Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala and the largest city in Central America, with a population of over 2 million. It became the capital of Guatemala in 1775, after the previous capital, Antigua, was destroyed in a series of earthquakes. The full name of the city is La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción.
The city is marked by great contrasts of wealth, from mansions surrounded by stone or concrete walls topped with barbed wire or broken glass to middle-class neighbourhoods characterized by “gated communities” enjoying 24-hr. armed security, down to working-class neighbourhoods and the poorest of squatter settlements, such as “La Limonada”, one of the most famous slums in Latin America, perched on the sides of a large ravine. Apart from the danger of earthquakes, heavy rainstorms sometimes result in mudslides, causing houses to slide down the side of the ravine, with fatal consequences. The remains of one house can be seen in one of these photos.