Save my Sanctuary and Home, Black Sheep Retreat

*Anyone who donates $100 would receive a voucher for 3 nights at the bed and breakfast with meals and time with the animals included, otherwise an over $250 package! 
Only 2200 people needed to donate $100!! 

*Any and all donation amounts are so hugely appreciated, If its $1 or $10, it adds up VERY quickly from many people! 
please screenshot any donation you make to receive that amount off your bed and breakfast booking! 

My name is Mandy Vara, I'm an animal rights activist and sanctuary founder. 

I'm a U.S citizen who has a sanctuary in Mexico, and im in urgent danger of losing everything! 

Black Sheep Retreat Sanctuary aims to be an official 501c3 non profit, peaceful forever home for farmed animals rescued from slaughter, as well as a vegan bed and breakfast experience for vegans needing to unplug from the non vegan world, spend some time in nature and around happy animals with a delicious plant based meal package and focus on self care, in whatever form that is for you. 
We are located just outside Cancun, Mexico, in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. 
Black Sheep Retreat started because of a little black baby lamb, who needed a place to go or he would have been exploited and killed. Upon finding no one else and no other sanctuaries in the entire country who would take him, and no where else to keep him safe and loved, I started renting land, building for him and rescuing friends, as they are herd animals who need friends.
As a U.S citizen living in Mexico, I have faced many, many challenges doing this. I have flipped my life upside down, remained in a foreign country alone through the pandemic through job losses, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms, losing support, giving up activism and giving up any sense of security or comfort I might have had in order to stick by these animals. 
 I am currently on the 4th property I’ve lived on with Noche and his rescued friends, as I continually put work and effort into building something before I am made to leave for one reason or another. 
The current Property I am on is the most peaceful home we have had and the animals are so happy here. I have spent roughly $20,000 building on it for my animals.
Unfortunately, when covid hit, I lost my job here, effectively losing my resident visa, and about a month into establishing Black Sheep Retreat, I also lost the support I had behind me.
 Left with no way to get a visa, I now face the possibility of deportation or being denied entry after leaving the country to renew my tourist visa, which I have to do every six months. As I am the sole care taker of these animals with no help, this is something I CAN NOT let happen.
Even more urgently, it turns out even with the two year lease, this property can be sold from under me and I can be kicked off. 
While I thought I would have two years to buy, theres now a buyer who came to see the house, and i'm waiting to hear back, but it means I could lose it if I'm unable to pay cash for it! 
While I am MORE than happy to pay a monthly mortgage, the challenge I’m facing is that as a foreigner I can not get a mortgage from Mexico to buy a house, and as a U.S citizen, while we qualified for a mortgage that would cover the house, it can not be used to buy property on foreign land. My only option is to buy the property in cash, I have an URGENT need to access $220,000 USD in order to buy this property in cash. 

That would do two things for the security of the sanctuary, first and most importantly, it would give us the security of staying on this property that the animals love without the risk of being kicked off when sold to another party which would allow me to grow and start building more animal structures, so i can rescue more animals (as I have had to stay relatively small due to the lack of stability in this land) and the bed and breakfast, which would make the sanctuary more financially self sustainable. 
It would also allow me to obtain my resident visa, as buying property here is one way to get it. With this visa, I would no longer have to leave the country every six months, which is quite difficult to do as the sole caretaker of the animals, 
And it would also mean I wouldn’t be under risk of being asked to leave the country or denied entry.  I access a bank account here, buy a car, and most importantly, Register Black Sheep Retreat as an official non profit organizatioin. 

I know this is a huge goal, but what I need to continue this work is an initial $220,000 USD. Which I'm happy to repay monthly!

After the initial purchase, I can build the retreat up, rescue more animals and provide the self care to vegans experiencing burn out and looking to unplug and relax, or enjoy the beautiful activities the Caribbean has to offer. 
If I can find just one person, the right person financially, who is inspired by the work I am doing and the plans I have to do more for the animals, and would like to support the project who may be willing to loan that money, seeing a monthly return from me, it would make a huge difference in the lives of my animals and all the animals I want to help in the future. 

I’m taking two approaches to this. If I can find the one right person who believes in this project and is able and wiling to lend that amount of money to me, that would be absolutely amazing, so I am calling to action for anyone and everyone to share this, to like, comment, to tag anyone who may be that person, to email and message anyone who might be willing to help (which I am also doing, but if they see more support for a sanctuary from multiple people it’s more likely to catch someones attention). No matter who you are, sharing far and wide, we don’t need the whole world to see it, we just need that ONE right person. 

My other approach is a gofundme in order to raise the money from the community. I know it’s a huge goal, but I also know organizations and individual influencers are funded with millions a year, and I believe a sanctuary to tell this animals stories is very important, and if this is shared far and wide, with well over 220,000 vegans in the community and online, if every person donated just $1, or if just 22,000 people donated just $10, or just 2,200 people donating $100 each and the goal would be reached!
I need to reach this goal in order to save the animals  home and start growing and rescuing more, as well as officially open the b&b, which has been unofficially open since the start of January and is seeing great results!
*Anyone who donates $100 would receive a voucher for 3 nights at the bed and breakfast with meals and time with the animals included, otherwise an over $250 package! 
Only 2200 people needed to donate $100!! 

*Any and all donation amounts are so hugely appreciated, If its $1 or $10, it adds up VERY quickly from many people! 
please screenshot any donation you make to receive that amount off your bed and breakfast booking! 

Why this property? For many reasons, while I mentioned, this is the 4th place I’ve moved to and rebuilt, I’ve spent tens and tens of thousands moving and rebuilding for them. I have already put $20,000 into this land thinking I was able to have the time to buy it (as I’m only 7 months into a two year lease). Furthermore, there is already about $100,000 worth of buildings on this property, including a two bedroom house, which can easily have the bed and breakfast built as a second story, with a great foundation, the animals buildings, a smaller building for a chicken coop and a larger building in front of the property. I have also spent thousands of dollars installing internet here, as I had to split the cost of building an internet tower with my neighbor. The land is also already set up with electricity, water, sewage system, etc, all things that are not easy to find when buying property, in total, there’s already over $100,000 value in this property that I wouldn’t have to spend like I would if I bought different land, which I would also need to pay cash for. 
It sits on 6.7 acres of beautiful jungle. Far enough from the center of town to be completely tranquil, but close enough that it’s an easy drive to get to the stores. The property itself gives so much peace to the animals as well as beautiful tall trees for shade and keeping cooler in the hot Mexican summer months. It’s also the perfect place for a self care retreat, not only because of the tranquility and beauty of the space, which could offer a natural Cenote fresh water swimming, yoga classes by the cenotes, in room spa days, temezcals, painting nights, camp fires, cooking classes, etc, but it’s also central to many tourist activities, with lots of denotes within 10 minutes, beaches in 20 minutes, snorkeling tours, scuba diving, sky diving, jet skiing, parasailing, visiting ruins, any and all things this beautiful destination has to offer. 
I would also be more than happy to provide a timeshare option to larger donors, where you can always have a home here when you want to visit the Caribbean and spend some time in nature with happy animals. 
This property is not only a great value and an absolute beautiful place to build for the animals, but would give me the ability to become at least mostly financially self sustainable, and as a non profit, everything made from the b&b would go back to the animals. Just as everything I am and everything I have goes to them now. 

Sanctuaries are at the foundation of our movement, as our effective actions could not be done without them, animals lives could not be saved, their stories could not be told and personal connections to these beings could not be had. Running a sanctuary, however, takes endless work, care and dedication. You give up all your comforts and securities, give up all your luxuries, you effectively no longer live for yourself but for the beings under your care. It is a rewarding work but it is not an easy life style, but I am more than willing to dedicate everything I have in me to protect these and more animals, I just need to get past this final wall I’ve hit in order to continue. And I really have no choice, as I am not able to bring my animals into my home country, where I do qualify for a mortgage, and I have no way to get a mortgage here. As I said, I will never abandon them, and for this reason, this has to be successful, I can’t think of the possibility of it not working!  

My call to action is to PLEASE like, share, donate ANY amount you can, comment, reply to comments, tag influencers who might be willing to help, message anyone you can think of who would be willing to invest or loan a significant amount of money, please help me network and reach out to people, I know we have a beautiful community who care about animals, humans and sanctuaries, I know we have over 220,000 vegans in this community who could be reached to donate a dollar, or 22,000 who could donate $10, or 11,000 who could donate $20! I know the community is there, this goal can be reached, please help me reach it before the land is sold from under me! 

Please reach out to me if you are interested in being a large part of helping me achieve this goal, either through putting in effort writing to and sharing with possible donors, sharing to anyone and everyone you can, or if you are able to lend or donate a large amount of money, and would like to see a return on your money either through monthly payments or a timeshare to the on property bed and breakfast, or if this is a project you want to be a part of! 
Email: [email redacted] 
Sanctuary Facebook: 
Sanctuary Instagram: Black_Sheep_Retreat 
Sanctuary TikTok: @BlackSheepRetreat 
Personal Facebook:
Personal Instagram: Mandy_Vara_

Donations (391)

  • Anonymous
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Amanda Washburn
Peacedale, RI

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