As I promised yesterday, here are a few doors from my recent trip to Guatemala.  We saw so many amazing doors – big ones, small ones, ornate doors and utilitarian doors, lots of wicket doors, cool door knockers and other hardware, ancient doors and reproductions.  There are plenty of Guatemalan-door photos on Flickr if you’d like to see more.

I love details that hint at the history of a door opening…the brick above the opening in the second photo shows that there was a change at some point:


Some entrances indicate the cultural or religious significance of the space within:



It’s also interesting to see influence from afar:

And of course, the impact of nature, which was very evident in Guatemala (most of the ancient city of Tikal was built of plant-based materials, so only the giant stone ruins remain).  This entrance is in Antigua:

I noticed something else during our trip – the impact of codes on modern construction in Guatemala.  As you can imagine, I was pretty excited about this!  🙂  Many areas of Guatemala are prone to seismic activity and have experienced devastating earthquakes and volcano eruptions.  In addition, there are several large cities where fire protection and egress must be considered more carefully than in the small villages.  Although many/most countries in Latin America do not have nationally-adopted building and fire codes, or AHJs to enforce them, progress is being made.

This hotel in Quetzaltenango has a pool on the 10th-floor roof.  In addition to a stairwell near the elevators at one end, there is another stairwell door – with panic hardware (!) at the other end:

We stayed in a beautiful Marriott in Guatemala City, and the stair doors from each level of hotel rooms were clearly marked – and also had panic hardware (not required by US model codes but a good indicator of the egress route):


Given the improvements in code-compliance in Latin America, I’m wondering about the need for code information written in Spanish.  Actually, looking at the map of visitor locations, maybe I need to consider other languages as well.  Food for thought.

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