Geographical Context

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Understanding how and why slum communities grew up and continue to exist in Guatemala City provides Geographical Context. The community surrounding the Guatemala City garbage dump is one of a number of squatter communities which developed during and after the civil war. Often people fled the violence of rural areas for the imagined safety and economic opportunities of the cities. There was no infrastructure to provide for this population growth so slums developed. These slums have been categorized as “red zones” which designates an area of high crime, drugs, gangs and low educational and economic opportunities. The squatter community around the Guatemala City garbage dump has been estimated between 11,000 -20,000 people. Often people still come to the city for economic opportunities only to be disappointed.

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