Things kicked off last night with the burning of some nearby fields. Sugarcane fields are burned as the first step in harvesting. It gets rid of a lot of the excess to make harvesting easier. I found it explained here in English in a PDF- Louisiana Sugarcane Burning.
The image of the burning fields is one I ripped from a website about sugarcane harvesting.
There are lots of sugarcane fields around San Pedro Sula. I actually tasted raw sugarcane for the first time shortly after we moved here last July. Our neighbors who live across the street grow food crops in their yard for their own consumption and also to share. Sugarcane, plaintains and yuca. They had two or three good bushels going and they cut a few stalks for us. We all got sugar rushes chewing on the raw cane, except for Sister who is very reluctant to try anything new. Brother loved it, of course. I'll have to see if I can get a photo of some of the sugarcane juice stands around town. Maybe a video would be good too. They sometimes ride around with a mill and stalks of sugarcane and make fresh cane juice for you right there.
The number of sugarcane fields around San Pedro Sula are probably because there are large flat stretches of land in the valley which are surrounded by hills. I don't understand how winds and weather work exactly, but it's obvious this geographical layout creates a pollution problem. I wonder how all the burning they do effects those with respiratory problems? Especially for the young and old. As I mentioned before, I have allergies, and I'm not sure how this may effect things, but today my eyes are sort of burning and my throat and eyes are a little more itchy.
Here are some photos of the ashes that showed up around our house. A lot had blown away since this morning when the winds picked up this afternoon. Needless to say, it's not the time to be wearing white.
That is not dirt you see in the photos. That is sugarcane ash blown in from the burning fields a few miles away.