Friday, April 13, 2012

Chiclayo's Amusement Park

Located only a few blocks from downtown Chiclayo is an attractive multi-purpose park. Known officially as “Parque De Diversiones De Chiclayo” but referred to by everyone locally as “parque infantile” (playground), neither name captures in total what this park has to offer.

A large portion of the park is devoted to horticultural and botanical displays, with signs identifying the various trees and plants. Though it’s bordered on two sides by major roads with heavy traffic, the trees and other greenery do a good job of muting noise. Pathways guiding visitors through the flora are lined with cedar hedges, and the aroma of cedar combined with the fragrance of exotic plants creates a heady, almost intoxicating atmosphere. There are plenty of shaded benches to sit, relax and soak it all in.

The park also offers a bandstand and grandstand (yes, that’s Maribel performing an impromptu song and dance routine). I don’t know why the bandstand was constructed in that style. It looks like Batman’s head to me, but it’s probably a representation of something else. The bandstand is available for private rental.

The playground reminds me of school playgrounds in the late 1940s in Milwaukee, though it is more extensive and has a larger variety of attractions than we had as kids. As I watched the kids run from swings to teeter totters to monkey bars and back again I had the thought that kids are kids regardless of location and era. What has changed is that, given the concern for child safety, this facility would probably not be allowed to exist in the United States.

There is an attractive pavilion, also available for rental. It is well maintained outside and in, with a large kitchen and bar area. There are cultural events staged in the park that make use of both the bandstand and pavilion. The park is also a popular location to hold weddings.

It is very hot in Chiclayo these days, and this park with its shaded pathways and benches offers a tranquil respite from the heat. And if you’re so inclined you can even learn something about trees and plants.


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