In the middle of downtown Caracas in Venezuela is an abandoned 45 story tower that has been reclaimed by squatters who have turned it into a thriving vertical shanty town
. Built during the booming nineties when the real estate market was putting up ever larger edifices to the banking industry, the project, which is one of the tallest in Latin America
, became a financial white elephant. Named after developer David Brillembourg, an estimated 2500 people
now call the Tower of David
home. After his death the government took possession, but seems to not have the stomach to change the status quo. Two decades later, the tower has become a symbol of the decline of Venezuela for some, but can also be viewed as a triumph of the spirit its occupants.