Since 2007 when I started to prepare myself in the field of animal training, I had the opportunity to work with many different species for various purposes. My experience includes working with zoo personnel to train the animals to follow commands, helping in their medical aid treatments, working with exotic animals in assisted therapy which aided human recovery practices.
I have training in preparing assistance dogs for a great range of needs; performing shows with sea lions and helping owners of exotic pets adapt and integrate the new family members into their lives.
I have never imagined the amount of hidden experiences that Chile had prepared for me when I decided to emigrate in 2009 to take part in a six months course to qualify as an assisted therapist using animals. Although the course was for six months, I spent seven years of my life there. Seven wonderful years full of incredible experiences, working with many committed, professional and skilful people and a variety of animals. In some ways, Chile had become an institution for me.
Inka is a word in the Mapuche language, spoken by an indigenous South American community living in the south of Chile. These people have well-rooted connections with the land, nature and animals as clearly indicated by their name. Mapu (‘land’) and che (‘person’), meaning ‘people of the land’. That is why I decided to use this Mapuche word to define what I do; their relationship with the land combined with my own experience and gratitude towards the people from which I learned so many things, have contributed to my decision to use this name.
Inka specifically means “friend who helps” and that is precisely how I feel and interpret the human-animal relationship. It is a mutual aid between them and us, and Inka is a word that encompasses all my feelings and sensations when I am working with animals.