Watching the Watchers Watch

Watching the Watchers Watch

Watching the Watchers Watch is what we call in Spanish a trabalenguas or tongue twister.

What kind of stories do you see in this picture?

© 2008 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Holy smokes! Great picture and love the new word. The gun in the hand of the security guard is down right scary. The “gun” in the hand of the gorgeous dude…I’m experiencing major lens envy. And a little man envy. 🙂

  • erica

    i’d really hate to be where that camera man is sitting

  • I always get a little scared when I see guns…even when they are in the hands of the security forces.

    I wonder what the story is here…what shot is that photographer trying to capture and what is that guard guarding?

  • Maybe the camera guy is sitting there because he feels protected by the gun guy? 😉

  • Jerry B

    There are guards with those sawed-off shotguns everywhere in Guatemala, and you get used to it pretty quickly. They guard stores, parking lots, banks, housing developments, just about everything. It is actually a great spot for the guy with the guy who is brandishing what looks to be a 50-300mm Canon zoom! 🙂

  • That was one of the hardest things to get used to in Guate – the security guards with their big guns. Their presence was at first unnerving, but they were always friendly to me, so in the end, I felt more protected than threatened by them. Like the privileged man with the camera, this white American girl rarely has any reason to feel threatened, but I’m sure not everyone feels so safe in the company of armed men in uniform, especially in Guatemala.
    Great photo, Rudy, as always.

  • Two stories I see here:
    (1) The contrast of the classic car (50s, 60s) with the scooter is quite interesting, summarizes the attitude of La Antigua, as much as the local and the foreigner in the foreground.
    (2) About the scooter: Maybe the lady is the lookout for whoever is robbing the bank (let’s assume that is a bank what the guard is “protecting”). Because the guard is more interested on what the gringo is eyeing and preparing to shoot, he didn’t notice the heist taking place inside.
    I second (or seventh) the compliments for the picture.

  • Lilly


  • Jerry T

    Great shot. I will always remember how un-nerved I was when I looked down into the parking lot of our hotel in the capital and saw the armed guards. I quickly got used to them, but it was a bit disconcerting at first.

  • Jerry B

    Manolo, I believe that is a bank he is guarding, since I think the building he is standing in front of is the yellow building on the left in this photo.

  • Guns in Guatemala abound. At first, during my first trips to Guate I was frightened, “Where we in some type of Western movie?” I especially did not understand the logic, but I was told they were part of the daily routine. For example, seeing a security guard with a shotgun at an entrance to an atm facility gave me the chills, but later I learned to block him out of the picture (no pun intended). Now as far as stories, it’s all about the sense of sight for me. The security guard is watching what is going on around him (that is, after all, part of his job) and he is also aware of the photographer who in turn is keeping an eye on his (their) surroundings. Both men are keenly aware of what is going on, but now we are the ones watching them frozen in time.

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  • Philip

    That is a bank he is in front of- it the Banco Cuscatlan (sp) anyway I had a dear Guatemalan friend tell me that if you think guns are everywhere in Guatemala you should see El Salvador.

  • Raquel

    Love the picture! The security guards really are a part of Antigua too and I’m glad you included him. I mean I can’t imagine Antigua without them and like Jerry B says, you just get used to them…

  • cynthia

    Great photo! I was immediately drawn to the old car parked on the street because I was just in La Antigua in November and I remember commenting about the paint job on the car when my friends and I walked past it numerous times during our stay…. which was, by the way, just a fantastic first visit. (first visit indicating that I anticipate there will be future visits). Also, we did use the Banco Cuscatlan to exchange money so I guess the “man with gun” may have made us feel that it was a safe spot for a transaction, though at the same time his presence does make one feel somewhat uncomfortable.

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