Guatemala City’s Torre del Reformador

Does being a so-called urban explorer have its rewards?  Firstly, if you’re in a city such as Jakarta, Beijing or Cairo, then soap companies would say so.  You might be wandering into potholes and out of portholes, trudging behind exhaust pipes and in front of pipe smokers and below sea level but in a flood.  Yep, modern-day dystopias.  If I was into that sort of thing, I’d say we explorers should form a union, but instead of having a giant pest as our “representative,” a molecule of CO2 would be present.

This somehow leads to the next question, that is what do tourists want to see?  I recall, many years ago, Japanese visitors at Yellowstone National Park in the US would take photos of rubbish bins.  I didn’t understand why at the time, but after having lived there, I found out that eating/drinking on-the-go is mostly taboo, and presumably waste from those products occupies most of a single rubbish bin’s space.  Without a doubt you can find waste baskets in Japan, but you’ll have to look harder than on the street or at intersections.

Alright, but what’s the draw in Guatemala City?  Do any attractions stand out there, besides bus terminals to other parts of the country?  We’ll come back to this another time as well, but for now, let’s have a brief look at the Torre del Reformador.

Guatemala City - Torre del Reformador (1)
Guatemala City - Torre del Reformador (2)
La Torre del Reformador (the tower of the reformer) La Torre Commemorativa del 19 del Julio (the commemorative tower of July 19th) as it was originally called (in Spanish) was finished in 1935, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Justo Rufino Barrios.  He was known for his liberal reforms in Guatemala, as well as for trying to unite much of present-day Central America (or as is said in Spanish, América Central…).  Guatemaltecos might know about this monument, which is good enough, but if you’re itching to go out and wander around a city where there are shotgun-wielding cops on nearly every corner, will you retreat to a shopping center instead?  I hope not.  Where else could you find a “copy” of the Eiffel Tower, besides here, here and here?  …and here, in Guatemala City.

Have you visited Guatemala City?

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2 Responses to Guatemala City’s Torre del Reformador

  1. mbcwritten says:

    Why was there such a heavy police presence in Guatemala City? And do you normally find yourself in dystopian places? Are they normally boats?

    • Firstly, thanks for liking my post about Japanese love hotels! Apparently, the ones in Osaka are even weirder. (I recall passing by a heavily Christmas-themed one, but there used to be another with bumper cars in the room)

      Guatemala City has a significant gang presence, and with gangs comes the drug trade. The shotgun-wielding police were more numerous in the less “salubrious” parts of town, but they’re also present where expats hang out.

      I like big cities, wandering and street food. Much of the time, I end up in neighborhoods that either have none of the usual tourist attractions or are parts of town that locals won’t venture into. I don’t do it to brag, rather I’m not interested in touristy fluff, plus people are generally more down-to-earth in these areas.


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