Our day started with a visit to the Iguana Park. This is a downtown square where iguanas live and are free. They are on the ground, in the trees, eveverywheere! These big lizards are harmless. I do not know it they eat fruits Costa Rica’s iguanas do or if they also eat bugs and o their prey. Their only reaction to people is to stare sagely.
We didn’t expect to make it to Isla de Satay, but after the iguanas we found a tour .boat that went there cheaply. This eco project lies in an estuary near downtown. People on the island work on projects like protecting endangered crocodiles. Each family gets a wooden houses and there is a large place for meetings and gatherings. The tour was in Spanish and we undersstood a little of it. This is frustrating since ecology and community sustainability fascinate both of us.But most of the people were South American travelers. Why should the tour be in English? Besides, it is a good experience to be the Other, and to get some small idea of what it is like.
The place is gorgeous. There are mangroves, trees that are very common in tropical estuaries, andthicg groves of palms. Birds are everywhere, we startled a huge group of ibises. Dragonflies filled the air, and blue iridescent butterflies are everywhere. This place demands research!
After the trip we walked more on Malecon 2000, the walkway by the water. Some parts of this are cheesey – a McDonald’s (sigh)with a view, a StarWars funhouse, too many shoe stores, etc. Lots of it is lovely. There is a bromeliad garden, pools of fish, and a great walk for birding.Guayaquil has had a hard history. This is a successful project that helps it move from times of corruption and crime to a future as a beautiful city. It seems to be working.
Still, as Kate commented, were people displaced,a s so often happens with redevelopment in the States? We noticed the cops that are everywhere, and the many surveillance cameras. Kate wondered if these were placed to keep poor people out of the area. This is a city of three million people. Does everybody benefit?
These aren’t questions we will answer on this trip. R research is needed and will come. It has been a fascinating stay. Tomorrow we will head for Puerto Lopez, and many new coastal birds.