BBC Highlights Economic Potential of Peruvian Dish

Monday March 6, 2017
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BBC Highlights Economic Potential of Peruvian Dish

The BBC highlighted the economic potential of the peruvian dish guinea pig, or cuy as it is known in Peru, in a recent article.

Cuy is known as a delicacy to the people of the Peruvian highlands and is consumed usually on special occasions. However, the popularity of this dish is now on the rise in more urban parts of the country, creating ample economic opportunity for increased guinea pig farming.

Lionel Vigil of the organization World Neighbors believes that guinea pig farming could help pull many rural farmers in Peru out of poverty, now that the market has expanded to other regions of Peru.

According to Vigil, ¨The Incas have eaten cuy for centuries, but in the past it was only farmers in the Andes still eating them. When they migrated to Lima they carried on, and little by little other Peruvians from different backgrounds started to get a taste for it and restaraunts started to buy guinea pigs¨

With this expanded market in the restaurant business, rural farmers can now earn up to $130 a month. The average monthly wage for a farmer in Peru is usually about $30.

This has certainly been the case for Maria Camero and her family. Maria started by breeding a few guinea pigs, but now breeds hundreds, providing a very lucrative source of income for her family. Of her success Maria says, ¨I have a daughter who is 13 and I can afford to pay for her to go to a better school, I have also paid for my son to go to university and study to be a graphic designer. This business let me do that.¨

Many in this booming business are also looking to expand to foreign markets like the United States. Also for travelers in Peru, having a traditional and interesting meal such as the Peruvian Cuy, is part of an interesting cultural experience.

While many people may see cuy merely as a tasty option on a menu, for some Peruvian farmers this meal is providing the opportunity of a better life.

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