Saving Esparanza in Cancun, Mexico


As part of my ongoing work to document street dogs in Mexico for CANDi International, I stumbled across a seriously injured horse this past July with the help fellow CANDi volunteer, Hector Navarro. I was photographing stray dogs when she came across a run-down recycling center in the poorer outskirts of Cancun, known to be a gathering place for abandoned dogs. The horse was inside the center, in a small stall, under extremely bad conditions. She had also suffered serious leg injuries, due to a vicious Rottweiler attack a month earlier. The wounds were left untreated and the horse,  whom I named “Esperanza” or “Hope” in Spanish, was at risk of losing the infected limb—and her  life.

“Esperanza,”  is a sweet-tempered 4 to 6 year-old mare. Both myself and Hector were shocked to find that her owner was unwilling to seek medical attention for her. In order to get Esperanza the immediate care and treatment she needed, they had to offer to buy the horse from the owner.

Esperanza’s owner was unwilling to relinquish ownership of the horse, but changed his mind for the price of $800 U.S. CANDi later discovered that the horse was given away to the owners of the recycling center for “disposal” by her original owner after she endured the violent attack, but the recycling center’s proprietors decided to keep her anyway. The veterinary costs to save her were estimated at $600 U.S., so we started a Facebook campaign to raise funds.   Generous donations poured in, and the horse was transported the following day to a veterinary center, where she had surgery on her infected leg. The operation was a success, and Esperanza’s leg—and life—were saved! 

Esperanza’s good luck did not end there. Hector’s friend, Karla Argote, was recovering from her own recent loss. By a twist of fate, Karla’s horse had passed away only the previous week. Karla was willing to open her heart and home to Esperanza, who is now at the beautiful ranch with 30 other new horse friends. Karla has started to rehabilitate Esperanza and use her as a therapy horse for children with disabilities.

With Esperanza in Karla’s care, she has found a forever home and the hope of a better life through CANDi International’s team of volunteers.

To donate or volunteer with me, go to:   CANDi International

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our List

Join our newsletter to get exclusive access to tips on clothing for your photoshoot, great photo locations, holiday offers, and new horse art at the print shop.

Subscribe →

images and content © tracey buyce 2022 | brand and website DESIGN BY THE BUFFALO COLLECTIVE

Welcome horse lovers! Join our email list for all things horses and new additions to the fine art horse print shop.