Zagüate: the Costa Rican term for a mutt, more specifically a stray mutt. My trip to Costa Rica revolved around a visit to Territorio de Zagüates (Land of the strays). This place in the mountain tops of Costa Rica is home to over 1,500 dogs who once roamed the streets of Costa Rica before they were brought in by Lya and her team who have devoted their lives to these furry souls for nearly 15 years. The goal is to give these innocent babies the life they deserve and to educate people on the importance of: spaying and neutering, adopting instead of buying dogs, and to change minds in terms of how equally special and beautiful, and deserving of a home zaguates (mutts) are as any 'pure bred' dog. 
I hiked with hundreds of dogs who wagged their tails and jumped on me as they happily ran passed me, as if knowing that giving me love and attention was an important part of our hike. I have NEVER been around so many dogs at once, but now that I have, I know that this is what heaven looks like for me! ENJOY!
What started with picking up stray dogs and taking them home with her, Lya turned into this massive labor of love that is now Territorio de Zaguates. 350 acres of land in the mountains of Costa Rica that belonged to her grandfather is now home to these dogs who were once in need of love and care.  I was just as impressed with the hundreds of dogs I was hiking with on magical grounds, as I was with her. Lya's love for dogs has led her to a life of devotion to them that is nothing short of admirable. From feeding them, to their medical care, to financial shortcomings, providing for over a thousand dogs has proven to be a difficult task, but one worth doing and fighting for. Over the years her and her team has faced backlash from local neighbors and the government in an attempt to turn Territorio de Zaguates into an official dog shelter; however, they have continuously checked off the nearly impossible petitions, thanks to their drive, their love, and of course donations!
I want to thank Lya and her team for giving these babies a deserving and happy life, and for opening their doors for me to experience one of the happiest days of my life!
Please visit their website below and consider contributing in any way that you can!
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