Pachacamac and the Pan American Highway
The Pan American Highway stretches from the furthest regions of Alaska to the tip of South America. Twenty miles south of Lima, the highway hugs the coastline, outlining the point where land stops and the ocean begins. Looking down on towards the highway are Lima's shantytowns and the plateau on which the ruins of Pachacamac belong. Pachacamac is the site of a Pre-Incan city--a city on a hill that surveyed the ocean and rich surrounding land. In those times the land was irrigated and healthy, able to sustain its thousands, just as its ancient system of social welfare was able to. Today the area of Pachacama is an archeological site, a tourist attraction fenced off in the middle of the desert with its western amenities, gift shop and wandering dog belonging to the security guard--a breed the Incas kept for healing. The shantytowns are built close, right up to
the fence. These towns, without running water rely on visits from the water tanker. The highway curves around the base of Pachacamac, a place you would pass in minutes
on your journey, yet it struck me on this hot day, the haze restricting ones view, for its myriad of contrasts. The giant billboards are juxtaposed against the backdrop of the shantytowns, dry desert land and the city that once was--advertising technology, air conditioning, banking services and coca cola.