Dead Dogs and Trash – Daily Life in the Peruvian Highlands (Cusco)

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

This was the first blog I wrote from Peru…. It was written in ‘real’ time. I do not want to change it, but obviously want to point out I no longer live in Peru and Finn has grown! At the time I was working on a project for a Canadian-funded agency. The project was interesting (on paper) and it did give me fairly open access to higher levels of government in the region. In theory I was doing a broad economic study of the region as part of cooperations agreements that went along with the trade deal being signed between the two countries. Cusco is famous for tourism, but agriculture still dominates employment and does mining.

I met wonderful, dedicated people and also witnessed painful underfunding of government agencies as well as classism. Additionally I was whiteness to the often manipulated NGO sector – I remain rather neutral on this subject as some simply do nothing, but support themselves, whereas others replace the lacking services of corrupt and ineffective governments.

We continue to miss Cusco and Peru and I hope peace and stability can help improve the conditions of daily life. I also hope the Quechua language will remain the language of the street!

Here was the blog …

Dead Dogs and Trash  The Glory of the Peruvian Highlands

We are currently living in Cusco, Peru. One of the most famous cities in the world and the flag-bearer for pre-Colombian culture in South America. However, we are not living in central Cusco, rather several kilometres down the valley in an upscale neighbourhood where my 7 year old son goes to an ‘exclusive’ bilingual school – the only option available for our short period here.

Cusco - Peru

The Street View in the Suburbs


Unfortunately today is Tuesday and Tuesday is Fear and Loathing day – otherwise known locally as garbage day. Every Tuesday (and Friday), the 10 minute walk to the school becomes somewhat more adventurous, with piles of garbage strewn about attracting the multitude of stray dogs that roam the streets of this historic region. The dogs seem well enough fed, but certainly garbage day is a bonanza, offering food, diapers and all the excitement necessary for barking wildly and assaulting any slightly enthusiastic bitch.