Only in LAG: Homeless in One-Million Home

Only in LAG: Homeless in One-Million Home

Every afternoon, the homeless man above walks slowly towards this corner house in Antigua Guatemala, one block away from the Parque Central, and right at one of the doorways he brings himself down to sleep while being cuddled by the warm rays of the late afternoon sun.

Guatemala is a country of extremes. Often, extreme beauty and extreme violence can be found at the same time or at the same place or both. In a country where most of the population can not afford economical housing, houses, apartments and condos go on sale regularly for $200,000 (Q1,600,000), $300,000 (Q2,400,000) and sometimes even the one-million dollar mark (8 million Quetzales). Such is life in Guatemala where the monthly minimum wage is about Q1,700 ($212.50) and many people do not even earn the minimum wage salary.

Guatemala is among the poorest countries of the Americas with more than half of the population living in poverty. Particularly acute is the problem of inadequate housing.

Most of the population living in poverty resides in make-shift housing made of corn stalk walls, dirt floors, and roof shelters comprised of garbage materials (cardboard and plastics) and corrugated iron or wood. These living circumstances are the threat to the health and survivability of families. (source: Construcasa.org brochure)

It is sad to read introductory paragraphs like the above in most brochures put out by the ONG headquartered in beautiful Antigua Guatemala. Certainly, life can be tough in La Antigua Guatemala, chosen as top city to travel and recently declared the first digital city in Central America.

Ironically, according to ConstruCasa the cost of a basic house is approximately $3,500 (Q28,000). How many economical houses could be built with the cost of one of those houses listed in the second paragraph above? Oh, extremes I tell you!

How can I help? I am glad you asked!

© 2009 – 2016, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Thomas Wheeler

    Rudy The homeless man on the street I saw plenty of them in the 35 years I’ve been going to Antiqua There was one man that was outstanding in my memory and that was the man who played the violin in the streets for money . As of now I sponsor a young man in school He is in high school now. I will be seeing him in March when I get there I have had this boy for 9 years Have a good day Thomas

  • Amanda

    I’m so glad you posted on the extremes in Guatemala. So often travelers can be swept away by the beauty of Guatemala, especially Antigua, and forget about how so many people in the surrounding towns suffer! There are so many great organizations in the area where travelers can volunteer and help build houses, sponsor children to go to school, etc!!

  • Luciano

    Hello, nice pictures of la Antigua Guatemala, love to see photo from there, been watching this pictures for almost two years now sense i came back from there and is great to see daily photos of beautiful La Antigua specially the one from today.
    there is many to choose from but I like the one from today ( I think I saw him when I was there two years ago )
    I’m from San Antonio AGUs, so looking foward to see one from there,

  • Craig S.

    Rudy,
    “…life can be though in La Antigua Guatemala,”
    (I think that was supposed to be ‘tough’.) In spite of my earlier offer to make edits directly, what I’ve found out about security issues with wordpress makes me think it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to have too many people with read-write access to the site. So, I will just send a comment to you when I find something… ok?)
    Craig

  • Thomas Wheeler

    Greetings Rudy and all of you who may read these comments I’m going to be in Antiqua March 18th through the 31 It would be cool to meet some one in Antiqua the same time I’m there contact me through this system if you like . Hopefully I could see one of you Sincerely Thomas from the Dona Luisa

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