Palabras de Lima: Perros

                       Traveling to Lima, going outside of Miraflores, I have seen many stray dogs. Much of these dogs are in very poor condition although they appear to be calm and somewhat friendly. Since I have been in Lima, Perros have been controversial discussions in economy, art and humanity.

During my visit to Yuyanapaq (Museo de la Nación), a photo really stuck with me. It was of a dead dog hanging on a sign, warning a person about their future death. This is an idea that the victim is in similar comparisons to a dog. If a dog can be tortured and not considered with any discretion, it is inhumane to the animal as well. Comparing the two is dehumanizing to the victim.

Later, when visiting Mauricio Delgado, we watched videos and artwork about a moment when there was a protest and violence started by police officers occurred. When a teacher had asked what the purposes of this treatment was, the police officer’s response was “Porque Son Perros.” Again. there is a strong tie to violence and dogs in relation to rebellion and resistance.

Cats are highly adored specifically in El Parque Kennedy. Whereas, the dogs are less visible. When leaving downtown, going to poorer and poorer communities, dogs are highly prevalent. Our Tour guide in Villa de Salvador mentioned that dogs were communal ownership and that it wasn’t common to privately own dogs there. This reminds me of home.

In my travels to any country and any village back in Alaska, on reservations, there are always dogs in the “common” areas of town. I remember as a child, going back to visit friends and family on the reservations in Washington, I would play in the dirt with the dogs, with my friends. We didn’t mind very much because we played the same way dogs did and they were our playmates as well. We felt like the dogs were our friends. So everywhere I travel, I see dogs that are freely playing; dirty fur and empty stomaches. I have seen these dogs in townships in South Africa, on reservations in Canada, in villages in Alaska, and I feel home.

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