It's not every day that your baby turns one, so why not celebrate their first full year of life with a bang? That's exactly what the team at boutique hotel, Acre Baja did for their resident donkey and beloved fur baby, Burrito. The sweet donkey found his way to Acre Baja by way of an emergency rescue when he was orphaned at just one month old – the team immediately took him in and knew he had found his forever home. Acre Baja is also home to a local dog rescue and shelter, Acre Dogs that you can adopt from onsite during your stay or event. Baby Burrito grew up with the rescued dogs and puppies, thinking he was part of the pack for awhile.
Burrito's birthday party was everything a first birthday should be: full of his favorite foods (carrots and apples), his family and a special, Donkey approved cake. We caught up with Romana Lilic from Acre about Burrito's party, his story and hosting events at this jungle paradise.
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Tell us about Burrito and how he came to Acre Baja!
Burrito came into our lives at Acre in the middle of the night in mid-January 2018. One of our coworkers called Rachael Watt, our owner’s daughter who manages Acre Dogs (a rescue operation for puppies that we also have at Acre), when he saw a baby donkey standing on the side of the road next to his mom, who was hit by a car and unfortunately passed away. By our estimates, the baby donkey was only about 30 days old, and we were worried he would not make it through the night since he was still dependent on his mother’s milk. Rachael and another colleague rushed to the location, and took the donkey home. He was the size of a bigger dog, so she bottle fed him every two hours. He made it through the night, and throughout the next couple of weeks, we took turns bottle feeding him until he was big enough to start eating solid food by himself. He became probably the most loved donkey in the world. We named him Burrito (translation from Spanish: little donkey).
From all of us at Acre, as well as local friends and Acre visitors, he receives lots of love and lots of apples, which he adores. He used to be in an area with our rescue dogs, so for a while he thought he was a dog himself! He played with them and ran around with them. And when new rescue puppies came in, he made sure to greet and welcome each of them! He used to walk around the property freely, greet guests at the bar and restaurant, and give love to anyone who wanted to receive it.
About 6 months after Burrito arrived, two wild donkeys kept showing up at Acre: they would lay on the lawn next to Burrito and the puppies, mull the grass, and all play together. After awhile, since they kept coming back, we started asking around if someone owns them, and it turned out that they were in fact wild donkeys so we took them in as well. Now Burrito, Merlin, and Rasputin live their happy lives at Acre and enjoy all the love, attention and food they can get!
What was the design inspiration behind this unique birthday party?
Design inspiration for Burrito’s first birthday was - Burrito! Events By Bliss helped us with birthday decorations. We had a custom made donkey piñata (breaking a piñata at a birthday party is a Mexican tradition), which we hung from a mango tree. We also had custom-made headbands with ‘donkey ears’ for all the invitees, and Acre Pastry Chef made a donkey-friendly birthday cake with apples and carrots, Burrito’s favorite food! For the guests, Acre pastry team baked delicious carrot cupcakes. Burrito also wore a beautiful floral garland. He tried to eat it at first, but he changed his mind when he saw his birthday cake.
Any standout moments from the day?
Burrito is such an adorable donkey and he loves his human ‘mom’ Rachael, who took care of him since his rescue. When she came to pick him up to bring him to the birthday party (at Acre’s mango orchards, where we normally host weddings and larger events), he was super excited and started making his happy voices (which sounds more like excited screaming). They came together to the party, we put his floral garland around him and brought him to where the cake and piñata were. He sniffed the piñata, and posed for some photos. He was smelling the cake (apples & carrots), but wasn’t sure if he could take a bite since he never tried cake before! He ate all of the carrot cake decor and took a couple of bites of the cake.
The visitors posed for a photo with him, but he lost his patience after awhile and Rachael let him loose. He started stampeding around the property from the birthday party to the rescue puppies, around the farm, and back to his stable where his two donkey friends waited for him. We took the remains of the cake to the donkey stables, where all three donkeys finished it off together.
Why is Acre a great place to host a birthday party and gathering?
Acre is a perfect hidden oasis to provide guests with an alternative experience to the ocean and the beach. We showcase a different side of Baja with our tropical landscaping, beautiful architecture with rammed earth and concrete, treehouse hotel rooms up in the palms, and just overall beauty where you can be as close to nature as possible. Our award winning bar and cocktail program, as well as the global-local cuisine are more reasons guests love visiting us. On the property, we have different private spaces for celebrations like the mango orchard, rooftop terrace, or the private jungle table, which makes you feel like you are eating in the middle of the jungle. Even our main restaurant has a cool lush vibe for dining al-fresco surrounded by palms! Our style of food is very conducive to sharing and having a family style dinner!
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Burrito's Birthday Party Credits
Venue, Birthday Cake & Pastry: Acre Hotel | Event Design: Events by Bliss | Florals: Flowers & Events Los Cabos | Piñata and Headbands: All About Events | Photography: Romana Lilic of LA76 Photography
Jungle Table & Terrace Event Credits