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

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 […]


Risitas was rescued along with her 2 siblings from certain death on the streets of Guatemala City. We assume that the terrible wound across her face was made by a cruel blow from a machete. She was skillfully sewn back together by Dr. Hugo Sicán Pelén at Clinica El Arca, […]


“Khan went to the vet. He is on anti-inflammatory drugs for the arthritis and hip displasia and he moves much faster and easier now.  He also had a really bad bladder infection and some kidney problems. We have him on Amoxicilin for 10 days.” – Sue. Khan had been found on […]


Newsletter Winter 2015

Thank you for coming all the way to the AWARE website! Just click on the link below to read or download the Newsletter. Before you do, sign up for future Newsletters – the SIGN UP button is here, just to the right and down a bit. That way future newsletters will be delivered straight […]

Supporting Animal Shelters: Canada to Costa Rica

In November this year, young Canadians Brody Watkins and Arianna Jordan embark on an epic fund-raising trip through Central America. They will be visiting as many animal shelters as they can fit in to their 2-month itinerary, and plan to spend some time at AWARE while they are in Guatemala. […]

Internet Signal Affected By Weather

We discovered yesterday that the lack of rain is due to El Niño. This is the Rainy Season in Guatemala, when a year’s worth of rain comes in 6 months, while the other half of the year is dry, but dry. Last year the rain was very sporadic, and so […]

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