Guatemala City’s boom district, Zona 14 has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years thanks to a plethora of new condos and office buildings built in this area. The sector’s main feature is Avenida Las Américas, which is really just a continuation of Zona 9/10’s Avenida La Reforma and boasts the same sylvan landscaping interspersed with monuments to Columbus and other historical figures centered around wide plazas.
At the end of this avenue is a steep drop-off and Plaza Berlin, from which there are good views of the city’s southern sprawl and Pacaya Volcano, along with some simple snack and drink stands. An addition to this plaza are three pieces of none other than the now-absconded Berlin Wall, with a plaque commemorating liberty.
Avenida Las Américas parallels La Aurora Airport’s runway. Branching off from the main artery are a number of side streets and residential areas. Two-story houses now share these streets with 20- and 30-story commercial and residential buildings. Between the airport runway and Avenida Las Américas is Avenida Hincapié, where the hangars of some of the domestic carriers and helicopter flights are housed just off its juncture with 18 Calle.
On Sundays, a stretch from Avenida Las Américas all the way to Avenida La Reforma’s Plaza Israel is closed to pedestrian traffic, making for a very pleasant place to take a stroll.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com