A tour guide points out grim reality on other side of a walled city

Americas Now

The old city of Cartagena is one of the largest and best preserved Hispanic settlements in the Americas. It’s surrounded by massive walls that in colonial times protected the city and its countless riches from the attacks of British-sponsored pirates.

Today, the walls continue to serve as protection, in this case for the thousands of tourists visiting from around the world. The other side of them, however, reveal a grim reality where poverty, insecurity and organized crime are part of everyday life.

Alex Rocha is a tour guide convinced of the necessity of showing Cartagena’s visitors both sides of reality. This means showing them not just the wonderful old mansions and churches and beautiful settings of an enchanted city, but also the impoverished slums where most of the population lives and struggles to get by.

Rocha’s brand of tourism is helping build bridges between the secluded spaces reserved for the tourists and the sprawling barrios the visitors rarely venture to. This Game Changer is helping to make a difference by showing visitors the opposite side of the wall.

A tour guide points out grim reality on other side of a walled city

A tour guide points out grim reality on other side of a walled city

Alex Rocha is a tour guide convinced of the necessity of showing Cartagena’s visitors both sides of reality. This means showing them not just the wonderful old mansions and churches and beautiful settings of an enchanted city, but also the impoverished slums where most of the population lives and struggles to get by.