Start donating now for the Spring Silent Auction at the annual J.E.E.P. Fundraiser (date to be announced). Be creative! Donations can be dropped off at Los Compadres Restaurant & Bar in La Peñita.


The water is hooked up and being delivered now. We can now wash the horses regularly. They are quite happy about their baths and somewhat spoiled in the process. Roofing now covers most of the stable and the area that will become the arena for the kids. The next step will be to dig out the arena. This is expected to be accomplished before equine therapy starts up again.

JEEP October 2

Hilltop Refugio/Horse Rescue Efforts

To-date, donations have not covered the full cost of food, equipment, shoeing, veterinary care, etc. Therefore, the Hilltop Refugio entered into an income producing enterprise at which is a win-win in terms of resources, as well as availability of horses for the equine therapy project. Three horses are now being boarded at a profit of $300 USD per month after feed costs. These fees cover shoeing, vets, equipment, etc., and are an ongoing source of monthly income. (All the horses were shoed again in October and their feet are looking good). One of the boarded horses is for personal riding only, but two of the three are for J.E.E.P. use and are available for riding for those who want to ride and the children as George feels they are ready. The horses belong to local full-time resident Valerie Bennett-Naquin. You might remember BeBe (picture below). She won a local horse race this spring. Valerie also donated one horse, Chino, at the urging of Donna Brownfield due to his excellent temperament with the children.

BeBe (4 year old mare).

JEEP Sedona
Sedona (3 year old mare)

Equine Therapy for Disabled Children

We are gearing up for the equine therapy. More helmets were donated for the kids to insure their safety. We expect to start the equine therapy again in December. Volunteers would be much appreciated, as we need help serving lunch to the kids and their teachers/parents, as well as with the individual horses and kids.

Dog and Cat Fostering

Pictures are included here for two of the four dogs available for adoption and looking for a permanent home. Last month we pictured the other two.

We have now added a litter of cats. We already had a litter of cats to keep the rats at bay, but a new litter arrived recently. The kittens are currently being tended by Loretta, feeding them at home until they are old enough to be on their own at the stable. Pictures will be forthcoming soon. All these wonderful animals need homes. Come and visit and see if any of them are a good fit for your family.

JEEP Sadie

JEEP Chato

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: November 20, 2014

All J.E.E.P. participants who want to ride one of the rescue horses in the Revolution Day parade in La Peñita, bring a long-sleeve white shirt so we can get them all embroidered. There are also several other horses available if you want to ride.


Donations have been coming in all summer and now as people are returning the donations are increasing. These contribute to the long-term sustainability of J.E.E.P. and the Hilltop Refugio. All types of donations are welcomed and put to good use – monetary, equipment/items, time, donations for silent auction, etc.

Monetary Donations:

A huge amount of credit must go to George and Loretta Leavitt. They have invested both a tremendous amount of time, money and effort into this project. George is up feeding and caring for the animals every day, rain or shine, and there was quite a bit of mud to contend with this summer! Loretta can usually be found during the evening visit. In addition, they have also made significant monetary donations to the project including:

  • Personnel: 7 months @ $6,000 pesos/month = $42,000 pesos (approximately $3,230 USD)
  • Construction: $10,500 USD
  • Boarding Income: $300 USD/month since July ($1,200 USD)
  • Greg and Madeline Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD/month ($800 USD) and Chino (donated horse)
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD/month since March ($200 USD)
  • Lindsey Kato: $500 USD
  • Kylie Kato: $145.37 USD (Kylie is Lindsey’s sister and she is only 7 years old!)
  • Frank Schwartz: $50USD

Donations of Equipment and Other Items:

  • Helmets: Lisa Trahn & Jason Nielson

Silent Auction Donations:

  • 4-Wheeler Helmet (used only twice; cost $250 USD): Valerie Bennett-Naquin

Volunteer Time:

  • Lindsey Kato spent one month working at the stable every morning assisting George, washing the horses, feeding, cleaning, etc. She left at the end of October, but was a wonderful resource for the horses!


Things to Bring Down When You Return!

We could use lead ropes, head sets, horse brushes, curry combs, cinches (medium to large), as well as horse shampoo and conditioner. Donations for school supplies and art materials for the special needs children who come visit are also appreciated. These are relatively small items that will fit in a suitcase.

Ongoing Needs

We are always in need of contributions of feed, tack, medicine, medical supplies, money and other resources. Keep in mind that not only do the horses need feed, they must be also be shoed, have regular injections and sometimes medical care. All these things cost money. WE NEED YOUR HELP!


If you like to ride, please volunteer at the Hilltop Refugio. All the horses need brushing, attention and maintenance. If you volunteer, you can go on the frequent trail rides. Get to know a special horse during your time in the region or adopt one of the rescued dogs and take it home with you!

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.