Our Canadian neighbors, who put on a wonderful Christmas day get-together, also use the occasion to collect dog food for an impoverished woman in Montevideo who has 44 dogs. Sound like a lot? Last year it was 77.

Delivering the donated food  — 260 kilos of it — they were appalled by what they saw. So they organized. Friday morning we arrived, I and another guy with our weed-eaters with brush blades, others with clippers, all with work gloves and most with Wellies. In a few hours, we had changed the overgrown property dramatically.

Tomorrow, we go to fill a dumpster (volquete; I did boring posts about them here and here) with various trashed appliances, and to continue clearing a path for one of four abandoned vehicles to be dragged away. I will use a “found” concrete column to straighten the leaning fence in front.

Next: repair the roof that blew off because the beams had been eaten by termites, make the house a little livable, install a fence to segregate dogs. At present, when we arrive, she has to put them inside. And what does inside look like?

Glad you asked.

Someone’s sleeping quarters since the roof blew off.
We don’t in fact know what they do for bathroom needs
“We never had children, so our dogs are our children,” says Telma. OK, but 44 — ?
It’s not clear that her husband is physically able to do much more. I didn’t take the photo; I don’t know.

Some money is needed for materials. Though no organized appeal has been made, one person (also referenced in one of the boring volquete posts) has made a very generous donation.

Telma expressed her gratitude for our effort: I feel that I’m cared for; that I’m not alone.

Finding volunteer opportunities in Uruguay can be a challenge (everything, it seems, is covered by a low-paid government job), so I’m grateful to our neighbors for organizing this.

Our estimate for repairs is US$ 3,500.




2 Replies to “Volunteering”

  1. Thanks very much for this information Doug.
    Would be great to see some pics from the outside
    also, antes y despues !!
    And pics of the doggies – where are they ??

    1. I don’t take my camera when doing physical work, so photos are from others. The dogs “escaped” yesterday — the barely-mobile husband opened the door for them, annoyed at all that’s going on without him seeing, apparently – and there appeared to be “only” 20-25, not 44 as we expected.

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