things that matter

There’s a Place In Latin America Where Hundreds Of Stray Dogs Get To Roam Free

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Dog lovers, REJOICE! Territorio de Zaguates (Land of Strays) is an amazing little puppy paradise tucked away in central Costa Rica. It is a place where stray dogs get to run free in a massive field while they wait to be adopted by loving humans who find their way there. Basically, we just found you your next vacation spot.

This is what you can expect at Territorio de Zaguates.

16 de enero 2016 #territoriodezaguates #muttsofinstagram #mutt #happydogs

A video posted by Mar (@mar_cw) on

Credit: @mar_cw / Instagram

Did you press play on the video? Look at that long line of dogs! Although there is a small volunteer staff that works to keep the animals fed and cared for, the pups are given free-range around the property to explore, run and play with each other.

Just imagine being able to play and run with those little angels all day.

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Credit: Family Guy / FOX / jet1282 / Tumblr

And, if you ever find yourself in Costa Rica, you can!

Si gente el cielo existe!!! #territoriodezaguates #Costarica

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Credit: @angel_instan / Instagram

The puppy sanctuary is open to the public. People are welcomed to make their way to this canine paradise.

Founder Lya Battle told mitú that she and her husband, Alvaro Saumet, started saving dogs 12 years ago.

#territoriodezaguates #piggysiendocerda #lanuerarobandocámara hahaha

A photo posted by Camilo Torres (@camilo_torresb) on

Credit: @camilo_torresb / Instagram

“I was born with a love for animals that would compel me to save June bugs from drowning in pools, secretly deploy mousetraps, advocate for the protection and non vacuuming of spiderwebs in corners, guard anthills against fellow kindergarteners, and constantly bring bullfrogs home to our backyard,” Battle told mitú via email. “My parents were excellent that way. They taught me to respect and defend all lifeforms, no matter what.”

“We are a temporary home for hundreds of dogs who are looking for a second chance,” Territorio de Zaguates says on its official Facebook.

Credit: @gcwedel / Instagram

“And we are also a permanent home for a lot of other dogs who might possibly never find the right family.” Like, for real though, where is my plane ticket to this paradise.

So why did Battle decide to start Territorio de Zaguates? She didn’t want the dogs she saw on the streets stay on the street or end up in shelters.

#territoriodezaguates #Adoptanocompres ❤️????? 700 perritos esperando un hogar ! No compres adopta

A photo posted by Allison Canet (@allicanet) on

Credit: @allicanet / Instagram

“I would often come across dogs on the way home. Those that looked in need of help I would take home for as long as it took to nurse back to health, sterilize and find families for,” Battle told mitú. “Many were lucky but many adorable dogs were overlooked and turned down because they simply lacked desirable qualities. Too big, too old, to energetic, too lazy, missing a limb, missing an eye. I realized then and there that these wonderful animals had few chances in this world.”

Territorio de Zaguates is currently home to “well over 700 dogs,” according to Battle.

The Land of Stray Dogs, or #TerritoriodeZaguates in Costa Rica is considered one of the best places on the planet for a dog to live. This sprawling refuge allows all of its 900 citizens to range free during the day. They are given fresh flowing water intermittently over the whole property and are given a bed in a sheltered structure where volunteers go to feed and bathe the dogs. This free range sanctuary explores how a free range environment improves health and adoptability. It is a no kill shelter. Each dog is given a name and a unique breed name of their own. If you wish to adopt you can schedule a walking hike on their property, and if any of them choose you, you will be allowed to adopt them. Of course, anyone is welcome to just come for a free hike to hang out with the dogs 🙂 #nokill

A photo posted by Michele (@michsygold) on

Credit: @michsygold / Instagram

The sanctuary is on a farm that Battle had inherited from her grandmother. It was her husband’s idea to use it as a sanctuary for stray and unwanted dogs.

Territorio de Zaguates is not a government funded project, so it relies heavily on donations and volunteer work. Some people pay a monthly amount to sponsor some of the dogs, like this handsome boy.

Credit: @warrenmchase / Instagram

They also offer the option of micro donating at about $1 a day.

A local dog food company helps feed the dogs housed at Territorio de Zaguates.

#territoriodezaguates #voluntariado ¡a COOOMEEEER! XD #ecosocialquercus

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“A local company, Central Veterinaria, who produces “Super Perro” dog food, stepped up about 3 years ago when we were running out of resources and ideas of how to keep things going,” Battle wrote in her email to mitú. Battle continued: “We had already sacrificed many of our income generating properties on behalf of our puppies. Central Veterinaria promised to give us 1/2 the monthly rations of our dogs’ food. They have been there for us and made this dream possible.”

Look at all the fur babies that just want to love on someone. #Adorable

#territoriodezaguates #perro #perros #zaguate #zaguates #love #amor #canino #costarica

A photo posted by Rubén Sancho Rojas (@sanchorojasruben) on

Credit: @sanchorojasruben / Instagram

BRB. Going to Costa Rica to adopt an adorable puppy.

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Credit: cplu / Tumblr

READ: 7 Hot Latino Celebs That Celebrate #NationalDogDay Everyday

Share this story with your friends by tapping that share button below and help this group save the puppies!

This Costa Rican Plane Hotel Boasts More Monkeys Than People And It Is The Perfect Escape

Entertainment

This Costa Rican Plane Hotel Boasts More Monkeys Than People And It Is The Perfect Escape

hoteisinusitados / Instagram

Latin America wins the Most Creative Hotels Award, and it’s possible that Hotel Costa Verda is the clincher. Suspended above a private rainforest, adjacent to protected Manuel Antonio National Park, is a refurbished 1965 Boeing 727 airplane.

The vessel has been refurbished with hardwood floors, walls, and ceiling. It is a coveted private suite among a rainforest resort. They’re calling it an “Avion Hotel,” but we’re calling it Latin magic.

This spot beats any Bali treehouse hotel.

@hotelcostaverde / Instagram

The plane itself is suspended by a 50-foot pedestal. It might seem counterintuitive to relax on an airplane, but wait till you see inside it.

The furniture is hand-carved Indonesian teak wood is as beautiful as it sounds.

@hotelcostaverde / Instagram

The main suite is two bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. It also includes a kitchenette and dining area. Talk about a sweet suite.

Plus, you get jungle-side ocean views all in one frame.

@journeyingwithtab / Instagram

Every glimpse outside one of your dozen little airplane windows is breathtaking. Plus, you might even get up close and personal with the wildlife.

The hotel boasts “Still More Monkeys Than People🐒” as its Instagram description.

@hotelcostaverde / Instagram

So you’re going to see monkeys galore. A recent traveler shared a tip on TripAdvisor, “If you love wildlife, this is the place to stay. Monkeys every day would visit us, as well as beautiful Toucans, and other birds and animals. We did hear the Howler Monkeys every morning and they became our alarm clock.”

The Avion Hotel has become a wedding destination for obvious reasons.

@milbesoscr / Instagram

This is what the plane looked like before it was renovated. If you follow @hotelcostaverde, you’ll see the amount of machinery it took to properly place the plane.

You don’t have to get married to stay here.

@hotelcostaverde / Instagram

The hotel offers dozens of rooms that all include access to several pools, sunning decks and all the same wildlife. In fact, for some guests, it was too much wildlife.

Some suites include private outdoor bathtubs surrounded by jungle sounds.

@taivag / Instagram

Although, one TripAdvisor reviewer from Massachusetts noted that it can come with a catch. “‘Creatures’ can get in, a salamander greeted us in the bathtub,” TyBL15 wrote.

You can walk through the jungle to the beach or take a bus.

@hotelcostaverde / Instagram

With warm ocean waters nearly year round, it’s both beautiful to look at, and access. If you’re not feeling it, you can just stay in the pool and look out at the ocean.

There is an adults only section.

@marii_quesada / Instagram

Which includes its own pool and patio, free from children. Whether you’re looking for a family vacation with a plane out of a museum for your kids to enjoy, or a relaxing stay, Hotel Costa Verde seems to have it all.

Plus, apparently “Willie the bartender makes the best frozen drinks.”

@elavionrestaurant / Instagram

At least according to one reviewer. Plus, Costa Rican fruit drinks are fresher than anything you’ll find stateside. Often, you can find some of the fruit growing around the property.

There are four restaurants on the property.

@miamiappetite / Instagram

Kristin recently wrote that “the food was amazing and the portions were huge. We learned to start splitting some meals because they provide “Costa Rican portions.”

We don’t know that there’s any other place like it in the world.

@hotelcostaverde / Instagram

One reviewer gave it to us straight: “The images on their site do this place no justice. This place is gorgeous and very cool with the airplane cottages.”

READ: 22 Amazing Airbnb Listings For Your Next Trip to Latin America

These Pics Of Sweet Bodega Cats Are Proof That The United States Does Have A Royal Family

Entertainment

These Pics Of Sweet Bodega Cats Are Proof That The United States Does Have A Royal Family

OK,  so you’re a sorry person you might be wondering what the heck a “bodega cat” is, right? Well, a bodega cat is a special and hard-working kind of kitty who often lives in a ship or has taken a stroll away from home to find comfort in strangers…. and by comfort we mean food, comida, la papa. If you want a longer def, then you can find one here (and of course, remember gatitos are the kings and queens of the Internet). These kitties are often found near delis, lonjas mercantiles or anywhere that sells food. As we said, sometimes bodega cats actually live in the shop and will do anything within their means to get some abracitos y mimos from the customers! They often become legendary dwellers of their hoods.

They will employ their best gatito de Shrek antics to get a slice of pastrami or a little bit of queso, or perhaps a little cuddle, and like any good cat, they will just ignore you once their feline cravings have been satisfied. Just so you are prepared next time you encounter one of these, this is what we mean by gatito de Shrek (yes, we know he is the Puss in Boots, but us Latinos call him differently):

Credit: Puss in Boots / Dreamworks

And without further ado, these are some of the most tiernos y descarados bodega cats on the web:

This New Yorker who has made the streets his paradise

Credit: Twitter. @literElly

Just look at the masterful way that this bodega cat seductively twists and turns around Elly Belle’s ankle. Hard to say no!

Mayor Tom, a sus ordenes

Credit: Instagram. @fernandothebodegacat

Tom is laying the law of the land straight away: if you want anything you will need to pay him some attention, and some respect. He will be by your ankle, tus tobillos, of course! Are we the only ones who think cats were put on this planet to be the stars of the Internet?

Want a B&J ice cream? Well, too bad, I am just cooling here!

Credit: Instagram. @fernandothebodegacat

Good luck to whoever wants to grab an helado in this shop. That bodega cat is not going anywhere. Do we blame him?

Just woke up from my long siesta

Credit: Instagram. @mrmatthoffman

Just look at that rico bostezo. This cat found the perfect nap spot behind the Premium crackers. Just be careful next time you visit the shop: you don’t want to unleash hell by waking him up!

This cat found an ally!

Credit: Instagram. @rob_banks

Very cute. These two seem to have hit it up. This animal defender will surely visit this bodega cat often, and perhaps bring some fishy treats with him. This kitty struck gold: a co-dependent lifelong friendship with a human.

Do not disturb, por el amor de Dios

Credit: Instagram. @catswhoroam

That bag of Book Chicka Pops seems to be the best pillow ever. This cat is just so comfy we even feel like peeping toms looking at this picture!

The guardian of the chelas

Credit: Instagram. @photon41

This minino knows that when new boxes of cerveza arrive, it is of the uttermost importance to guard them. Just look at the serious and committed expression on its face. Well done, chaparrito.

This is one aristocratic cat

Credit: Instagram. @bauerwines

Everything in the dweller of this bottle shop screams class: from the long whiskers to the furry chest to the aristocratic way in which he yawns. Perhaps some sherry, my lord?

Cats of anarchy! 

Credit: Instagram. @devilsreject13

According to common lore, if you cross a black cat you will face bad luck. But this one is just so cute on that motorbike. Or, is he part of a biker gang? Shall we call Ron Perlman and ask if he is part of Sons of Anarchy?

Ready to jump! Watch out!

Credit: Instagram. @klararob

This cat by the name of Max seems to be ready to jump on the first customer that walks in. We wonder what is going through his animal mind? Sardines, perhaps.

No, kid, no chocolate today!

Credit: Instagram. @izzy_sabbath

We love, and are terrified by, the judgmental look on this fluffy face. No chocolate for you today, escuincle. Or perhaps he is shaming an adult cliente for having a Kinder huevito every day.

Cat not for sale

Credit: Instagram. @laurasplan

Cats and boxes are like chicken and rice, peas and carrots… we just want to clarify that this cat was not being sold! He just loves to spread sus patitas open wide in this box.

Guardia de lujo

Credit: Instagram. @heyitsarongold

No, he is not a criminal. This cat is there as a customer service liaison for the shop and is ready to assist you if you have any questions in regards to the operation of the Automatic Teller Machine. Ha.

This gatito de bodega sure strikes a pose! 

Credit: Instagram. @brookejaconpetphotography

Just look at how professional this cat’s modeling is. It captures the golden hour perfectly, and that look towards el horizonte near the Yucateco sauce bottles and the Cholula sauce box would surely make a spreadsheet in a fashion magazine. Miau!

We want this on a t-shirt, like as of yesterday!

Credit: Instagram. @gerardoromo via @carmenmt347

What a cool design. It is influenced by pop art and yet captures the magnificence of bodega cats. Can we buy a t-shirt or poster now, please? Take our money

Florecita roquera

Credit: Instagram. @sellinggotham

Ohh la la! No bad luck at all bumping into this amazing New York scene, with fresh tulips and a gorgeous black cat. Can it get more urban chic than this?

Ask Nelson, if you can wake him up that is

Credit: Instagram. @elctwit

Nelson seems to have an appointed role in customer service, but he also seems to not give a damn. Good for him. Long, restful periods of sleep are important for any employee.

Come back soon, have a nice day!

Credit: Instagram. @lizbreeezy

We would totally come back to this shop if this awesome one-eyed cat was there to bid us goodbye. We love that he is having a happy life, as evidenced by his lovely panza. We just want to scratch his tummy!

Bodega cat in training

Credit: Instagram. @jolenesiana

This kitten has all the necessary attributes to become a great bodega cat: the posture, the intensity in his gaze and a very healthy dose of cuteness. We can’t wait to see where his career takes him!

Hipster bodega cats, of course, giving us all the High Fidelity vibes

Credit: Instagram. @castleblackpaw

This super hipster gatito lives in a record store that sells vinyl and of course wears a jeans vest. He has that Marlon Brando air about him and is plain awesome. Can someone sign a sponsorship deal with him already?

Last but not least: the smart cat who found summer relief in the fridge

Credit: Instagram. @fernandothebodegacat

New York can get pretty hot in the summer, and muy humid, so Fernando found the perfect spot inside the fridge. If it is beer o’clock he can just crack open a Red Stripe and feel the sweet flavors of Jamaica travel his furry body.

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