Animal AWARE (Animal Welfare Association - Rescue/Education) is a non-profit, non-governmental charitable organization for the rescue and welfare of abandoned or abused animals. It was founded in 1998 in Guatemala by Xenii Nielsen (USA), Gina Illescas (Guatemala), and Pamela Hirst- Prins (England).

Our mission:

Our mission is to reduce the suffering and improve the lives of domestic animals in Guatemala.

We believe that, as well as being a direct benefit to the animals, enabling people to understand their pets and improve the way they look after them will bring about very positive social and cultural improvements for Guatemalan society in general.

Animal AWARE Stories

Lil’ Bub

Lil’ Bub was brought to us by a little girl – the daughter of the man who brings the hay for Flicka the chestnut mare. She got down from the truck and handed Xenii a small ball of fur. Apparently she found it behind a bale of hay, and no […]


When Meyer arrived at AWARE he was paralysed. He couldn’t even lift his head to drink. Someone had left this beautiful, young Chocolate Lab lying on the path by the Main Gate. The Vet’s diagnosis was of some kind of blow to the spine, probably not inflicted by a speeding […]

Sancho in California

Sancho, known as Zecke in Animal AWARE was abandoned as a puppy outside the shelter. We found him tied up to the gate one morning and he was extremely nervous. When we attempted to untie him he was so scared that he tried to bite us and to see such […]

Don Carlos and Carlita

Well dog my cats! as Huckleberry Finn would say. This caring for animals business is beginning to rub off on the staff! Head farm-hand Don Carlos turned up one day, carrying this tiny bundle of fur under his jacket. On his way to work he heard a pitiful miaowing coming […]


World Animal Day 2016

Saturday October 1st – an all-day event for Family and Friends This year AWARE is celebrating World Animal Day (a few days early so as to take advantage of the weekend) at Suburbia Lounge in Antigua (4a Avenida norte No2) with Live Music, a Raffle, a Silent Auction, food specials, an […]

How to help AWARE

HOW TO HELP AWARE Just knowing that there are people out there sending us positive (and pawsitive) thoughts is a great source of strength for us, both when the going gets tough, and when the sun is shining on a calm and pleasant day. To those of you who want […]

Monthly Spay/Neuter Clinics

All this rescuing and nursing is great and very gratifying for all concerned, but when will it put a stop to cruelty to animals, and reduce pet over-population to a nice round zero? AWARE continues the search for the wise benefactor who will help us create Guatemala’s first Humane Education […]

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