The swaggering Latin lover and voluptuous Latin female are classic stereotypes associated with Latin America. Unfortunately, they are far from harmless.
Seven out of the 10 countries with the worst rates of femicide in the world are in Latin America. Peru is the third worst in Latin America. In a recent survey, 44% of Peruvians thought that if a woman went to a party alone and got raped, it was partly or totally her fault. 71% believed that if a woman was hit by a partner because she had been unfaithful, it was her fault.
A recent attempt to include matters of gender identity and equality in the national curriculum was met by widespread protests and campaigns of disinformation, with thousands marching under the misconception that “the government is trying to homosexualise our children.” The Catholic and Evangelical churches were very strong in their opposition to the curriculum.
When asked why Amazonas Explorer had decided to include this in its guide training, Mark Smith, Head of Marketing said:
“Peru is a fantastic country full of great traditions which visitors come to see. But machismo, sexism, homophobia and the level of violence against women here, are not traditions to be proud of nor to accept as being part of the culture. We felt it very important to bring this subject to the table during our annual guide training course. We brought in two experts from Lima to run a half- day workshop and I am glad to say it ruffled many feathers.
“These are issues that are rarely discussed here, being openly homophobic and treating women badly is seen by many as normal. As a father of two girls, it is an issue that worries me greatly so I am really proud that we are the first tourism company here to try and address this issue. You cannot solve such issues in half a day, but we hope other companies will follow suit and help Peru advance in these themes.”
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