Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge
I´ve addressed this issue before. Land on the perimeter of our urban centers is very scarce and very overpriced.

This circumstances have forced people to live under not the best conditions and optimized whatever land they can get their hands on, often you´ll see entire neighborhoods built on the slops of deep ravines or very close to rivers or sewer systems and in this case, these houses were built on the edge of a retention wall on a busy highway. Some of the structures are built passing over the retention wall.

© 2015, Eli Orozco. All rights reserved.

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  • NYChapin

    Good job Eli. I am always amazed when driving past these structures. Was this taken in the Periferico, near the entrance to the bridge or the back of Zona 5 near Calzada de la Paz?

    • Elí Orozco

      Hello NYChapin. This was taken at the end of the Periferico, right before entering Downtown Guatemala City. The day before, there were bicycles hanging from those windows..

  • elgordo

    I know I sound terrible, but I don’t have much sympathy for “invasores.” Capitalinos would not be as well treated if we started to squat properties in the countryside.

    • Elí Orozco

      I totally see your point.
      and I also see both sides of the issue.
      I few years ago, I bought a nice property in San Lucas, Sacatepequez. The property is a couple of blocks from the highway. When I went to the property for the first time, I asked some locals about the properties right on the highway, which of course are the most valuable properties in Guatemala and they told me that all those properties were “invadidas” and the government had granted them land titles.
      I spent over years and a half saving up to 80% of my income to pay for the property I bought and they got theirs for nothing. Is it fair? Of course not.
      But I also see, a lot of times these people are cornered and have no alternative.
      Solutions? I got none my friend…

      • elgordo

        Alas, I’m not the admirable type of Guatemalan that bought his own property like you. What I have, I inherited. My anger is not so much that they obtained something for free; my anger is that they stole something from us, all Guatemalans. Every blade of grass, every tree, every weed that gets cut down and cemented over is our patrimony. The barrancos are the only real green spaces left in Guatemala City. It upsets me that every single time I have gone back, I have seen new “housing” going up in previously green spaces. Not only do they steal from us, they don’t have the decency to at least paint their houses. Stealing public land is never acceptable, it will make stealing private land easier in the future.