Tierra De Animales Sanctuary, Cancun, Mexico
With the amount of travel Cody and I choose to do, there is no getting away from seeing how poorly animals are treated around the world.
We’ve seen baby elephants get kicked in Thailand, yelled at men in Egypt to stop whipping their camels, asked boys in Israel to be gentle to “their” horses, and have passed several emaciated cows on countless roads.
These experiences are draining, and quite frankly very painful; so you can imagine what it’s like for the animals in these abusive situations living every single day being fed very little, having no shade to stand in, being beaten, and even sexually abused.
We have a long way to go in changing people’s perceptions about animals.
They are not objects to be used, and thrown away.
So while we are in the process of helping to change a mentality that is a disservice to everyone, it is important for us to find refuge in likeminded people, for there is comfort amongst us.
It also teaches us not to point fingers.
It is easy to forget the hidden abuse that goes on in our own backyard.
This time around, we found haven at Tierra De Animales just 40 minutes outside of Cancun.
Ricardo Cordero is the founder of Tierra de Animales, and he is doing excellent work.
One of the things we noticed as soon as we arrived, is that Tierra De Animales is not overpopulated; which sometimes can be a problem when people’s emotions get the best of them.
Ricardo knows that there are only so many animals that he can take in, and all of the dogs that he has rescued all come from a violent past.
We respect that very much.
So with that being said, we were given a tour, and background stories to quite a few of the animals in Ricardo’s care.
As soon as we arrived, we were introduced to a few coatimundi’s, or jungle raccoons if you will.
These very inquisitive (and wild) animals were rescued from people who had them as pets, or were found on the road injured by passing cars. They are very sweet in their younger years, but as they grow older they become aggressive.
They are NOT pets. They linger around Tierra De Animales because they were cared for by Ricardo, but they come and go as they please, and once they are grown, they will head into the jungle, and remain there.
We met a few goats who were going to be sacrificed for Santeria ceremony’s, a beautiful horse used for shows and then left for dead because he was no longer profitable, a beautiful bull rescued from slaughter, as well as quite a few turkeys; and chickens pumped so full of antibiotics, and steroids that they find it difficult to carry their own weight.
There is also space for ducks, pigs, turtles, cats, and dogs; all living out a peaceful existence.
Several dogs under Ricardo’s care were rescued from dog fighting rings. Some are understandably still aggressive, and others big sweethearts full of love and affection.
One of the stories that struck us the most was of a dog named Chata who was raped by three men. And if that wasn’t horrible enough, they also poured acid all over her back.
Luckily she is now loved and well taken care of, and will never be harmed again.
Every animal we met at Tierra De Animales is deserving of their own lives, and a peaceful existence. There is no difference in their worth, or suffering. There is only difference in how we were taught to view, and understand them.
When we were there, Ricardo was in the process of building some basic quarters at the sanctuary, so it won’t be long before it begins to offer overnight volunteer stays.
If you are in Cancun, this place is a must visit.
Thank you Ricardo for all of the work you do, and for welcoming us.
HOW TO GET THERE
Get yourself to Ave Lopez Portillo, and then take a colectivo taxi that says Leona Vicario on the front window. Do not hop on to the colectivo’ that say Ave Leona Vicario.
A colectivo should cost about 35 pesos per person, each way.
Ask the driver to let you off at Aguas Escondidas. Tierra De Animales is about 200 metres ahead, across the street from a small beer store.
Be sure to contact Tierra De Animales first, before taking the trip out.