Amaya Isert – Founder of Donkey Dreamland
Hi, my name is Amaya. Donkeys have always had a huge place in both my life and my heart. As a child, I spent my summers in La Alpujarra surrounded by donkeys, and even at that early age, I knew I had a special connection with these beautiful souls.
At the age of 20, I left Spain and travelled extensively throughout the world, but even then, during my shore leave, I would always seek out a sanctuary and spend quality time with animals.
After 20 years of sailing the seven seas I returned to Spain to work for a donkey refuge, and my love developed and deepened for these gentle, beautiful and intelligent animals.
After 2 years working for the refuge, I decided that it was time to realise my long-held dream of founding my haven for discarded, used and abused donkeys, and on 1st August 2020 my dream was realised and Donkey Dreamland was born.
Donkey Dreamland provides a home for donkeys free from pain and suffering, surrounded by people who offer love and respect in a calm and tranquil setting.
Throughout history donkeys have served us well, worked hard and have, at times, been abused. Donkey Dreamland aims to restore their dignity, whilst providing support and understanding of their plight through education and interaction.
What we do
Donkey Dreamland is currently home to 20 donkeys although the number can go up or down on any day. The aim is to rehome most donkeys to enable more animals to be rescued, brought back to health, and rehabilitated.
On arrival, all donkeys are assessed for health issues including skin, hair, hooves, weight and psychological wellbeing. This is especially important as many donkeys have a mistrust of humans due to abandonment and mental or physical abuse.
At Donkey Dreamland rebuilding trust, building rapport and providing love, play a massive part in their day-to-day work and the gentle interaction with children and adults helps the donkeys to feel safe from harm and enabling them to regain their dignity.
Donkey Dreamland not only provides the perfect environment for rehabilitation, but it also provides the perfect platform to educate all ages about these beautiful and intelligent souls.
Donkey Dreamland is solely funded by donations from visitors and private supporters and receives no funding from either the Government or the Local Council. The sanctuary is functional 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is supported by a dedicated team of unpaid volunteers who help to clean paddocks, feed donkeys and administer both medication and love in equal quantities.
Operating Donkey Dreamland isn’t cheap as 20 donkeys munch their way through 600 euros of hay per month and 200 euros of special dietary foods, not to mention the rent that has to be paid. This is why we need to raise funds through donations or fundraising campaigns as without donations Donkey Dreamland can’t operate or continue to provide a new life for abused and abandoned donkeys.
Looking to the future, Donkey Dreamland we have many exciting and innovative projects including Yoga with Donkeys, Art workshops, and special seasonal events.