Category Archives: Open day

Summer post – New friends and Old friends

It has been a very busy couple of months at the Donkey Paradise, but luckily there have also been lots of wonderful volunteers from all over Europe, and beyond, to help with the work and activities.  Also, Marleen was happy to have her daughter, Grietje, and her family over for a holiday with her and the animals.

Fito (left) says hello to Matias (right)

Fito (left) says hello to Matias (right)

We have a lovely new donkey called Matias.  He is quite old and unfortunately has not had a good life so he will need some care and attention but he already has a kind sponsor – Ria.  He was very wary at first but he is responding to love and attention and he has the loudest bray which Marleen likens to the siren of a boat in the fog!

Ria in the centre with Marleen (right) and Sandra (left)

Rias in the centre with Marleen (right) and Sandra (left)

Some dear friends of the Donkey Paradise, Frank and Helma came again from Holland for their summer holiday, which is more like a working holiday.  This time they brought with them an enormous trailer loaded with goodies – a beautiful wooden house and a car port.  The car port will be used mainly as a shelter for the dogs as it can get extremely hot here in the summer months.  Thank you to Helma and Frank and to those who helped them in the erecting of these buildings.  The summer house will have a special use – more about this in a later blog. 

Frank and Helma prepare the roof tiles

Frank and Helma prepare the roof tiles

Look out Frank!!

Look out Frank!!

It looks great

It looks great

At the beginning of August we held our Open Day and this was well-attended and enjoyed by donkeys and visitors alike.  Perhaps you can pick out some of the donkeys you know in these photos.

Yara and Sandra

Yara and Sandra

Open Day donkey picnic

Open Day donkey picnic

Donkeys and visitors together

Donkeys and visitors together

Not much left!!

Not much left!!


The August Donkey Banquet……… Lynn

Our Open Day on Sunday 4th August was a great success, with the donkeys on their best behavior. The table was laid and the food was arranged whilst the donkeys were peacefully grazing in the meadows, however, the summer breezes quickly carried the scents of cabbage, carrots, apples and pieces of bread to their nostrils as a row of heads soon appeared at the fence.


The hot weather added to the lively atmosphere around the table as the donkeys enjoyed their banquet, watched over by enthralled adults and children who joined in the party atmosphere. It didn’t take them very long to devour all the food on the table and then they went to mingle with their guests hoping for an extra treat or a stroke behind their ears.


This was our final donkey banquet for 2013 but the donkeys will still enjoy their daily supply of fresh vegetables with their meals throughout the year. The next Open Day will be on Sunday 6th October.


mia,s beautiful photos

Today’s the day the donkeys have their picnic

Pictures of the recent open day at El Paraiso del Burro with the donkeys having a picnic. It was a great day enjoyed by all, especially the donkeys!!

donkey picnic at El Paraiso del Burro

The donkeys at the refuge El Paraiso del burro in Asturias, Northern Spain, enjoy a picnic of their favourite foods.

By Peter

No wine………… candles……………………by Platero

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No candles…….. no wine……….

There were no candles or wine at the picnic on our open day, but it really was a great party! My donkey friends, living in El Paraiso del Burro, were invited to eat at the table. You can see in the photos that it was all specially prepared for us. The only things missing were candles and wine!

We have said that this summer we’ll have more donkey-parties and this pleases me a lot! But hopefully next time they might set the table with a little notion of donkey culture. We asses behaved in an exemplary fashion, as you can see in these photos.

On behalf of all my colleagues, with a friendly hoof print from PLATERO

Our next Open Days are:
Sunday 1st July
Sunday 5th August
From 11am to 2 pm


The website is currently  experiencing technical difficulties but we hope these will be resolved shortly.






We are very grateful to everyone who kindly donates money for the donkeys at “El Paraíso del burro” and for those of you who have donated money towards the well-being of Juliet here is a recent photograph of her as she feeds in the meadow.  As you can see, Juliet is getting a little fatter but we need to be careful that she doesn’t put on too much weight.  She eats very well and really enjoys her food.  When she is in the stable with the other donkeys she can certainly stick up for herself and will push away any other donkeys who try to get near to her portion of carrots and apples.

You are invited to come and see Juliet and the other donkeys and animals at the next Open Day on Sunday 5th June, 2011 from 11 am to 2 pm.


A sweet success


The open day on 6th February was a great success. With a steady trickle of visitors, it was great to see Marleen doing what she does best…talking about donkeys! Her passion and caring approach to the donkeys in her charge is infectious and the visitors soon realise that there is more to these creatures than first meets the eye. I hear on the grapevine that a few more volunteers were recruited from the open day so that was great news.
Juliette was separated from the other donkeys as we currently have a rather amorous male who won’t take no for an answer…
With Juliette’s already damaged spine and hips, it is kinder on her to remove her from the situation when we might be otherwise distracted. Talking of which… Whilst we were distracted and busy talking to the visitors, the sound of broken pottery and falling teaspoons were heard. Never one to miss an opportunity, Juliette had helped herself to the sugar bowl and a few cups of coffee and tea dregs. Fortunately, the lovely plate of biscuits was just out of reach.

Mmmmm…..yum yum.