But on a recent weekday in the center of Guatemala City, a lunchtime crowd of professionals and university students ordered tapas and baguettes with prosciutto and camembert cheese in the Eccentrico bistro, watching pedestrians stroll down tiled walkways lined with ficus trees. At a cafe two blocks away, staff set out tables for customers stopping for cappuccino before heading to a nearby movie theater.
An unlikely urban redevelopment project is thriving for dozens of businesses in a five-block section of the Zone One downtown neighborhood.
A nonprofit, city-run redevelopment corporation known as Urbanistica has spent more than $5 million since 2004 to close streets to traffic, light them brightly and monitor them with closed-circuit video cameras and extra police officers. Rundown storefronts have been repainted jungle-green, indigo or paprika.
Some 670 street vendors who used to sell handicrafts from oilcloth tents that congested more than a mile of the city center have been relocated to a covered market steps from a new bus terminal.
Looks like a great opportunity for Guatemalans and for tourists Sixth Avenue is actually how it's advertised in the story and if they can keep it up.
These are photos from Sixth Avenue that I took in 2010 when the area was still under construction.