Citla, the “Guardian Angel of the Mountain”, as hikers called him, died on September 28, 2017, and since then mountaineers from different parts of Mexico, together with their friends and acquaintances, are seeking permission to build a monument at the foot of the dog’s grave, said Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, municipal trustee of Chalchicomula de Sesma.
“The National Commission of Protected Areas rejected the permit to install the monument dedicated to Citla, and we are waiting for a request that was made to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), of whom we have confidence will grant us the permit “, Explained the high mountain rescuer.
In an interview, he said that building a monument dedicated to Citla is the way many mountaineers and their families would thank him for saving them from the dangers that are experienced in the Citlaltepetl volcano, located on the borders of the states of Puebla and Veracruz.
Hilario Aguilar recalled meeting Citla 10 years ago, during a climb he made to Pico de Orizaba, something that seemed very strange because he had never before encountered a dog on the mountain, but later he learned that several climbers said that they had also seen the dog with white and gray fur.
Since then, the dog, which was always docile in the presence of visitors, received the name of Citla, diminutive of Citlaltepetl, and the love of hundreds and hundreds of climbers who met him on his way and who designated the dog as the “Guardian Angel of the Mountain.”
People recall stories that when they felt lost on the mountain and couldn’t find the route down the volcano, Citla appeared and as if reading their thoughts, and helped them get back on track.
“When it became known about the death of Citla, the idea of making a monument where the dog was buried on the mountain seemed like the right thing to do. I think it will not have any environmental damage to raise the figure of Citla because it would be made of stone and would occupy any base since it would be mounted on a rock that exists and where the puppy always lay,” said Aguilar Aguilar.
He added that there is also the possibility that the monument is installed next to the one dedicated to mountaineers, a figure that is located at the entrance to the municipality of Chalchicomula de Sesma.
The followers of Citla, who also enjoys a page on social networks, have spoken for other proposals to honor the memory of the canine. One of them was made by the Cabildo de Orizaba, which calls for the image of Citla to be the mascot of the Veracruz municipality.
In the same way, he proposes that a mural be dedicated to the puppy, which at the same time could be an attraction for visitors.
“In Cordoba they are organizing to disused keys where to place a monument. There are two sculptors who offered to make the figures at no cost, only to be provided with the material,” he said.
He added that “through their page on social networks, people publish many anecdotes that they lived with Citla and how they miss the dog”.
Regarding the anecdotes, Hilario Aguilar said that the producer Gilberto Martínez Solares recorded the first part of a documentary dedicated to Citla before the dog died, and with the help of technology, he will finish the film.
Hilario Aguilar, said he is writing a book that brings together the stories of Citla, with mountaineers from various parts of Mexico and other countries such as Portugal and Colombia.
The proceeds from the publication of the book, he explained, will go towards the creation of an association called Citla and that will serve as a refuge or a home for dogs.
“I think that after the death, the dog is becoming more famous and is becoming a legend. So much so that there are generous people who want to make their contribution from Portugal and Colombia; besides the Mexicans. Every time I upload a photo of Citla to his page, in a day he gets to register more than two thousand views, because many people follow him,” he said.
Hilario Aguilar met Citla 10 years ago, but in the last two years he was his caretaker and had the dog at home, he was in danger in the mountains, mainly because he lost his sight and tusk.
He died on September 28, 2017 due to complications in his health caused by liver cancer that was detected by specialists.
Citla on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/citlal.tepetl.9/