary interns maintain office hours once a week to provide consults, referrals, and followup for animals sterilized during a clinic. Ayuda offices are now open in Santa Cruz and San Andres.
We hope to have an office space in Panajachel very soon. At the moment, patients are being seen on Monday mornings at the basketball arena in Capulin.
In addition to new mayors and municipal employees, it was also time to change Ayuda veterinary interns. It’s always bitter sweet to say farewell to those who have worked with us during their 6-month training session. And, it’s exciting to begin work with the new students.
Thank you, Stephanie Garcia for all of your hard work over the last 6 months! We will all miss you very much and wish you the best as you complete your degree and get going on your career.
Please join us in welcoming Oscar Monzón and Melissa “Mely” Alvarez to the Ayuda family!
Those of us who work the clinics and streets are always collaborating on how to improve services for the animals as well as the people. After many conversations a new clinic reservation system was developed and launched in January. The procedure has been publicized through social media, television and radio programs.
Although there have only been two clinics held so far this year, volunteers have been focused on snagging community roaming dogs for sterilization, vaccinations, and treatments.
In December and January a total of 36 animals received their sterilization packages at Dr. Isael’s office in Panajachel or in his hospital in Solola. Several of these were females plucked from the streets while in heat which means additional recovery time in the hospital.
5 dogs were admitted to the hospital in January for other types of surgeries or treatments. And, chemo therapy was given to 6 dogs suffering from Canine Transferable Venereal Tumors, a highly contagious but curable form of cancer found solely in dogs. Typically after 2-4 treatments, the tumors are cured — not in remission — cured!
While Ayuda is fortunate to have annual support from two European animal welfare foundations, we are always in need of additional funding for our sterilization clinics and must have private donations to support emergency services.
Here’s an example of how your kind donations are put to work.