Mandy Vara with one of the innocent piglets she rescued from the hell of an existence as a product to be consumed.

By JaneUnChained Contributor Lindsey Baker, host of The Action Hour

Mexico’s Black Sheep Sanctuary Retreat: Born in a Moment of Compassion for an Animal!

I remember the first time I spoke to Mandy Vara, founder of Black Sheep Sanctuary Retreat, near Cancun, Mexico.  It was 10 minutes before going #Live on my show the Action Hour on JaneUnChained News Network . She was dressed in jeans and tank top with full hair and makeup skillfully applied. She was surrounded by a cluster of ducks, sheep and pigs. Mandy held a selfie stick in one hand and petted a very affectionate sheep named Noche’ with the other hand. It was clear that these gentle beings felt like they were in paradise.  But, before Mandy rescued them, all of the animals were on their way to US and Mexican slaughterhouses, to face a horrific death.

How’d a Girl from Rhode Island End Up Running a Sanctuary in Mexico?

I asked Mandy, who hails from Rhode Island,  how she wound up in Mexico running an animal sanctuary. Mandy’s original plan was to move to Cancun, Mexico temporarily, and work as a dive instructor. But, once there, she stumbled upon a little black lamb, who had nowhere to go and would otherwise have been sent to an uncertain fate. Mandy stepped up and adopted him. His name is Noche, which means night in Spanish.

Mandy Can’t Leave Noche, the Black Sheep, or His Many Rescue Friends! She Need Help!

After learning that farmed animals can’t cross the Mexico-U.S border, Mandy knew her temporary life in Mexico would become permanent. She faced many challenges and struggles, including moving half a dozen times to maintain a home for the black sheep Noche, which means night in Spanish.  Noche had, by this time, accumulated a bunch of new rescue friends. Being forced to move continually meant losing the living spaces she built specially for the needs of the animals she houses. Mandy finally settled in the property they’re in now, and founded Black Sheep Retreat Sanctuary.

The Struggle of Running an Animal Sanctuary in a Foreign Country

A chicken relaxes at Black Sheep Sanctuary near Cancun, Mexico.

A chicken relaxes at Black Sheep Sanctuary near Cancun, Mexico.

Recently the owner decided to sell the property where Mandy is running her sanctuary. Because of a series of events including Covid-19, she’s facing another grave struggle. She had lost her job and therefore, her visa. She learned it was no longer possible to buy the property with a mortgage, being a U.S citizen, and she could not get a mortgage from the U.S to use for property in a foreign country. So with others interested in buying the land, she was about to face losing yet another home that she had built up for her animals. With no other options, she has started a public fundraising campaign, hoping for a slew of  small donations and/or a generous donor willing to loan her the money to buy the property.

Mandy Is So Close! Please Help! 

You Might Win a Visit!

Amazingly, the community has come together to support this sanctuary, with the original goal of $220,000, she is down to just $40,000 left to raise and she can secure the home and start saving more lives! The exciting news is that if you donate $10 or more you will be entered into a drawing to win an all expense paid trip to the Retreat in Cancun! Here is a link to multiple ways to donate: https://linktr.ee/BlackSheepRetreat
Or, you can go straight to the GoFundMeLink by clicking here.  If 800 people each donated $50, these animals would be safe forever.

Creating a Vegan Retreat to Fund the Black Sheep Sanctuary!

At the Black Sheep Retreat & Sanctuary, the animals roam peacefully. You can too!

At the Black Sheep Retreat & Sanctuary, the animals roam peacefully. You can too!

Mandy is also working on ways to create additional streams of revenue. Being a Direct Action Everywhere animal rights activist, Mandy is familiar with the burnout that comes along with living in a non-vegan world. This gave her the idea for a self care retreat at the sanctuary to help to sustain the sanctuary. Black sheep Sanctuary Retreat is located in the secluded jungle in Mexico, and is the home of safe, happy and loved rescued animals. It’s a beautiful space to get away from the stress of the world and just relax and recover.

This Retreat Is the Perfect Place to Learn How to Cook & Eat Vegan!

Mandy is also a vegan chef and offers a delicious plant-based menu at the retreat. Along with welcoming activists and vegans to relax, this retreat is also open to people who want to learn about the vegan lifestyle and make the transition, with coaching, cooking classes and time to connect with the animals. In the video above, Mandy shows us how to make a vegan chorizo crunch wrap!

Book In Advance Because Only One Party Can Stay at a Time! How Fabulous!

Happy Piglet Resting at Black Sheep Retreat & Sanctuary

Providing a peaceful home to as many animals as possible with the high quality care is her number one focus. “The self care retreat will always stay small, with just one party booked at a time, in order to ensure that the animals are never overwhelmed and the retreat stays as peaceful and secluded as possible for visitors” stated Mandy.

Amazingly, the community has come together to support this sanctuary, with the original goal of $220,000, she is down to just $40,000 left to raise and she can secure the home and start saving more lives! The exciting news is that if you donate $10 or more you will be entered into a drawing to win an all expense paid trip to the Retreat in Cancun! Here is a link to multiple ways to donate: https://linktr.ee/BlackSheepRetreat

Black Sheep Sanctuary Social Media

Sanctuary Facebook: facebook.com/BlackSheepRetreatSanctuary 
Sanctuary Instagram: Black_Sheep_Retreat 
Sanctuary TikTok: @BlackSheepRetreat 
Personal Facebook: www.facebook.com/mandy.vara.1/
Personal Instagram: Mandy_Vara_