HOPKINS, Belize – Over the past 15 years, Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort has welcomed thousands of guests to its off-the-beaten-path, luxurious Caribbean retreat. Even though most visitors only stay for a short time, some have actually taken up residency on the resort grounds. While some settle in for weeks or months, others stick around for years. Truth be told, these special guests are not two-legged travelers … they are four-legged, furry friends who have been rescued by Hamanasi’s loving staff.
Over the years, Hamanasi has rescued and cared for many critters, usually from the local Hopkins Belize Humane Society (HBHS), like Iris the cat, Max the mutt and Roxy the German Shepherd to name a few. Roxy was rescued in the nick of time, after being tied up and left to eat dirt to survive. Today, she is a happy and healthy security dog for Hamanasi! All pets have collars, receive regular vaccinations, are fed properly, and are spayed or neutered.
For years, Hamanasi Resort has supported the HBHS, providing in-kind and monetary contributions donated by the resort and its wonderful guests. Each year, Hamanasi hosts several veterinary teams who travel to Belize to help HBHS; in 2013 alone, the resort provided free room, board and tours to nine separate veterinary teams
Hamanasi pets are important members of the resort team, making staff members and guests feel more at home. The resort’s welcome booklet provides a photo and description of each pet, introducing visitors to their holiday companions. Guests will see these tenants relaxing around the resort throughout their stay and, if lucky, animal lovers may even get some cuddle time!
Bailey, Ginger, Orchid and Gibnut are the current residents. Bailey, a Boxer/Rottweiler mix, was adopted from HBHS in 2011. After curing his terrible eye infection, Hamanasi intended to make him a security dog at the resort; however, instead of barking, Bailey just wanted to wag his tail and love people. He now lives with two resort managers at Hamanasi.
Ginger has been part of the Hamanasi family since 2003, when she was just a kitten wandering in the local area. She has gone through a lot in her life – she lost an eye while fighting cancer – and now spends most of her days lounging on the veranda outside the Great House reception area. Ginger also likes to join the dancers who come each Thursday for Belizean Night; sometimes she sits in the middle of the dance floor and watches everyone’s feet, to make sure they’re doing it right, of course!
Gibnut and Orchid, the newest members of the family, are still in curious kitten mode. They spend most nights out and about then spend their days sleeping off the late night escapades in front of the reception area or on guests’ treehouse decks, enjoying the attention and love.
The resort also has had several guests adopt animals during their trip and take them home as a new member of their family. Nathan and Amy from Seattle adopted Roxie during their stay in June 2013. Even the owners of Hamanasi rescued two dogs and a cat – Sasha, Ninka and Kotik – all of which live with the family in Virginia. Hamanasi facilitates the adoption process, helping ensure that vaccines and paperwork are in order so the excited adoptees can fly back with their new forever families.
Whether guests want to donate to the local humane society, adopt a new fur baby or just get some animal attention while on vacation, Hamanasi Resort can provide the right type of “creature comfort” they’re seeking.