Someone called me up the other day, whom I’ve never met. They said they saw the Perros Libres page and couldn’t believe what they were seeing: she said the situation here reminded her of what she saw in Bali, with the worst sick and wild dog combination in any place she’s ever seen. I personally have nowhere else to compare my experience of other dog populations expect the United States, in almost always quite nice areas. I don’t know if I’d ever seen a wild dog before I moved here, to Guatemala.
But, the dogs are a lot more chill even here lately.
But I am a firm believe in the concept of create the world you want to see. Kinda like, what Ghandi said: ”the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step.” You don’t have to save the world, but if we use our energy to create initiatives that we want to see more of in the world, we can get things moving. See if it works. It can’t hurt to try: right?
Really an incredible month we had in January.
Actually I dare say, the best we’ve had yet.
We as an organization have existed just past the 6-month mark. In this last month of January, we’ve secured more than one business relationship with different affiliates in different places of the world. We’re getting the message out, and people are supporting in whatever ways we’ve been offering thus far. You guys keep the boat moving, and we’re hitting new coasts.
Passive Income: these are magic words anywhere in the world of business. Though a non-profit is designed to not retain profits, like most businesses, but inject them back into the community work, it still operates as in legality and reality as simply another business. Non-profits still have employees, pay wages to everyone who they can that works for them, and have rents to pay. Passive income is necessary for a business that begins to operate on a larger scale. We’re getting there, now. Donating monthly using our new Donorbox system creates passive income for us as an organization. This allows us to more and more easily budget our ever-expanding needs for the dogs, which as our numbers of dogs-housed is, so does the budget requirements.
Community Relationships: this is a very under-valued quality of what Perros Libres perhaps does on a different level than most foreign-begun operations. We work directly with locals everyday in our business, and therefore are developing a very tight-knit into the community. The real community, not just the “extranjeros” that gather together and say they are gonna run this place. It’s important to remember the balance of these two different but connecting communities here: the foreigners and the locals, there can be quite a large chasm in-between. I try to remember this and live humbly in a different culture, without superimposing myself in a big way but existing in a healthy coexistence with a unique peoples.
Adoptions: in the month of January we’ve adopted out 5 dogs. We’ve had to adopt out as many as could go to secure homes to have space for who we have now. As to where I sit right now on our patio, there are 16 dogs laying around me. We‘ve never had a number this high of dogs here, and I daresay we’ve hit our peak capacity for the size of space we currently have. That’s why adoptions are becoming even more important to follow through with, so we can have space for others that will inevitably need it. Look at all those doggies we’ve gotten to happy homes! (Although, Kiwi spends most of his time with us still.) And, lastly, this problem will be quickly solved once we start using the big Dog-land.
3 Dog Feeding Stations installed in Tzununa.
Here’s a collage of their materials, making, installing, and application. A picture is worth 1000 words here.
So, things keep moving forward and quickly.
We have some exciting things to look forward soon I must plan this month, but I’ll be telling you all about this in the further along updates. This is a simple report-to-base message: All is good here on the home front. We’re continuing mission, healing dogs, feeding dogs, and are gaining momentum from all the help we’re getting from other groups. Thank God for progress: this job is starting to feel like it’s getting easier, rather than harder. The feeding stations have been huge for me, and increased my productivity in feeding in both time and energy by at least 3x. It’s drop-and-hop, and even a solo volunteer can do this task. It’s making it much easier to actually feed all the street dogs in consistent rotation week-to-week.
Here’s a video of the best one: Feeding Station #2.
Okay, big steps forward: we’re prepping the Dog-land for construction.
We’re budgeted and funded for all operations in our current space at least through the month of April (hooray!!) Though we haven’t begun the ”big fundraisier” for the new Dog Sanctuary and volunteer house, I have finally organized our operations well enough that we can start building on the Dog-land. We’re budgeted ahead for once, and I can put my energy in the new space. Erin our full-time employee is able to maintain the dogs at home while I can start physically building the big space. The contract is also in it’s final stages before finalization, getting prepped by our lawyer, so I’m prepping for our big launch and be ready for a full-scale construction of this new Volunteer house and 100-dog Sanctuary.
This month we begin this process, and you can help kickstart this by helping us reinforce our fence for dogs around the sanctuary. The fence needs cementing around the entire base, and that’s a lot of cement. If you want to help us get this done: here’s a donate link.
To end, I would like to as always thank all of the Perros Libres supporters and followers. You guys have inextricably created this wonderful experience both for the dogs, and for us who are honored to be allowed this experience of working with them. I’m truly having more fun here than I’ve ever had, even though the work is consistent and keeps life very busy. I’ve always been happier in life when I have a busy job, rather than being unemployed and bored, but it’s very important to find work you actually like. This is a simple truth I’m sure we all can agree on. I’m very happy to work here, and it’s quite rewarding to get to be with grateful and happy animals on a day-to-day basis. One day, people will want to come from around the world just to feel the positive experience these creatures have here on a daily basis.
Libertad por los Perros.