Archive for August 9th, 2013

Guatemala City: The Streets, 6th Avenue.

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Sexta Avenida or Sixth Avenue has change a lot since I used to frequent the area more than 16 years ago.
When I was young, we used to come here because the cheapest (and one of the few available) cinema was located here. Pizza was cheap here too, you could get two slices for Q2 or $.25 cents and they were very tasty.
The Avenue was a mess; there were street vendors all over, improvised street shops were the only thing you could see. In fact, one was not able to see the buildings, street shops and shacks blocked the view.
Now the street has been rebuilt, the buildings remodel, Cine Lux, the oldest in Guatemala (I think) has been turned into a theater -a fancy one- and classy business have become establish here.
When I used to walked these streets, no one from the upper social classes would dare stepping here. Now they are the ones frequenting this location. Fancy dinning, international brands stores, chain restaurants among other amenities. One can easily mistake this street with Newbury Street, Boston or an European Street.
Sixth Avenue is becoming a cultural magnet (excluding somewhat the lower classes of society); musicians playing at restaurants, playing on the streets too, street artists are abundant.
I stopped to watch this group of kids break-dancing. The choreography became exiting and entertaining; I had to produce my camera and start shooting.
The kids call themselves: The Sixth Avenue Crew.

A thought: Good or Bad? The old Sixth Avenue was a mess, but the lower classes identified with it. Now the architecture is impressive and inviting in the sense that a charming Expensive Store would be. How can we modernize, without loosing the essence of what the entire society encompasses?  Example: How would one feel if traveling to India and finding its streets empty of traditional foods restaurants, no tuc tucs, not thousands of people bumping into you,  no bicyclepacks, etc. It wouldn’t be India: Right?   Well, I think that’s what is happening here. We are changing our architectural style, or foods or clothing, everything that define us as what we are. How can we go into Globalization and Modernization without loosing our cultural identity?
Sixth Avenue, Sexta Avenida

Guatemala City: Palacio Nacional

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Today I spent the day in Guatemala City, Zone 1 to be more precise.

There was so much to see. I’ll have to break it up into three different publications. Today I’ll show you the Palacio Nacional or National Palace and a beautiful shot of the Catedral Primada Metropolitana de Santiago, Guatemala’s City main Cathedral.

The things that most caught my attention today were: The Clash, a mural depicting a battle of the Kaqchikel people against the Conquistadors. And there was a Russian Photo Exhibit and they had photographs of Yuri Knorozov. He is one of the most important people in the quest of deciphering Mayan Hieroglyphic Writing.  PBS has a great documentary featuring Yuri Knorozov.

There is a story that encompasses a lot of what Guatemalan Society is: There is a monument called: Flama de la Paz -Flame of Peace-. It symbolizes the peace, achieved with the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996. The Flame was to remain burning indefinitely. In 2004 the gas tank was stolen and since; no one has thought of connecting a new one and turning the flame on. Brilliant!

Tomorrow: Guatemala City: Walking the Streets.

Stay tuned.
Catedral Primada Metropolitana de Santiago