Without looking I can tell that the streets are crowded with cars and plenty of buses. I can hear the manual transmissions as they pass very close to the sidewalk. The honking of horns is most noticeable and very often. It leads me to believe there is heavy traffic. If I didn’t already know, I would have thought I was in New York not Lima. The air does not smell of trash or sewage, but of exhaust and Chinese food. Lima is very comparable to any other U.S. city except for one small aspect. I do not feel any dirt or trash beneath my feet and as I open my eyes I see flower boxes upon the guard rails and semi impervious surfaces and recycling everywhere. It is very noticeable that the city is environmentally conscious.
The stark difference between Miraflores, a district of Lima, and the rest of the city is the change in noise and pollution. Driving out of Miraflores the traffic is more abundant, garbage is lining the streets and buildings become more like shacks. Just outside the heavily populated and developed section of Lima, though still within the city limits, these two aspects are entirely opposite. I am standing on a crumpled piece of plastic and can hear only this and a few large trucks passing by. The wind is the main producer of noise here. It feels very ominous and although people are standing with me I feel very alone.
I begin to think about this drastic change in environments while all are considered Lima. Is it just a show that they put on in Miraflores, because I know they are not as clean as they seem. They have a very poorly developed waste water treatment plan and it this waste can be seen in the ocean just south of a popular surfing beach. This leads me to a question: which is better: waste water treatment or best management practices? In the states it seem that we have more governmental programs and waste water treatments, but not as many best management practices. I think the states could benefit from the best management practices like those in Miraflores, but more so it think that Lima would benefit from a well developed waste water treatment plan. With 9 million people living in one city, I find it to be more beneficial and perhaps easier to facilitate more waste water treatment. Many best management practices are expensive and require individuals to agree and pay out of pocket. I hope to see a change in the city regarding their wastes and I think it will have tremendous benefits for the Peruvian coastal environment as well as for the people of the capital.