Santiago is a city of parks, water bodies, sculptures, churches and a marked European influence. The homes I visited were in stylish and comfortable high-rise buildings. The localities where the underprivileged live are also clean and well-maintained, with sturdy buildings designed to withstand the frequent earthquakes. Here, Europe recedes and Latin America emerges on street upon street of two-storey houses, vibrant with graffiti and murals. With the low, snow-peaked mountains of the Andes hovering protectively, Santiago sits in a valley. A beautiful backdrop—but one that leaves it vulnerable to smog. In winter, the city waits for rain to relieve the smog. The day I was leaving, a pollution crisis was announced. Forty per cent of the city’s cars were kept off the roads, and schools cancelled sports and physical education classes.