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Beloved Neighborhood, La Reformita


Formerly part of the “Exposición” district

La Reformita is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Our City.

Guatemala City, January, 2006/ Three earthen roads used to branch out at the old “El Guarda Viejo” control post, southeast of La Paz district. The first road led to the departments of the west, through Mixco; the second, to the southwest, towards the municipalities of Villa Nueva and Amatitlán, and the third ran southward to the village of Petapa. This last road is still functional and snakes across most of the “La Reformita” neighborhood.


The 1871 Liberal Revolution, a political movement commanded by the Generals Miguel García Granados and Justo Rufino Barrios – the former also known as “The Reformer”– instigated several socio-political and financial decrees that had the purpose of modernizing the State. The Agricultural Reform (mainly coffee production and export) is one of such decrees, as are the reforms to the financial and educational systems, the abolition of the leasehold census, and the sale and distribution of fallow lands, among others.


The neighborhood was named in honor of Justo Rufino Barrios, also known as “The Reformer”.

The governments of Manuel Lisandro Barillas (1885-1892) and José María Reyna Barrios (1892-1898) continued the liberal policies set out by Rufino Barrios and Miguel García Granados (1871-1885). The government of President Reyna Barrios initiated the most complete urbanization plan of Guatemala City.  During his tenure, the city underwent extensive landscaping and was embellished with monuments and commemorative statues; avenues and boulevards were planned –among which “La Reforma” Avenue is one of the most prominent– and the “Exposición” district’s urban design was fine-tuned. Today, the former “Exposición” district includes Zone 4, Zone 9 (“Tívoli”), and “La Reformita” in Zone 12. 

Ten years after Justo Rufino Barrios bequeath the lands of “La Reformita” to army effectives and veterans and to the homeless, the neighborhood still had not been outfitted with the necessary sanitary facilities and the streets had not been fully developed.  For such reasons, during Reyna Barrios’ tenure, the neighborhood became part of a mega-urbanization project: land plots were cut into standard blocks and 12 meter-wide avenues and 2.50 meter sidewalks were added.


A neighborhood with 100 years of tradition.

From that time on, the district was deemed an extension of “La Reforma” Avenue and the neighborhood, which is located south of the city and in “La Paz” district, was christened as “La Reformita” (“the little Reforma”).



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