Guinea pigs are more than pets in parts of Latin America. They are considered delicacies.
While on a trip to Peruvian Andes, we were welcomed into the home of a woman who made and sold souvenir items. Here we were introduced to her muddle of guinea pigs who were crawling around on the dirt floor.
Not far from them, near an open flame oven, lay a cat. We were surprised that a cat could coexist with free-ranging guinea pigs, without eating them, and posed this as a question to our guide. We found out that cats are not highly valued, and guinea pigs are, so for survival the cat knows to leave the guinea pigs alone.
The woman crafted some terrific souvenirs from alpaca wool, some of which were made on the antique sewing machine seen below.
Above her door was a talisman of garlic and cactus, apparently to ward off evil/spirits.
A farming tool used for tilling up the soil to plant potatoes (a staple in Peru) sat in a corner of the home and our guide showed us how it's used to make a hole -- then a potato is thrown in and covered with dirt.