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Stephen Blakeway's blog

Long road to success in Xochimilco

Xochimilco has climbed a section of Mexico City's southern wall, climbed up to the protected reserve where the woods and grassland overlook the vast spread of the city below. The water supply has not climbed with it, however- a deliberate policy to discourage further settlement, perhaps.

The donkeys of Xochimilco fill this gap, carrying water to all the people who need it up above.

I went to Xochimilco last month with a UNAM TV film crew who were making a documentary about the work of the DS-UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) Donkey Project.

Donkeys are used to carry water uphill to Xochimilco

A happier life for Oaxaca’s donkeys

Last week Mariano, the Donkey Sanctuary representative in Mexico, and I spent an afternoon with Gurrumina and her extended family - a small group of sheep, quite a few hens, three generations of humans, two dogs, and a kitten - all of them friendly. Gurrumina’s family lives in the village of San Sebastian Abasolo, in the state of Oaxaca, a seven-hour drive from Mexico City.

Attending to Gurrumina’s hooves

Donkeys become beacons of peace

Last week, I visited Malta to launch ‘Caught in the Middle’, The Donkey Sanctuary’s report highlighting the issues for donkeys in the Middle East. The launch of the report was linked to the ‘Mediterranean Peace Donkey Exhibition’ as part of the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Arts Biennale, which opened on Friday 13 November 2015 and continues till 7 January 2016.

Stephen Blakeway with Rev Paul-Gordon Chandler, Founder & President of CARAVAN, at the Mediterranean Peace Donkey Project in Malta

Mules in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco: Introducing Glen Cousquer

I recently visited Morocco to see and experience a project we have been supporting and helped pioneer over the last four years.

Mules are central to life in the deep steep valleys of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Their strength, sure-footedness and ability to survive through changing seasons of work have made them indispensible. But life is changing for people and mules alike.

Mules in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco

Enough adventure for one afternoon!

It's the last day of our 3rd Annual Equitarian Workshop and yet again I see compassion between animals.

I spotted this donkey and this ram with their owner and his son waiting patiently at the very busy and bustling farriery station. A little while later I saw the ram and a donkey on their way to leaving the site and went to take a photo. However at that point the ram realised he was following the wrong donkey. Momentarily confused, he set off back in the direction he’d come.

Donkey and ram with their owner

One donkey's love

While here this week in Santa Cruz attending the 3rd Annual Equitarian Workshop hosted jointly by The Donkey Sanctuary - UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), there are special moments that you remember and one of these I caught on camera between a donkey and her friend.

Donkey with best friend

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