In typical Spanish colonial fashion, the city was laid out around a central plaza with the Catholic church and government buildings surrounding it. It is also known as the Plaza de la Constitución.
The park is usually abuzz with shoe shiners and folks enjoying a stroll through its grounds, now largely composed of concrete blocks with little greenery after being remodeled in the mid-1980s to include an underground parking lot.
A large Guatemalan flag dominates the plaza near a small, sadly neglected monument to the 1996 peace accords; it consists of a glass case enclosing a flame which has long since burned out.
South of the park, heading towards 9a Calle is Portal del Comercio, a commercial arcade recently restored as art of RenaCENTRO's ongoing gentrification projects. Novena Calle itself (between 6a and 7a Avenidas) has also been restored as a pedestrian thoroughfare known as Pasaje Avicinena. Plans also call for the expanasion of nearby Parque Centenario.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com