Volunteering

AWARE could not continue without the help of our dedicated band of volunteers. We always need help with anything from building dog-runs or putting up fences to bathing, brushing, or walking dogs, providing some human company for both the dogs and the cats, or helping out with our educational programs. Help is also always very welcome with the twice-daily feeding and cleaning of the dog-runs and the Cathouse. On a less-regular basis, we always need logistical support for our spay/neuter and rabies vaccination clinics, the garage sales, and other fund-raising events. Why not gain some valuable experience at the same time as doing something extremely worthwhile, and spend some of your time helping out at AWARE?



Volunteering at Hound Heights you will learn all there is to know about the care of domestic animals, and the treatment of the common ailments that afflict them. You will also gain plenty of physical exercise running up and down hills with packs of gambolling hounds! And – while on the subject of health – your lungs will get the treat of their lives breathing the exquisite mountain air scented with pine resin. You will gain the satisfaction of doing something extremely worthwhile to help give a better life to animals in a country where they are at the bottom of the list, and you will also gain a first-hand insight into the problems affecting animals in a country where the majority of humans are worse off than a household pet in more affluent countries.



A visit to Guatemala is both an eye-opener, and an unforgettable experience. This isn’t the place to expound upon the incredible variety of natural beauties and cultural richness with which Guatemala -‘The Land of Eternal Spring’ – abounds – there are plenty of excellent guide books providing all the details you might need, and a whole library of literature about the culture, art, history, people, wildlife, handicrafts and society of both pre- and post-Colombian Guatemala. (Links to Guatemala-related sites, and possibly also a selection of literature – both guide books and other) This is the land of the Maya, and a visit to Hound Heights could include a visit to Tikal – the principle centre of ancient Maya civilization – and will certainly provide first-hand experience of contemporary Maya life. With Antigua (a World Heritage site) just 45 minutes away, with its well-developed tourism infrastructure, the whole of Guatemala and its infinite natural and cultural richness is at your finger-tips.

Camping in the woods on the property is still an alternative, of course, if you have the equipment. However, Antigua (45 minutes by bus) is full of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. We can also arrange lodging for volunteers with families in our two local villages, so one way or another you will not have to sleep in a dog-run when you come to volunteer at Hound Heights! For more information, check our contact details, and get in touch.

Possible duties include:

  • Dogs: feeding, bathing, brushing, obedience training, medicating, cleaning cages, walking, and socializing.
  • Cats: feeding, brushing, medicating, cleaning the cages, and socializing.
  • Educational programs in local schools – must be fluent in Spanish.
  • Helping with spay/neuter and rabies vaccination clinics in local villages.
  • Thinking up and organizing fund-raising events.
  • Photography.

There is no charge for volunteering with AWARE if you provide your own accommodation. There are rooms to rent at reasonable prices in Sumpango, or you can stay in Antigua and take the bus to Animal AWARE each day. This journey takes approximately 1 hour from Antigua and costs around Q20 return. We need volunteers who are  responsible for themselves and can take initiative!

The Shelter is located half a mile (800m) from the Inter American highway. It is hilly terrain, and the shelter is in woods at about 7500 feet (2300m). The local village, Sumpango, is a 15-minute walk from the property with internet facilities, food market, and bank.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Animal AWARE shelter, or would like more information, please call or e-mail :

Shelter Cell phone:+502 5401-3148

e-mail: aware.guatemala@gmail.com

We always welcome qualified veterinarians wanting to help us. We have a well-equipped on-site clinic with facilities for operating, spay/neutering, and laboratory equipment for basic general diagnoses.