It isn't unusual for us to notice strange and often unpleasant smells here in Lima. We have millions of neighbors and therefore the environment might not always be super pleasant! There is the smell of exhaust fumes while waiting in traffic. There is the smell of open sewers in certain parts of town. There is the smell of the trash trucks going by on there way to the landfill. Yet, most days we don't notice any of these smells and life goes on as normal! However, yesterday something changed. There was a horrible smell that we could hardly tolerate. Fortunately, we weren't the only ones that noticed the smell. Here's what the local paper had to say:
Fishy Odor Takes Over Lima
Peru, LIMA-- For residents living in Peru's capital city, Monday proved to be the stinkiest day of the week in every sense of the meaning as winds coming in from the north brought the unpleasant odors of freshly made fish meal to Limean homes.
Although it has several uses, fish meal is predominantly used in animal feed and associated products. Peru is the world's largest fish meal producer and on days like yesterday, residents are well aware that fish meal must be churned out in large quantities to produce such an overpowering smell. According to Peru's Ocean Institute (Instituto del Mar del Peru -Imarpe), fish meal factories located along the coast north of the Peruvian capital and changing wind patterns are responsible for yesterday morning's rude awakening. "This foul odor is a byproduct of fish meal production. Although it is not common to smell this odor in Lima, varying wind patterns called 'viento norte' (northerly wind) will bring in the unpleasant odor from time to time," said a representative from Imarpe.
Imarpe indicates that winds along the Limean coastline generally run from south to north, but due to weakened southern Pacific wind currents, they can reverse and create the 'viento norte.'The institute also warned swimmers and beachgoers that these conditions can also create changeable ocean currents along Lima's coastline.
Today the air is fresh once again. We're thankful for that!