Peru, safety and pitbulls

How safe is Peru? How dangerous are pitbulls?

Got an email from my mom a while back, loosely translated:

“… Two friends of mine were thinking about visiting Peru. They’ve planned out their trip to Lima, Machu Picchu, and Cusco, and have already bought their tickets. But someone told them Peru is dangerous, and then they also read that Peru is dangerous on some government website. Now they’re thinking about canceling their trip, what should they do?”

So is Peru dangerous in my opinion? Here’s my response, again loosely translated:

“… Jee if I had known how dangerous it is here I could have been scared for the last year and a half !! Peru is very safe in my experience, BUT, it is a poor country so you have to be mindful of petty crime. It often amazes me how some tourists walk around Cusco as if they’re in Disney World. You have to be aware of your belongings, especially in busy places and on buses. Pay attention when the bus stops. There are bad parts of town in Lima, just like anywhere else in the world, but there’s no reason an ordinary tourist would end up there. I imagine the reason the government website said Peru is dangerous is because in a few of the provinces along the border with Colombia there are drug cartels, but again there’s no reason the average tourist would end up there.”

And then I made the mistake of adding some humor…

“Besides if your friends are really scared they can borrow my Pitbull while they’re here…”
We think Manchita is a Blue Pitbull

We think Manchita is a Blue Pitbull

Response from my mother….

“O my God, I’m so worried about what you’re going to do with the dogs now that you’re going to have a baby…”

Sometimes you just can’t win. There are lots of documented benefits of having dogs around children. Needless to say if you have strong, protective dogs like ours you have to pay attention to them, especially around children. But the notion that pitbulls randomly attack people is even more ridiculous than the idea that Peru is some bad unsafe place that you shouldn’t visit.