El Parque Huáscar: Oasis in the Desert
One of Lima’s more impressive features is the city’s extensive park system. After a morning of delivering water to households that lack plumbing in Villa El Salvador, we visited the nearby Parque Huascar. This beautiful park is situated in one of the poorer communities in Lima. With its ample green spaces, big pond, sports facilities, pool, and zoo, it truly is an oasis. Admission of 1.5 soles (about 50 cents) per adult and just half a sol for students makes an occasional visit in reach for most residents.
It exists in large part thanks to the perseverance of former mayor (and current presidential candidate) Luis Castañeda Lossio, who worked to provide recreation areas for poorer communities. We admired the variety of animals in the zoo, including tigers, llamas, alpacas, horses, monkeys, iguanas, and turtles. Some SSTers opted for a boat ride, while others took a stroll and sampled some delightful Peruvian ice cream.