Part of the purpose of PLAY it Forward Adventures is to provide Sojourners who travel abroad a genuine cultural experience. Think about how important food is to defining a culture. What areas of the US do you associate with clam chowder, or gumbo, or hot dish? Is there a recipe that has been passed on from generation to generation in your family? While the food items are different, having a culinary cultural identity is something anyone can relate to.
In Peru, that identity happens to center on guinea pig.
In Peru, Guinea pigs are called cuy. They are high in protein and low in fat. Peruvians eat estimated 65million guinea pigs each year.
While it may be a bit unnerving to consider something commonly known as a pet as food. Travelling abroad often requires getting out of the comfort zone a little bit, because more often and not, that’s where some amazing transformations can happen. We’re not saying eating guinea pig will completely transform your world, but living among people who do just might.
PLAY it Forward – Machu Picchu in 2012 exposed travelers to guinea pigs, as we helped the village of Taray by building containment pens for these critters. One good male can breed with six females. It takes 60 days for guinea pigs to grow to full size and be ready for consumption or re-sale. May not make sense in our culture, but it’s a critical part of Peruvian culture where cuy is a delicacy typically only enjoyed during holidays and special occasions.