When we traveled along the west coast of Ecuador one of our destinations was Mompiche, because we were told that it´s a nice place for surfing and to see the rare neon blue glowing plankton in the ocean. While our one week stay the weather wasn’t the best: cloudy and sometimes a little bit chilly. For surfing the wind was to less and the waves were too small. Also, we could only barely see the full beauty of the glowing plankton. After 2 days of bad weather we checked the internet to find out what we else could do in Mompiche. Over Workaway we found out that a great heart and huge animal lover lives right next to the beach of Mompiche searching for help in her animal rescue center. So, we decided to visit her personally and find out if she´s still looking for support.
When we arrived at her rescue center Fabiola was feeding the dogs and was totally into her daily maintenance. After 5 minutes of waiting we asked her if she needs any help and she smiled directly at us and said “si”. Compared to the other Workaways this time we didn’t got any food or accommodation because Fabialo was moving to a new near located rescue center and so the volunteer place wasn’t ready. From the first moment it was possible to see that Fabiola is living for her animals and that she’s a selfless person. Because of this we decided to take an example from her and help her without any additional expenses.
The next morning, we walked along the beach to her place around 10 am. When we arrived she already fed the animals (dogs, cats, ducks) and walked with them along the beach. First, she showed us around in her rescue center. The center owns a volunteer area which includes a sleeping place, showers and toilets. Besides this the place involves a huge area for the animals to walk around and fell free. We met and cuddled some of the dogs, named Nikki and Oso. After this we went a little bit along the beach, where she showed us her “old” animal rescue place. It was crashed by a tsunami in December 2018. It was so sad to see this place because this woman doesn’t deserve such a sad time. She returns to this place every day because some of her cats don’t want to leave the little broken house that’s left there. The connection of her with the animals is just impressive. When we arrived at her old center she shouted all the names of the cats and they came running out of every corner super happy to say hallo.
We thought that this was already impressive, but it was just the beginning. After that we took some tools and walked to her new rescue center more up the hill to begin with the proper tasks. The new place which was build and financed by her own foundation was compared to her old place much bigger and included more dogs (25) and cats (10). When the dogs saw us on the entrance they were all shouting but after they saw that we are coming with Fabiola it took not even 5 minutes and all of them were cuddling with Franz. Proudly she showed us the new cat house and the dog shelter. It was all really simple but you could feel that it was all filled with love and really helped the animals. All animals followed her at all time and immediately listened if she speaks to them.
After we fed the cats and the dogs our priority for the first morning was to bring water to her horses. Yes, she also has 8 horses which she uses while the high season to earn some money for her center with horseback riding along the nice beaches of Mompiche. Getting the water to the horses wasn’t as easy as expected because their area is on the other side of the road which separate the new center and the meadow of the horses. Now the question: how to get water over a well driven road on Ecuador without any proper tools? The answer is to put a very long tube directly over the street protected by an aluminum profile which surrounded it. While we set up all this Fabiola was already in the meadow of the horses where she placed a new water barrel. It took a while until we managed to reach the tube to Fabialo safely. While the water was running inside of barrel we stand on the street and alarmed all coming cars of the tube with the metal “cover”. Fabiola was so happy to receive help because normally she does this all on her own and this is just insane! We were really happy about her smiles and that we could help her with this mission.
On the following days besides the daily maintenance we supported Fabiola by building up some new tunnels and cages out of wire for the cats so that they have an easier access from outside to their new shelter. First, we build a tunnel which goes from the inside to the outside of the house. After that we set up a new cage in the house and also outside of the cat area, so that Fabialo can lock some of the cats if it’s necessary. All in all, it took about 4,5 days to finish all of our tasks. After these days our fingers were super sore from the tools but it was worth it because Fabialo was super happy with our work.
Besides the work at her rescue center we spent a lot of leisure time with her. We went for example two times with her for some dinner in the town. When we met she always came with “Blue” one of her dogs. Also, here it was impressive to watch her sacrificing habit by feeding her dog always the half of her dinner.
Other two nights we walked along the beach to see if the glowing plankton is already active enough so we could enjoy the glowing effect. Also, we had the opportunity to see some of the locals come to her place to adopt a dog or cat. It was nice to see that they appreciate her work and give these animals a new home far away from the dangerous and sad streets. When we were there Fabialo could managed it to get 2 dogs adopted. Just amazing! 🙂
All in all, we just can say that we are thankful for the opportunity to have met such a incredible personality. In our opinion the best way to end this blog is by one of her sentences she said in a video on Facebook: “Yo quiero seguir ayudando hasta es ultimo día de mi vida” which means “I will help until the last day of my life”. We never met a person before who dedicated their life to animals like she does. It was inspiring and amazing to see what power she has, also when sometimes not all the people of Mompiche appreciate her work. We felt really good to help her a little bit and can recommend everyone who’s traveling in Ecuador to visit her, help her and give her animals a huge cuddle. If you are too far away maybe you can help her with her foundation on the following link. Thanks for your support.