Sunday, May 28

“Distillery Dogs“ A new book supporting Oaxaca’s street dogs


Based on findings from INEGI (the National Institute of Statistics and Geography) roughly 70% of the estimated 18 million dogs that live in Mexico are on the street. Some are born there, but many were abandoned by their owners.

In light of the struggles associated with the current pandemic, the number of dogs being abandoned is unfortunately growing. Many are not sterilised, and with this, new lives are brought into the world, only to suffer the same harsh conditions of those already on the street.

Oaxaca is no exception to these grim statistics, however some locals have banded together to make a difference. Oaxacan-based photographer Anna Bruce has just published “Perros y Palenques (Distillery Dogs)” a black and white book of her original images, along with poetry, short stories and donated creative work by over 50 artists including Guillermo Olguín, Ariadna Vásquez, Sabino Guisu, and Carolina Castañeda.

The project is rooted in her experience documenting mezcal in Oaxaca, where animals play an important role in the local palenques. It expanded into a larger collaborative work when Bruce moved to reconnect with the local creative community during quarantine.

The book is being launched on Thursday, October 22 at Convivio and costs only $200 with 100% of the proceeds going to two private, volunteer-run groups: TeoTails and Caravana Canina.

TeoTails organises sterilisation clinics in the Oaxaca valley, and provides education around caring for animals, along with temporarily fostering dogs in need. Caravana Canina helps to rehabilitate rescue dogs and find them the loving forever homes that they deserve.

A meaningful gift for the dog, mezcal and Mexico lovers in your life, investment in these books helps to provide love and assistance to some of the most vulnerable in our communities.

If you’re in Mexico you can purchase the book at the launch event or contact Anna Bruce directly. If you’re outside of Mexico and would like to order you can contact Ehren at Hecho who is assisting with international orders and shipping (while you’re there check out their beautiful, locally made products).


About Author

Ehren Seeland is an artisan liaison and product developer, as well as the Founder and Creative Director of Hecho – a curated emporium of ethically made pieces that marry contemporary design with traditional processes. Ehren lives and works full-time in Oaxaca. Prior to her move to Southern Mexico, she studied art and design in Vancouver, Canada and Edinburgh, Scotland. She worked as a designer in NYC, as well as in international development in higher education, which involved regular travel throughout 24 countries.

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