The sounds of Tegucigalpa's Central Park

15 March 2022

A visit to this historical attraction allowed the author to connect with the auditory side of Honduran society.

Parque Central de Tegucigalpa
Brian Lüdtke

Brian Lüdtke

When a traveler considers his next destination to visit, he might do research that entails considering images, videos, prices, and logistics.

How often does one specifically consider the soundscape of a location?

The Cathedral of Tegucigalpa and Central Park

This author can remember two specific instances where an auditory experience deeply affected his perception of a destination. 

Upon arrival in Senegal, he spent his first night in a simple room directly above a nightclub.  The pulsating music until the early morning seemed to convey vibrancy: reassuring energy that Dakar had been a good choice.

On another occasion, after arriving in Butare, Rwanda, the author was impressed by the intensity of bird vocalizations.  They seemed to emphasize the vast and mysterious natural wonder of the tropics of Central Africa.

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Parque Central
Parque Central 2
Parque Central 3
Parque Central 4

In daily life, people consciously sort through the patterns of intermixed noises and focus only on whatever is of interest, e.g., the friend speaking on a busy street.  But the subconscious mind still knows the character of the unnoticed cacophony. 

As opposed to the sense of vision, which usually deals with objects that can observed from different angles, sound is defined by transient vibrations of the air.  Thus the listener must engage his memory to decipher patterns and meanings in sounds over time.

The links between hearing, the subconscious, and memory help to explain why sound can have such a profound impact on emotions and even spirituality.

For the tourist looking fully to experience a destination, one should stay mindful of the ambient soundscape, rather than always being occupied with conscious worries such as logistics or considering the itinerary.

For decision makers such as the city council, the city’s auditory ambiance should constitute a factor not only for the promotion of tourism, but also for ensuring the best quality of life for local residents.