23 | FEB | 2019
Citla – Photo: Courtesy of Hilario Aguilar

Citla, the “Guardian Angel” of Orizaba's Peak

Édgar Ávila
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For over 10 years, the dog lived at the highest summit in Mexico

Citla, a mixed-breed dog considered one of the best mountain climbers in Mexico, died on September 28 due to complications of a liver tumor and was recently buried at 4 thousand 100 meters above sea level in the snowy terrains of Orizaba's Peak – the place he called home.


The exact age of the dog was never known, but it was believed he arrived with a group of brick workers over 10 years ago and since then he made a home of the Citlaltépetl – as the Peak is called in Náhuatl.

It was known he took shelter in the surveillance outpost of the Great Milimetric Telescope, the Cave of the Dead, and the high-camp of the volcano, at 4 thousand 660 meters above sea level.

The dog became locally famous for accompanying mountain climbers in their ascent and for rescuing lost or sick climbers and leading them back to the shelters, despite his lack of training, thus earning his reputation as the mountain's “guardian angel.”

The dog was familiar will all the climbing routes of the volcano and was looked after Hilario Aguilar, the president of the Mexican Alpine Club in Serdán City.


Mr. Aguilar was the one who, upon detection of the mutt's declining health, brought him to a veterinary so Citla could receive medical attention – this was the only time the dog would go beyond the 4 thousand meters.

Sadly, he was diagnosed with a liver tumor and failed to respond to the medical treatments.

Fifty-two people from several communities in Veracrúz, Puebla, and Tlaxcala ascended Orizaba's Peak once more to lay to rest the beloved dog's remains and bid their last farewell.

Photos courtesy of Hilario Aguilar.



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