Saving Wildlife in Guatemala

Our family saw a jungle animal hospital video on Public Television (PBS) and I can’t get it out of my mind. We watched the loving care the Arcas Animal Rescue Center staff veterinarians, employees and volunteers give the wildlife brought to their Peten location in Guatemala. Arcas rescues wildlife from the illegal pet trade. Founded in 1989 by Guatemalans concerned for nature, the staff of Arcas has brought back to health, rehabilitated and cared for thousands.

Unfortunately, commonly wild baby animals are taken from their mothers by locals hoping to make quick cash in the illegal pet trade. The authorities bring the orphaned creatures to Arcas to give them a chance to live. The dedicated staff and international volunteers nurture them back to health, feed them, and clean their cages.

The program has been hit very hard by the current world pandemic, in that the volunteers have cancelled their trips. The visitors’ time and donations were holding the non-profit together. The animals are still vulnerable, but the extra help is gone.

Let’s look at the beautiful jungle creatures. Two of the endangered animals Arcas sees most frequently, of the 40 jungle species living at the center, are spider monkeys and scarlet macaws.

Four Endangered Animals Getting Help from Arcas:

  1. Jaguar (Panthera onca)
Jaguar (Panthera onca) Photo: Ernesto Estrada

2. Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Only 300-400 left in the wild.

Scarlet Macaw Photo: Quartl

3. Spider Monkeys (Ateles fusciceps)

Baby Spider Monkey Photo: Lozseex

4. Margays (Leopardus wiedii)

Marguay wild cat   Photo: Malene Thyssen
  • Take a video tour of the Arcas program rehabilitating wildlife orphans:

Love animals? If you are able to spare a few dollars, whether it’s $5 or $50, please donate to this excellent program. They are highly rated and are vetted by Global Giving. I gave a donation yesterday as I was researching for this post. Here is the link, the green donate button is on the lower right hand side of the page: The website is in English, but the Paypal donation button prompts are in Spanish: donar means donate, animales silvestres means wild animals. Please leave comments below to let us know you’re getting the word out and helping these endangered animals. ¡Mil gracias! A thousand thanks!

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! ¡Olé! –Rebecca




Rebecca Cuningham

8 thoughts on “Saving Wildlife in Guatemala

  1. Guatemala, the land, the countryside, is absolutely beautiful! I spent some time there as well as in other countries of Central America and during those years they were trying to protect their Quetzal, their national symbol and a very beautiful bird. I don’t know if they were successful or not, I did not see it on the list in your article…in any event, I am in favour of protecting our wildlife anywhere. Here in Spain we have the Iberian Lynx, which is making a resurgence but it is still an endangered species. Thank you Rebecca for such good, informative articles with beautiful photographs and references. Take good care, hope all’s well in Madison!
    All the best,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Francisco! The quetzal bird’s habitat is threatened but their numbers are doing fairly well. I always have dreamed of seeing one in the wild. I hope the lynx is able to return in Iberia. It can be tricky to manage predators if there are farms nearby. Turns out I posted my comment about macaws on the cactus article – ha ha! We’re keeping well and in good spirits so far. Take care, R


      1. That’s good news! Stay in good spirits, safe and indoors, it’s a good way to try and stop this pandemic. Take good care Rebecca and all the best


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