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.

Animal AWARE Stories


In November of 2021, Dani and I got married and started our new life together. At first, just like with a lot of newlyweds, our lifestyles went through a lot of changes. After a few months, Dani started feeling anxious because she was spending so much time home alone in […]


Monday, March 22, 2021 was a difficult day for me. I had been on cloud nine for 4 months inanticipation of having a baby. Everything changed on that fateful day as I had a miscarriage andlost the baby. I immediately went into a downward emotional spiral and started to suffer […]


I came to Guatemala to complete a circle. Back in 2008, my husband Matt and I were looking for a dog to adopt. We looked for quite some time, but that magic connection just wasn’t quite manifesting…until one day I went to the Marin Humane Society in Novato, CA and […]


“ That crazy, brown, fluffy thing in the grass? Oh, that’s me!   JUNIA   Well, of course I’m not actually crazy, I just love to play a lot. One day I got so caught up playing with my friends on the street that I didn’t notice a car was coming. […]



They came, they rolled up their sleeves, they performed miracles. The Incredible Marni Hills has done it again. Twice! AWARE recently hosted two yes two groups of intrepid Groomers from the US and Canada working for her new 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Groom for Good.  Marni and her groom teams were unleashed […]

Thank You for Giving!

We want to thank everyone who gave on GivingTuesday and supported us. We are delighted to announce that thanks to everyone who took part in our #GivingTuesday campaign and joined the global good will movement we raised $1,380. Though we did not quite reach our goal it is still a great […]

Better Living Quarters for the Dogs

World Animal Day Funds Improve Dog Pens! Thanks to all the generous donations we received for our World Animal day campaign on Causevox and at the Event, we were able to buy the materials to repair the dog pens.  The walls between pens have started going up, replacing the fencing […]

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