Most of the world treat them like home pets and are amazed at the sight of roasted or deep fried guinea pig lying on a plate with its tiny legs pointed upwards. Most people are unaware of the fact that these creatures were originally bred for food in Central America, where it was no different from chicken or cattle.
In Bolivia this precious meat is referred to as "cuy," and since ancient times it has been dubbed the meat for the noble. Even nowadays the number of guinea pigs owned by a family in Bolivia increases its authority in the community. Moreover, in the case of an emergency, a guinea pig may become a means of salvation, as it can always be swapped for anything you need.
Needless to say, what a privilege it is for an average tourist to be offered the cuy by a Bolivian family. Unless you are a vegetarian, no excuse is acceptable—it is a must to sample this Central American specialty which is available on special occasions such as Carnaval, and other important festivals held across the country, namely during Easter and Christmas celebrations.