BECAUSE... The Dogs are Counting on Us.

Cuenca Expats Magazine, Issue 43

Photos: Courtesy of Rosemary and Barry Rein, Gala Co-Chairs

Chances are, if you have lived in or visited Cuenca, your fairytale street scene has been tarnished by seeing a vulnerable dog roaming terrified through traffic, in need of food, medical care, and sanctuary. This is not a regular scene in Europe and North America and both visitors to and residents of Ecuador find themselves shocked and looking away, wondering how such a beautiful city with kind smiles everywhere allows its animals (dogs and cats) to be wandering around the city abandoned, neglected and unsterilized, contributing to more unwanted animals. It’s a big vision that FAAN (Fundación Familia Amor Animal) has set as its goal in 2023:  changing the face of animal welfare so that our World Heritage city becomes known as the “City that Cares.” FAAN has been in existence nine years in Cuenca. Under the dedicated and selfless care of FAAN President, Jose Gomez and a team of volunteers, the foundation cares for, at any one time, 150 + abused, abandoned, neglected and senior dogs. There is real urgency. FAAN received an eviction notice for the end of 2023 from their current home, so a group of expats joined with Ecuadorians in an urgent capital campaign to not only purchase and find a new home for the dogs of FAAN, but also to tackle the underlying conditions of animal population and welfare which include evidence-based prevention strategies, community education, and adoption.

 Over $70,000 has been raised and entered into contract to buy the land, but more than $30,000 is still needed to complete phase one of the basic shelter infrastructure.

Joe and Jose and Dogs

And so, the PAW-TY planning began and GALA FAAN-TASTICA was created. On October 7 from 6:30 – 11:00 PM at Estancia Rosario in Cuenca, located near Hospital del Rio, more than 150 expats and Ecuadorians will gather for the charity event of the season. The event includes a VIP Champagne Hour, formal dinner with open bar all evening, live entertainment with FAAN-TASTICA performances, and a silent and a live auction. According to Gala Co-Chair Rosemary Rein, the evening will be elegant and FAAN-TASTICA with design principles of successful charity galas from New York to Costa Rica.  The FAAN Gala committee expects $50,000 will be raised at the event through sponsorship, tickets sales, virtual donations, and exciting silent and live auctions. Gala tickets are available in two tiers:  $60 for the Gala Evening or $85 for the Gala with a special, pre-VIP Champagne Hour. FAAN is seeking individuals and business sponsors, contributions to the FAAN-TASTICA auction and early reservations. Ambassador tables of eight receive and can take home a unique and artistic FAAN-TASTICA table design with their family, business or community name on it.


It takes all of us to change the face of animal welfare in Cuenca. Be part of it!

Visit our FAAN WEBSITE or write to

CLICK the icons bellow to check FAAN's media and network