About Ayuda

Homeless and Foraging  (photo by:  Eny Roland)

Homeless and Foraging (photo by: Eny Roland)

Thank you for your interest in Ayuda.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Ayuda is a nonprofit animal welfare program.  We are committed to the health and well being of  dogs and cats.  Our territory is the Lake Atitlan region in the Guatemalan Highlands.

Operating as a team comprised 100% of unpaid volunteers, we work together in the names of compassion and care in a land where animal control has a history of being handled by semi-annual public poisonings.

Ayuda has no overhead nor administrative expenses.  Our work is funded through grants and by people like you who care about the plight of helpless animals.  Everything we receive goes directly to the animals.

DUE DILIGENCE: As an officially registered  Guatemalan non-profit Asociación, the design of the Ayuda program is based on an extreme over-population of domestic animals, and caring citizens, businessesschools,  local and national government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations which share our philosophies and goals.

Village Clinic  Apr-09

Village Clinic

POPULATION CONTROL: Ayuda facilitates professional spay/neuter sterilization services for needy dogs and cats.  As part of our standard treatments, we also provide for vaccinations against deadly local diseases such as Rabies, Parvo, Distemper, and more.

Our weekly sterilization clinics are generally scheduled on Thursdays.  Currently, we routinely facilitate clinics in 7 local villages.

Additionally, Ayuda provides sponsorship funding and support services for clinics which are facilitated by other local non-profit groups and concerned citizens who qualify and meet Ayuda standards.

Curly burned

Treating a burn victim in a public area

DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES: On a daily basis,  roaming dogs and cats are caught, treated, and released to and from their daily habitats.

In addition to sterilizations and vaccinations, we provide hands on treatments for parasites and other ailments such as mange, malnutrition and even cancer.

Generally, our pre/post-op care and treatments are provided hands-on by Ayuda volunteers.  These treatments are typically performed in open public areas or in the homes of our neighbors.

Through simple but effective health care measures, and with no more confinement than absolutely needed, we have seen remarkable recoveries and positive measurable results in many roaming animals who were sick and dieing when we first discovered them.

VETERINARIAN  SERVICES AND SUPPLIES: Ayuda partners with qualified professional Guatemalan veterinarians for sterilizations and other health care needs.  Veterinarian services, medical supplies, hospitalizations, and all other professional services are paid by Ayuda on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Starvation and parasite infestation on a public street

Starvation and parasite infestation are seen everyday on our public streets.

TREATMENT STATIONS: In addition to population control and general health care treatments, Ayuda maintains numerous “treatment” stations where hungry and pre/post-op animals are fed, monitored, base-lined, and given basic medical treatments and dietary supplements.

Our treatment stations are established in areas which are safe from traffic and other human dangers.  Nutritional supplements and other treatments are recorded,  scheduled, and administered on a per-animal basis.

HUMANE EDUCATION:  Through in-country lobbying with  government Ministers and agencies, Ayuda supports and encourages the inclusion of Humane Education programs into Guatemalan school curriculums as new standards.We have led classroom sessions in which the young are taught about the issues of over-population, cruelty, compassion, and survey techniques.

Through our daily work, Ayuda volunteers are familiar faces inside the neighborhoods.  We often educate curious passerbys (especially children) about the purpose of the hands-on humane things we do with the animals on their streets and sidewalks.


Foster care in the homes of volunteers

FOSTERING AND ADOPTIONS: Our volunteers provide in-home fostering for animals requiring extended health care treatments, such as chemotherapy, as well as pre-adoption services for special cases, until homes can be found with responsible humans.

VOLUNTEERS: We eagerly and gratefully welcome volunteers (especially vets and vet students), as well as  in-kind donations of supplies brought to us by visitors, and all other locals and visitors who care to help the plight of an over-population of neglected street animals.

We are equipped to provide surgery facilities, proper and secure storage for vaccines and medicines, and lodging for visiting professionals.


“Thank You for helping me”, Xela

MUCHAS GRACIAS: The daily lives we experience in impoverished communities overwrought with health issues have lead us to taking stands of commitment for animals and humans alike–but especially in the names of civility and compassion for helpless animals.   The Guatemalan Highlands have a very high population of homeless, starving, and endangered dogs and cats.  We do what we can to prevent their deaths, and offer them health care and human kindness.  And we need help.

In Spanish, ayuda means “help”.

Thank you for helping Ayuda to continue its help for the helpless.


  1. Everything about Ayuda sounds amazing. I am currently staying in Santiago at the Posada helping out at the hospital, but it is pretty rough seeing all of the dogs. I want to make a trip over to Pana to visit Ayuda, but in the meantime, do you have any recommendations on how I could feed some of the homeless dogs in the Santiago area?
    I’d also love to get involved.

    Lanier from New Orleans

  2. Great organization! Keep up the great work. Not only do you help the stray dogs around the Lake Atitlan area, you have helped me with my own dog here! I will always be thankful to you for putting me in touch with a local vet!

  3. Keep up the good work. I am trying to recruit some new members to the cause and wish I could do more.

  4. Great Website!!
    We miss you guys, but feel you are in the right place. We think of you often and hope to see you soon. You really are in our thoughts.


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