Who We Are: About ARCAS

What is ARCAS? and Who is Involved?

ARCAS is a non-profit Guatemalan Civil Association formed in 1989 by a group of Guatemalan citizens who became concerned as they saw their precious natural heritage - especially their wildlife - rapidly disappearing before their eyes.

ARCAS was originally created for a very specific and urgent purpose: to build a rescue center to care for and rehabilitate wild animals that were being confiscated on the black market by the Guatemalan government.

Since its establishment, the ARCAS Rescue Center has grown into one of the largest and most complex rescue centers in the world, receiving between 300 and 600 animals of more than 40 species per year.

ARCAS Vision

To improve the chances of survival and conservation of endangered species and their habitat, as well as assist in the rational management of natural resources.

ARCAS Mission

1. Rescue, rehabilitation and release of wildlife
2. Environmental education
3. Research
4. Co-administration of protected areas
5. Sustainable community development and ecotourism

ARCAS 's objectives are:

  • To strive for the conservation, preservation, protection and research of wildlife.
  • To rescue, rehabilitate and reintroduce into their natural habitat wild animals seized from illegal traffickers.
  • To promote and assist in the creation and management of protected habitat areas for wild animals
  • To support tropical wildlife veterinary medicine and research.
  • To reproduce endangered wildlife.
  • To raise awareness among Guatemalans and visiting tourists about the need to conserve natural resources through a program of education and information dissemination.
  • To develop and promote economic alternatives in rural communities to the unsustainable consumption of natural resources.
Since the establishment of the Rescue Center in Peten, ARCAS has branched out into other very necessary activities including environmental education, protected areas management, marine turtle conservation, sustainable community development, ecotourism and reforestation. ARCAS’s three main project sites are: the Guatemala City area, the remote northern department of Petén, and the Hawaii area of the southern Pacific Coast.


To learn more about what ARCAS does, check our Annual Reports on the publications page. If you want to volunteer please see the Volunteer Information section or email us at [email protected].

Thanks to:

Representaciones de Centroamérica RECASA
Columbus Zoo
U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service
Cincinnati Zoo

ARCAS relies on the support of our amazing donors and collaborators around the world.
Please join us or donate so our work can continue.

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