Guatemala City (population 942,348; Metro area 2,945,080) is the economic, governmental and cultural capital of the Republic. The city also functions as the main port of entry into the country, with an international airport and most major highways originating or leading to the city.
In addition to a wide variety of restaurants, hotels and shops, the city has a wide variety of art galleries, theaters, sports venues and museums (including some fine collections of Pre-Columbian art) and continually offers an increasing amount of cultural activities. Guatemala City offers all the modern amenities along with important historic sites. The city continues to be a pole for the attraction of immigrants from the country’s rural areas as well as foreign immigrants.
The main gay organization in Guatemala is Oasis (Organización de Apoyo a una Sexualidad Integral frente al SIDA). Under the leadership of Jorge Lopez, OASIS offers HIV-testing done on premises, runs support programs for people who are HIV-positive, facilitates workshops in schools and community organizations and hands out condoms at clubs and on the streets. The organization also keeps records of violent crimes against queer people and attempts to bring these to the attention of the international community. See photos 103-09.