By Deborah Van Hoewyk
On Sunday, December 4, Huatulco was treated to its first Bazar Navideño de Segunda Mano—a Christmas yard sale. More than 100 supporters of Palmas Unidas Bahias de Huatulco, one of Huatulco’s two animal welfare organizations, cleaned out their closets and store-rooms, donating housewares, books, tools, planters, clothes, and so much more.
The sale raised $29,ooo mxn from over 500 visitors, which will be used to finance a late-winter spay-neuter clinic in the area surrounding Huatulco. According to chief organizer Fran McClaren, a lot of work, from collecting, organizing, and pricing items to working as the sales clerks, went into the sale, but perhaps the best part was that “Many people from the Huatulco community were thankful for great items at very reasonable prices.” Overall, she added, “It was a heartwarming event” for a great cause.
The next fundraising effort by Palmas Unidas opens in December—the Doghouse Café is located in the patio at the Delphinus Inn in Chahue (across the park from Sueño del Mar, Xquenda Spa, and Latitud 15 beach club). Open from Thursday through Sunday evenings, featuring football and movie nights, the Doghouse will donate 50% of the proceeds to spay-neuter and other animal protection activities.
Palmas Unidas (United Palms—one a hand, one a paw) is one of several organized groups along the Oaxacan coast that work, often in collaboration, to reduce the numbers of unwanted dogs and cats. In Huatulco, Palmas Unidas focuses on spay-neuter clinics and reducing the number of feral dogs at the dump; Patitas Costeñas (Little Coastal Paws) rescues abandoned and injured dogs and cats and works on getting them adopted. Snipsisters is a Canadian group, organized by residents of Salchi, that works with Mexican veterinarians to sponsor a series of clinics each fall. The Chapulin Foundation in Arroyo Cruz la Boquilla (between Pochutla and Puerto Angel) works along the coast and in Oaxaca City. The extraordinary environmental organization TerreXtra in Zipolite sponsors its own clinics and shows up everywhere help is needed!
During the eight days of spay-neuter campaigns hosted this fall by these organizations, 445 animals were sterilized. The usual distribution of surgeries is 60% female and 75% dogs—those eight days of hard work have prevented the birth of 13,416,750 puppies and 24,697,500 kittens.