Guatemalans Try To Escape Crime By Building “Paseo Cayala”; A New City Within A City

by
editors
A separate city within Guatemala City is being built for the wealthy citizens. The idea behind the new project is to escape the snarl of traffic and crime.

 

A separate city within Guatemala City is being built for the wealthy citizens. The idea behind the new project is to escape the snarl of traffic and crime. 
 
Enclosed within stucco walls and with broad cast-iron gates is ‘Paseo Cayala’. It has grand apartment buildings, beautiful green parks, exclusive boutiques, churches, extravagant nightlife, and expensive restaurants.
 
Though said to be affordable, the cost of the cheapest apartment inside the new city is 70 times the yearly wage of an average Guatemalan citizen. The Cayala Management Group hopes to enlarge the project into ‘Cayala City’ (a city within a city) which would be spreading across 870 acres (352 hectares). 
 
It has its own mayor and municipal authorities. There is no sound pollution from the usual traffic of Guatemala City. There are security guards in proper uniforms with earpieces and they also carry concealed handguns. All of this and more is available but only for people who can afford it.
 
According to some, this is just a segregation of classes – those who can afford it, are welcome to. But on the outset, it will create an obvious division between the urban poor and the wealthiest lot of the city.  The residents of Paseo Cayala are quite happy with the idea of living in a place where there is no fear of violence or cime. For them it is not only affordable but the best place to live in Gutemala. In fact, they are quite contented with the state of security as there are no (poor) troublemakers around.
 
With half of its 14 million population living in poverty, many think that this city cannot be ‘free of the real city’ for long. It is after all part of a populous city and cannot survive long in the bubble of paradise mode it claims to provide its inhabitants. 
 
Crime resides in man and man will reside in ‘Cayala City’. No one can be a hundred percent sure of the fact that it will be a secure place with not even the slightest hint of criminal activity. It might prove to be a fool’s paradise. But a rich fool’s paradise.  
 
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