If you look up places to visit in Aruba, you will find many resources and guides suggesting The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. If you’re curious about what the sanctuary actually does and what you can do there as a visitor, you have come to the right place.
The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is a haven for roaming, lost, and injured Donkeys. As the country transitions away from using donkeys as load-bearing work, the sanctuary’s cultural importance increases. It preserves the status of donkeys as animals vital to the Aruban’s history and culture.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the sanctuary including its ticket prices, location, timings, and possible activities. You will also discover why the sanctuary is important and how many donkeys are there in Aruba. So let’s get started with where you can find the sanctuary in Aruba.
Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is located in Santa Cruz, Aruba. More specifically, it is located in Bringamosa, which is known for its nature attractions and outdoor excursion potential. The Donkey Sanctuary is close to the Arikok National Park, and you can check off both visits in a single trip.
Price Of Admission
There is no price of admission to Aruba’s Donkey Sanctuary, as it is a ticket-free operation. However, there is a social expectation of a donation as the organization runs on tourist donations. The staff consists of volunteers, so most of the funding goes towards the donkeys’ feed and health.
Being a ticket-free outdoor location, there is little to no chance of overcrowding in the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. That’s why you are not expected to book your trip there. In fact, the sanctuary doesn’t even have a booking website. You can go as a walk-in whenever you have the time, and the sanctuary is open to visitors.
The Donkey Sanctuary opens at 9 am and closes for visitors at 5 pm. For the duration of the whole workday, the volunteers at the sanctuary interact with visitors, introduce them to animals and their respective stories, and help out with various activities.
Activities At The Donkey Sanctuary
A donkey sanctuary is much less of a tourist spectacle and more of an entertaining location that puts on a show to get donations for self-sustenance.
So the activities at the donkey sanctuary do not put the donkeys through a tough time. Instead, they help out the donkeys while amusing empathetic tourists.
- Pet the donkeys – If you like to pet animals, then you’ll enjoy petting the donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary in Aruba. The donkeys are behind a fence, and petting them is quite safe. Donkeys like to be petted.
- Feed the donkeys – You can also feed the donkeys with appropriate food you’ve brought from home or the feed available at the sanctuary. The right food is important for the healthy growth of donkeys.
- Learn about individual donkeys – Finally, you can learn the individual stories of the donkeys in the sanctuary. Their stories can ultimately lead to adoption.
Donkey Adoption At The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary in Aruba runs on donations and one of its donation programs is an opt-in donation scheme.
You can adopt a donkey remotely by agreeing to pay the sanctuary every month. The money covers the cost of the feed, which is pretty cheap, so you can help out a donkey without having to make room for one in your apartment.
At any given time, around 12 donkeys are up for adoption.
You can ask the volunteers for the stories of these donkeys as well as the stories of ones that are already adopted. However, not all volunteers know everything about donkeys. After all, many volunteers are tourists themselves.
Tourist Volunteering At The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary
Tourists volunteer at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary quite regularly. That’s because the sanctuary is registered and partnered with multiple volunteering watchdogs and quality-assurance organizations. As a result, one can earn volunteering hours on their record by actually volunteering at the donkey sanctuary in Aruba.
Here are some of the noteworthy aspects of volunteering at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary:
- European Solidarity Corps ESC has approved The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary for its quality label. As a result, the sanctuary can access EU funds to host volunteers. European volunteers can register directly with the EU volunteering portal for non-profit work at the sanctuary. Volunteering with ESC means committing to 32 hours of volunteer work.
- If you commit to 20 hours of volunteer work every week, you can stay for free – The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary has apartments that are occupied by volunteers who commit to 20 hours of work per week. There are 9 am to 1 pm shifts as well as 12:30 pm to 4 pm shifts.
- The British foundation “Everything is Possible” sends volunteers to Aruba Donkey Sanctuary – Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is also affiliated with Everything Is Possible, which sends young students to Aruba to volunteer at the sanctuary.
Ways To Support The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
If you believe in the mission of the donkey sanctuary and want to support its cause, you can help out in one of the following ways.
- Earn a tile – You can make a one-time monetary donation of $60. The amount can be paid online, and even the tile text can be submitted online. You will receive a photo of the tile once the text is added to it.
- Become a “Friend of the Donkeys of Aruba” – For $30 per year, you can become a member of the Friends of The Donkeys of Aruba club. You get a magnetic clip and a certificate confirming your membership.
- Become a Super Member of the Friends club – If you bump up your annual donation to $50, you can become a super member of the Friends of The Donkeys of Aruba club, which comes with a shirt alongside the other deliverables.
- Adopt a donkey – Finally, you can help the sanctuary adopt a donkey by paying AWG 360 per year. That’s around $200 and is all that’s needed for the sanctuary to be able to add another donkey to its growing drove.
- Become a sponsor – By becoming a sponsor, you can earn visibility and goodwill for your business. 3000 visitors view the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary Website every month alongside 29000 visitors who check out the sponsor wall on the premises every year. Your company can be listed on the website and the premises of the sanctuary if you choose to be a sponsor.
Aruba Donkey Sanctuary FAQs
Is the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary connected to the UK Donkey Sanctuary?
The Donkey Sanctuary in Britain was the largest donkey sanctuary in 2012. Currently, it remains one of the largest ones in the world. Even today, most queries regarding donkey sanctuaries are specific to the one in Britain.
The Donkey Sanctuary UK is a sponsor of the Donkey Sanctuary in Aruba. Both organizations aren’t subsidiaries of the same company. They are independent organizations of different sizes, with the larger one (the UK sanctuary) donating to the smaller one. The Donkey Sanctuary in Aruba is also sponsored by other parties.
Who supports the Donkey Sanctuary in Aruba?
The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is supported by sponsors like Staal Aruba, Contreras Veterinary Services, Martin Trading, Aruba Gastro Clinic, Garage Centraal, Super Food Plaza, Arubabank, Kukoo Kanuku, and Tropical Bottling Company. EU volunteer organizations and private donors also help run the sanctuary.
Why is the Donkey Sanctuary important?
Donkeys are often taken for granted, even though they are very important for rural life. They have had a very big impact on our transition from an agricultural world to an industrial world.
There’s evidence that dogs helped humans survive when they were at war with neanderthals. Many evolutionary biologists suggest that our love for dogs comes from the fact that their guarding services allowed us to survive.
The Donkey Sanctuary is important because it helps us realize that Donkeys have helped us survive, too, and deserve the same kind of love that pets like dogs do.
Celebrating the contribution of donkeys to a still-present rural life and reinterpreting the animal as a love-worthy outdoor pet instead of a weight-bearing machine are two of the most important tasks of the Donkey Sanctuary.
Who owns the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary?
The Fundacion Salba nos Burico is a non-profit organization that owns the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. It started with ten donkeys on 14th April 1997. Now it has over 130 Donkeys and continues to grow as donkeys from around the country are decommissioned.
While Aruba’s cultural heritage and history owe a lot to Donkeys, they are quickly becoming less relevant in the day-to-day life of the average Aruban. And this is more prominent from the difference in the number of total donkeys in the country and the number of them currently at the sanctuary.
How many donkeys are in Aruba?
There are around 220 Donkeys in Aruba, with 130 to 140 being in the Donkey Sanctuary. That means 80 to 90 donkeys are actually being used by private households for rural and agricultural work while the rest are at Aruba’s donkey sanctuary.
Recapping the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary
Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is an establishment that cares for 130+ donkeys in Aruba. It is a non-profit with no entry ticket or booking website. However, it does accept donations via its website and offers souvenirs and membership certificates for consistent donors.
The sanctuary offers volunteering opportunities that come with free residence and sometimes a travel budget (especially for EU residents).
If you plan to volunteer internationally and currently reside in Europe, you should definitely check out the donkey sanctuary in Aruba.