In 2018, I traveled through different Mexican cities which was a unique and life-changing experience for me. The people were extremely kind, friendly and very willing to help, even to those who do not speak the local language. Unfortunately, I did not see this kindness in the treatment towards animals.
It was during this excursion that I noticed that pets were not treated justly in all countries. I came across many stray animals on the streets, some of which were being treated harshly by people, especially children. Witnessing this public abuse was a surprise and so I went to explore this further.
Upon inquiry, I came to learn that is the norm in Mexico. People with pets neither care properly for their animals nor neuter or spay them. This allows them to reproduce unchecked – increasing the number of animals that die on the streets. Furthermore, since pets are not a part of the family, people often let them go upon slightest inconvenience. These behaviors have led to a severe crisis of stray animals in Mexico.
In many parts of Mexico particularly, people view animals as property rather than as an integral part of the family. Hence, those animals are easily abandoned when they cause hassle or inconvenience. Therefore, this particular project aims to a) provide an animal rescue to cater to stray animals, and b) transform the attitudes of people and sensitize them about the issues these animals face. Born in the US, I never came across stray animals during my entire life but in Mexico, it’s a crisis, they are everywhere.
After observing the condition of stray animals in Mexico, I feel it is my duty to do something to improve the lives of these animals. Thus, I moved to Mexico in 2019 to build an animal welfare operation; soon to realize that it was a deep-rooted problem that could not be solved by simply building a shelter. People need to learn the values of compassion, honesty and kindness towards animals. Hence, to create awareness and bring people together, I felt I needed to build a movement, and the idea of a hostel and a community garden was born.
I am a disabled AF veteran who has recently decided to become a monk. My experience and background allows me to bring a disciplined approach and a getting-things-done attitude to the project. Moreover, I feel comfortable in initiating change, in a world of thoughts and prayers that is very important.
Being on the path to monkhood, I bring an unwavering commitment, compassion and dedication to the cause. I have been volunteering with different rescue organizations in Mexico, and this has enabled me to understand the local context well.
I want to do my part to give animals a voice. With a democratic and participatory approach, I’m keen to bring the community together such that we can all learn to collaborate and enjoy life together. So, Sanctuary Hostel was born. Let’s build a world where all creatures can live in harmony.