Sra Luisa lives in Los Pablos which is a suburb of Todos Santos, Guatemala. She is 54 years of age, and currently supports her three children as well as her son’s two children alone. Sra Luisa has two pigs, one which she intends to sell and one which will, one day, will feed her family. She has 34 chickens which she uses as a source of food as well as sells the eggs for money. She works as a midwife and also sews traditional clothing to support her family.
Sra Luisa has two dogs Supercon and Ducky, as well as a cat Dulce. Dulce means sweet in Spanish. Both of her dogs have been sterilized by Veterinarians without Borders. She used to have another dog but was forced to poison it. Her dog escaped from her yard, snuck into her neighbour’s house and stole some food. Her neighbour told her to “get rid of her dog” or he would report her to the municipality and have her put in jail. In Todos Santos, when hungry dogs are caught stealing the municipality will force owners to kill their dog. Since there is no veterinary clinic or humane way to euthanize animals in Todos Santos, people in the community are often forced to poison them with strychnine. When rabies was more common, people would throw sticks and stones at the dogs until they died.
Sra Luisa’s biggest concern in her town before Veterinarians without Borders came to work in 2008, was that she feared letting her children walk freely outside. People used to carry stones or sticks with nails in them to beat the dogs off them while walking the streets. Rabies was frequently reported in dogs in the area.
What Sra Luisa wants the most is for a permanent veterinarian to be situated in Todos Santos. She love’s the work Veterinarians without Borders does in her community and is grateful for it. She appreciates that the activities are directed toward public health as well as the animals. She will continue to support Veterinarians without Borders in her community and values their presence in Todos Santos.
In February 2014, Vets without Borders and 22 volunteers will return to continue working with Todos Santos.
To learn more about Vets without Borders work in Todos Santos, please visit our website. To support our work with Sra. Luisa and others from her community, please consider donating. To receive a tax receipt, please donate through our website. To receive some great perks, please donate through indiegogo.