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  • Writer's pictureAaron Bartlett

Thoughts become things: the Dog Sanctuary takes form!

Whoa, guys! It’s been a while.

Where did we go??

We’ve been building this-here Dog Sanctuary. Sometimes 9 hours a day, in the sun but with the shade of all the fruit trees, me and my local neighbors have been on the land building, Sundays off! I’ve personally done a lot of solo-carpentry in this time, designing and building all this wooden furniture you see on the Dog Land (table, chairs & bench). I had the local guys (Antonio and Jose) mostly doing the work of building the frame of the patio. I would then have my other friends (the German guys) volunteer with me cleaning the land, throwing out trash, raking up the leaves. Chopping down trees, mostly just coffee, and starting to clean all the land so it becomes hospitable. Making fires to burn the scraps. It was just pure rugged earth when we found it.


Now we’re starting to have a space I’d call ’hangout-able’.

The short-term goal for me is, to have this space as an open and active Dog Sanctuary soon, where people can come and see the dogs daily in a public space to play, feed, and observe how we work with them. I believe we can actually accomplish this by April, and have a soft-opening of the Sanctuary which could be seen as a sort of “stage-one”. This stage will be about having a safe place for Dogs to spend everyday, while still having a separate sleeping space in our personal ”headquarters”, the home above we currently stay. Basically, stage-1 is an active Dog Park and open daily Sanctuary. This way, we will have an operational space that is open on a daily schedule, with hours for visitation, where we will be able to accept dogs into the Sanctuary, play with dogs, host outdoor events, and even host sterilization clinics. All things for the Dogs will be possible, eventually, in The Dog Sanctuary.

Let’s start with some lamina on the roof, though.


So the table in the middle is called a “Floating Table”

I designed it myself, with inspiration from my super-cool homie Henrick who said

if you want a table, why not make it float?

Needles to say my mind was instantly blown, and I went right to work. Thanks to the engineering of our local carpenter Antonio (pictured above at right) who knew just how to set up the pulley correctly. Here we have video of us using the pulley system, which is simply tying the table to a rope that is attached to a “pulley” we can hoist up-and-down. Old-school engineering, yo.

Very proud of how this turned out. It is symmetrically 9-sided, which is called a nonagon.

The benefits of a 9-sided table according to Henrick: “it’s the perfect amount of people for a game of poker.” Haha! Amazing. Let’s play some cards. The idea is, in the daytime the table could be lifted to allow a large play-space for the dogs. Then in the evening, the table could be lowered and chairs brought out if say, we had a late-night dinner and games when the dogs go to bed.


So much to do, so little time!

When dog feeding stations are out, dogs are hungry everyday, you’re scheduling feedings, you’re feeding 20 dogs of your own, you’re dropping food off, you’re picking it up…these are the daily trudges off life in the Dog-Sanctuary biz. Food is one of the most important parts, if you want healthy dogs. You are what you eat, as they say. We diversify dry-food and cooked-food between our dogs and the street dogs in specific times and frequencies per week. I’m also trying to build a new place at the same time! It’s a lot for one guy. That’s why I’ve had a lot of helpers, literal employees, lately as Perros Libres has been able to afford constant care of our animals in the budget. Thank goodness! But as the workload has gone up, so have our costs of operation. Balancing this constantly-changing budget, with amounts of dogs constantly changing, is a constant battle. However we’ve been able to keep everyone fed.

With one person with the dogs, the other can be on the land.

Perros Libres has evolved into a minimum 2-person full-time job at it’s current stage of development. We’re also in the stage of hiring workers to help us build the Sanctuary at the exact same time. Thankfully, they are directly adjacent each other. It’s not like we have a long walk to work everyday! It also makes it essentially safe for the dogs (but not completely!) We also work directly with our neighbors everyday, who are both are carpenters, laborers, and even cleaners. They are an extremely helpful and gracious people. It’s kinda cool how the non-profit flow of money works, because if done correctly, it feeds the whole community. Non-profits are supposed to not build a pyramid of wealth, but spread it evenly like cream-cheese on a bagel. That’s what we do, here. All our neighbors benefit from our work by being directly involved in the business which just started with cooked dog food.

More on that to come, we have exciting things in development.


Time to start the big fundraiser! Let’s do it!

Announcement party @ Vida Concina Creativa: Saturday March 19th at 5 p.m.

More to come on this, as you can watch us live-stream the event on Facebook at a currently undisclosed time on Saturday. Prehaps during the Q&A about how our Sanctuary will work and what it will do exactly. We’ll also have a lot of cool music and performance! Who knows, just tune-in to find out this Saturday, between 5-9pm MST on Facebook.


Do you want to support in a way you can benefit your own dog? Buy a dog-collar!

Just a reminder if you are in a foreign country to Guatemala and want a way to support in a way that your dog can benefit from, we’re promoting artisan-made Guatemalan dog collars, shipped directly to you!

>>> sold by affiliate Purple La Luna (@PurpleLaLuna) on Facebook & Instagram: <<<


There’s of course, always so much to talk about.

Now more than ever, as it’s been almost an entire month since our last email, which is the longest we’ve ever went without an update to our email-list. But we’re back!

Forgive our discrepancies! Building and growing this organization while taking care of this growing pack has taken quite much of our attention. But we wouldn’t forget about you! It also feels good to be unplugged, sometimes. Thank you for your patience! We will be updating with more frequency as things further develop: which there’s a lot! We’ve got some unique local business being created with our neighbors, most specifically the sister’s of my landlord and carpintero, Antonio.

We’re making custom clothes collaboratively to help the fundraiser, as well as their local family!

50% of all proceeds after costs will be going to both the local family and us evenly. They’re excited! We’re so stoaked to get to be supporting the local families more and more as we grow. That’s what non-profits are supposed to be all about.

Here’s a sneak-peak:

However, the main unveiling will be at Vida this Saturday. See you there or see you live! :)

Libertad por los Perros!

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