The distinctive call of the donkey rings out in a welcome salute as visitors approach Aruba's Donkey Sanctuary. Warm muzzles close in to inspect new arrivals and to offer an additional greeting. The herd of donkeys, in their patchwork of coats, from grey to deep chocolate brown, floppy ears and inquisitive personalities, often enchant visitors.
Once the major mode of transportation for island residents, donkeys were left adrift in modern times, with cars now trundling down the same cactus lined pathways where they once traveled, carrying passengers and pulling carts.
Previous to the establishment of the "Save Our Donkeys" foundation, a large number of donkeys were left wandering free, having to search out their own food and water and sometimes susceptible to abuse.The idea for a sanctuary, where these beloved animals can live out their lives in a protected environment, became a reality in 1997. After almost 20 years at Santa Lucia, it became time for the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary to move to a new, and larger location in Bringamosa to house its 130 donkeys.
The Bringamosa-based sanctuary welcomes guests, offering information and a tours of the grounds to interested visitors. Guests of the Donkey Sanctuary can enjoy a cozy visitor center, where one can have a cold drink on the covered porch or buy original donkey-themed gifts and souvenirs in the gift shop. All this makes a visit to the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary worth your while. Throughout the year, Donkey Sanctuary Aruba volunteers continue their work to protect the donkeys as well as organize various fundraising events (All profits go to support foundation efforts).