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The Dog Sanctuary is a-go! 


Aaron with basically the whole pack

Why do we do this?

What's the reason?

It is so, very, very simple. Animals live in a world that is cruel. Animals experience mistreatment unlike any one race, any one type of human, and are seen in many parts of the world as less than they are: akin to a tool, like a shovel, and not given the awareness of the fact that it has a personality, emotions, a heart, and a soul.

If everyone saw dogs the way we do, and everyone treated animals as humans, and the police enforced those laws, and the people understand why they are there: then there would be no reason for Perros Libres.

But unfortunately this is not the case here, and we are at the middle of this reality. For this sad reason I must tell this to you today.

This has become a war zone. And the dogs are the target.

I'm not mincing words here. The dogs on the Perros Libres sanctuary in Tzununa have been threatened, and I was called in to a meeting with the very group that was doing the threatening. I will not name names but they can be said to represent the community of Xeabaj, Tzununa, which is the small sector we live in.

To put it simply, they had said they were not happy with how many dogs live here on the Sanctuary. They complain of the noise, the smell, and the fear the people have of the dogs.

They asked me to move all of my dogs, at first, or they would take responsive action. Here is where some harsh and dangerous words showed up that I will spare you of.

So, being my persistent self as I am, argued this case:

  1. We are here to serve the community.

  2. We help everyone who asks us to help their dogs.

  3. We've rescued and save many lives and intend to get them all adopted.

  4. If something happens because of our dogs, such as a chicken being attacked or a person who is bitten, we compensate and take care of any harm we have ever caused.

  5. We've built this reputation with the community and it is strong.

Honestly, they were not very moved. However I felt they could feel my heart is in this work, and my love for the place and my willingness to fight to maintain our position here. This atleast denotes a mention, because I think resilience is respected in a place like this.

So, we came to a negotiation. And these were the terms:

If we can move half of our dogs (approx. 30) to another location by the date of June 20th, 2023, then we will be permitted to continue operation free of molestation, and gain respect of the community for adhering their request so seriously.

Let's save these dogs.

"Crystalito" newly renamed Dobby by the volunteers 😂


Okay so what's the land look like? Let me show you.

Land in question needed to be developed.


There is no greater reward than to live knowing you are improving the lives of others.

The ability to provide and be an open spirit who gives without expecting anything in return.

The love of a mother, for example, to find love in pain, to see what she creates and provide with her presence, is perhaps the only form of true unconditional love.

To be able to maintain the same attitude and following-through that with keeping your cool.

The ability to show and not tell.

The ability to speak and not scream.

The ability to show confidence but not arrogance.

The ability to be respected and loved without having to be feared.

A leader's motivations drastically increase when they understand what they are fighting for and how important it is. The idea that one's effort never goes to waste, because helping the world doesn't mean helping everyone, as 99.9% DO NOT have that chance.

However, lots of those who belong to the 99.9% do their part that is also helping the world. We work together.


So what now?! How can I help?

We've begun a brand new fundraiser specifically to build on this property and make what I'm calling the "Emergency Pop-Up Shelter" in order to show it's reason and intention.

We are going to make the fastest-built dog sanctuary I've ever attempted, and we already have 3 important pieces of the puzzle.

  1. Land given with permission to use until further negotiations can be made.

  2. Employees I am currently interviewing for start date.

  3. A local workforce ready to begin TOMORROW!

The last missing piece is the funding. So here is the fundraiser webpage:

If you want to save the click and just see the donation campaign, I will install it directly below.

Save the dogs: Pop-up Emergency Shelter fundraiser!

Thank you to everyone who can support at this critical time.


Good news: 501(c)3 status OFFICIALLY confirmed! Wooo!

This has not been publicly posted on any of our pages yet, but I just got the confirmation letter from the IRS: we're a 501(c)3 officially! Yay!!

This is really excellent news for us and all of our donors for a few reasons:

  1. All current donations to Perros Libres are tax-deductible.

  2. All previous donations ever since our foundation begin in August of 2021 are now back-logged as tax-deductible. You can write off donations from other years as we're now registered as that is included in the tax-code.

  3. It requires us to follow the US government standards to ensure our organization runs properly and fluidly: with an active board of directors, policies, and even write bylaws which we operate by under our own ethical definition.

  4. We can be included in government-based grants, corporate grants, and all kinds of modern social-media fundraising that is only accessible to 501(c)3 non-profit companies.

This is HUGE! A big milestone passed and now we're ready to get more organized, efficient, and abundant for our animals and all who take care of them!

Pluto sipping water at soon-to-be sanctuary


I am taking this step into the unknown, just like when we began...

Knowing that it is possible! And not backing down to the "impossibles" life can throw at us.

Pitaya getting ready to face all the "impossibles"


What are our priorities?

Waking up every single day and giving 100% without feeling the equivalent result, is the TOUGHEST THING in the world.

Wake up and not be discouraged knowing how all the other times failed, but you're still pushing.

There have been many over the years who tried to achieve greatness but failed.

Greatness has different definitions for people because a sense or feeling of "greatness" is different for many.

Me and my team's priorities are:

  1. to give dogs quality of life: fun, food, water, comfort, training, and love.

  2. to prevent illness, disease, mistreatment, and suffering for the dogs.

  3. to vaccinate and & sterilize all chosen dogs to prevent the excess spread of excess life which leads to unnecessary death.

  4. to create a sustainable model for eventually all street dogs in need to be rescued & brought to better places. We are just beginnig!

To summarize: Our priority is to give dogs a meaningful life.

Seeing them energized gives me energy for more.

Yes, I am tired. Yes, I am stressed.

However, they are so happy.

Living the life they were always meant to live.


Thank you. Everything is a reason to continue! Everything is a reason to love!

Your best man who always has a plan,

Aaron :)

AND OF COURSE, libertad para los perros!

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Updated: May 28

Progression is a strong word.

It implies one is always improving, excelling, and accelerating.

I don't think there's ever been a time that wasn't true here.

However, everything moves in waves. Ups-and-downs.

I grew up with an "American-mindset": always improving, always pushing, always progressing.

The truth is, though, this is a somewhat toxic mindset.

We cannot always improve. We cannot push further day after day, without ever taking a break. Progression is rarely, if ever, steady and predictable. Nor is life itself.

Under the pressure of this mindset, and being an extremely self-motivational type person, I have lived these last 2 years with a non-stop push to the greater, to the more improved, to the more organized. It's allowed me to "push-through" some of my greatest weaknesses and doubts, and yet, it's also allowed me to experience greater dynamics of mental health challenges.

I can recall everything under the sun I felt in this process:

  • Excitement

  • Elation

  • Disappointment

  • Betrayal

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Fear

  • Negativity

  • Doubt

  • Self-criticism

The list goes on. However, these are all natural effects of pushing through your boundaries.

Of changing yourself, alchemizing yourself.

I've changed in more ways than I can hardly explain.

And I'm all the better for it.

Aaron & his princess, Athena


I'll admit, the work has worn on me.

Perros Libres has been the thing which has ripped me open in many ways. I've been in-and-out of the ringer like I was put through a washing machine, wrung out, and hung up to dry. But we stand stronger than ever, 67 dogs strong right now.

We have been doing all the things we've talked about:

  1. Sterilization

  2. Quarantining all new puppies

  3. Up-to-date vaccinations for everyone

  4. Setting new requirements for taking in dogs

  5. Dog-adoption contracts

  6. Developing the land

Amazing volunteers re-built the front gate!

The awesome team sending me a video of their hard construction work!

But there is so much more to do!

So much left undone!

This year is gonna be busy as always!

Ruby: a sweet sweet baby that didn't make it.

We still need to build a bathroom!!

A bathroom?! You mean you don't have one?

We need a Bath, like Badly.

This is how we currently wash dogs:

Washing the dogs!

Can you see how bad we need a bathroom?

Oh no! I can't believe we're still living in this rustic style, we need to build more amenities. What does it take to build more stuff? Money. What does it take to raise money? Fundraising. What does it take to fundraise? More time on the computer, the technology, the social media. And that's just the basics of managerial tasks. There's also a whole bunch of dogs to take care of!

WHOA! Who can do all that, and raise a whole pack of 70 dogs?!

Me, our team of volunteers, community, and supporters; that's who!

This is NOT a one-man-show!

I'm worked to the bone in keeping this Sanctuary running. In keeping it growing, cleaning, building, managing, organizing, instructing, teaching, and working public relation with the local community.

This work has not made it feel easy! This town has not made it easy (by far!)

But I am not, nor will I ever be alone in this again. I am sure.

We're a LARGE group!

We're a TEAM!

We're building a COMMUNITY!

I can't believe we've made it here but I'm so glad we have.

Somehow, someway: I feel more motivated than ever.

I'm hungry as I write this. I'm about to be back in the Sanctuary within 24 hours and the excitement is boiling up inside me. It's time to get back to those dogs soon, and show you guys what is next for the Sanctuary.


Washing doggies!

Of course, there is lots more we could talk about.

For now this will have to do.

I want to thank you ALL for reading, for being here, and for being our supporters! We're gonna need help funding this rainy season, so please spread the word!

Tell your friends about us, family, other animal rescues or allies!

We need ALL the help we can get!

This is Aaron, your dog man-with-the-plan, signing off this evening.

I've left a donate-button above if you may be able to support us at this time

(let's build that bathroom!)

Have an excellent weekend, and Libertad para los perros.

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Hello friends and family of Perros Libres, this is your captain Aaron speaking. Thank you for your patience, and please fasten your seatbelts: as our flight is prepared for liftoff.

What an amazing time to be alive. The year is 2023, and we're living life to the fullest in Tzununa, Guatemala. Life has improved: funding has improved, the conditions for the volunteers has improved, and the conditions for the dogs are better than they've ever been.

(I, also, have been making sure to take care of myself! More frequent showers, washing my clothes, keeping the place cleaner. Taken me long enough!)

We buy now 400 lbs of dog food a week, our highest frequency ever. The cost for 400 lbs of the brand Alimax that we use is exactly 1500 Q, or approximately $200 USD. This equates to $800 a month of just dry food, and we spend 1600 Q/month as well (or $213 USD) on cooked food, which is made by our amazing Maria 5 times a week for the dogs. That equates to a total of approximately $1013 USD/month of all dog-food related expenses.

200 lbs of dry food: 1/2 of our weekly dry food usage

So with Maria's cooking, which used to feed all the dogs, it's now no longer enough for the whole pack, which is totaling now over 60 dogs!!! We've never had this many dogs before, and are in an amazing position to be able to continually say yes as our resources and volunteer team have been growing and improving immensely. But that means we have to cook some of our food everyday for them, add Maria's food, and dry food together which makes enough healthy and nutritious food for 60 dogs. This is actually a tremendous undertaking just to feed them, but our system is so good and our team is so good we make sure every single dog eats a balanced meal everyday. This ensures everyone stays in optimal health: everyone comments at the sanctuary how healthy everyone's pelts are. This is one of the easiest-to-notice signs of the healthiest dogs.

Surya chewing a coconut

A good 'pack snapshot'. Granted this is only 1/3rd of the entire group.


So, healthy dogs: that's a good way to start the year!

Happy Perrita on the bed with Athena :)

This is actually the longest time period since starting the Perros Libres blog in August of 2021 that I've ever went without an email/blog update. The last post was "What a year 2022 has been!" which was on December 31st of 2022. That means it's been over 3 months since the last post! Well, looking backward I can definitely understand why.

I got locked out of most of my electronic devices: iPhone and iPad, after forgetting my one passcode (nice one!) I never knew Apple devices could literally lock you out of your device forever, unless you reset/erase the phone. So instead of messing with all of that, I've just been working much more "unplugged". I've been reachable only by email or direct messages on social media for the last month, and I must say it's been quite refreshing.

I find myself having more physical energy everyday, I'm more motivated to get things done, and I'm less thinking about "what's going on in social media" and more about what's relevant right in front of me: my pack and the daily condition of the dogs. This is priority #1 every-single-day at Perros Libres and the constant flow of daily newcomers, visitors and volunteers daily is proof of this. Everyone loves working at a Sanctuary with actual healthy, and happy dogs. I also, personally, am so much more grounded and focused with that much less "screen-time" in my life.

	>>Who needs a phone?! 

In Guatemala, life has been amazing learning to be "one with nature", and living with as little conveniences as possible. It is so invigorating and healthy, even though to an outsider we might look more "dirty" or "unconventional" to many people from our home-countries. Well, I'd say as a group we're having a good time, this is what we look like lately:

Aaron, Deandre, Amber, Elli, Illa, and Lotta.

I'd say we look pretty clean, yeah?

Really great compared to last year's rainy season: when we called the sanctuary "Mud Land".😅


Huge Announcement: We're building a new house!

Whoa!! That's cool: how'd that happen?!

A very large donation was raised by a Guatemalan benefactor from Santa Cruz. She paid a local construction team that she works personally with to purchase this material, and then construct the foundation of this house. This is as far as their fundraising has been able to go: now it's up to us to finish the job. We can do it, but of course we'll need a little help.

We're ready to finish the roof of this house, if we can just buy the material, higher a single construction manager, and schedule the building with as many volunteer hands as we can get that day. Just another day in the life of building a non-profit! We're excited for the challenge. I think I can personally add a beautiful and unique touch to this style of construction and make it pretty, efficient, and comfortable enough for the type of lifestyle we have here.

We'll take some steps to plan what our immediate needs our for that, because there is still a lot to do for us to be able to use this house. It will create a small fundraiser on it's own (just like our cabin fundraiser) and be able to hopefully finish most of the job before rainy season!


It's time to move forward, and get the next steps of our organization done.

There is plenty to do. Filing 501 (c) 3 paperwork (which we have not been able to do from Guatemala), signing a contract for long-term use of the land, building a bathroom, building a roof on our new house before it gets rained in: there is a ridiculous amount of stuff to do in just the next months. So know we have our hands full: but not one day goes by where these dogs don't get their needs met: their walks, their runs, their food, their water, their medicine, their play. These are the happiest dogs I've ever seen in my life. I am SO proud to be able to say that.

(They could use a bit of better training though!)


How'd you get so many new dogs?! Who are they?

Ally, Loki, Ram, Yuma, Rubia.

Here's a list of some of the new dogs we've gotten since 2023 has began:

  1. Ally (from German friends down the street)

  2. Crystalito, Sapphiro, and Esmeralda (garbage dump pile in Tzununa)

  3. Daisy and her 7 puppies

  4. Bronson & Juana (San Pedro)

  5. Wobbly (Sanjuyac up the mountain)

  6. Guru, Ram, Yuma, & Kiera (Santa Cruz)

  7. Loki (Tzununa)

  8. Pitaya (Panajachel)

  9. Chonk (Panajachel)

  10. Kusha (Tzununa)

  11. Charlie & Rubia (Santa Cruz) [these dogs are soon going to homes!]

  12. Motor & Blue (Santa Cruz) [also going to homes!]

  13. Lio (Tzununa)

That's 28 new dogs this year in 2023! WHOA!

It's taking a lot adjusting to all this change, and with the pack essentially doubling this year, that's why we use double the dry food (from 200 lbs/week to 400 lbs) that we've needed to change. It also means double the walks, too! So, needless to say this is why we have not been writing much lately: we've been working hard!

And just so everyone knows: ALL these new dogs are sponsor-able and adoptable!

So if you want to help at this time, you can sponsor a dog, or just donate on our normal method, I'll provide the button below:

Thank you everyone!!!

And of course, libertad por los perros.

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