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Barrio Querido, La Reformita

Location, limits and territorial extension

The 100+ year old neighborhood is located south of the city

Urban plan of “La Reformita”

Guatemala City, January 31, 2006/Reformita” neighborhood is located south of Guatemala City.  Two of the most important roads of the city run through the neighborhood. One of them is “Petapa” Avenue –formerly known as “Calle Real de Petapa”- which is the direct link of the city with the San Miguel Petapa municipality.


“La Reformita” is located in Zone 12, in what used to be “La Paz” district. To the north, it limits with “El Trébol”, Diagonal 12, and “Liberación” Boulevard; to the east, it borders with the “Raúl Aguilar Batres” Avenue; the western boundary is Zone 12’s 19th Street, and the southern border is the Beltway (“Anillo Periférico”). Historian J. Antonio Villacorta, in his Monografía de la Ciudad de Guatemala “Monography of Guatemala City” – 1926) describes the neighborhood:


“La Paz” district was one of the most populated of the city; it runs from north to southwest between Barillas and Barrios to the east; La Libertad is the northern boundary; La Exposición and Tívoli are the limits to the west, and Las Charcas, to the south. The quite irregular streets give the neighborhood a very distinctive appearance; most of the houses are small and the inhabitants grow fruits and vegetables in their orchard-turned-yards. Sand and other construction materials are available in some plots. (1926: 173)


Map of the Las Charcas Hacienda, 1883


The land where this neighborhood is located used to be part of Las Charcas Hacienda, which General Barrios purchased from Mr. Tadeo Piñol y Batres for 16,000.00 pesos. The land was distributed among the homeless and some army effectives and veterans.  Following is a transcript of the public certificate of sale registered under Package 35, Document 6, Las Charcas (1933-1937), which is part of the paperwork provided by Mr. Rafael Piñol y Batres upon his request to revise the land measurements. 


SEVENTH DOCUMENT. Consists of one public certificate of sale of a part of the Las Charcas Hacienda, provided by Mr. Tadeo Piñol to the Supreme Government through Francisco González Campo, Esq., which literally reads:


Hacienda vestiges can still be seen in the area.

“N° 31– In Guatemala, on the twenty-fifth day of July of 1883. Before me, the subscribed Notary Public and the Department of Finances and Messrs. Miguel Solares González, Vicente Espínola, and Guillermo Martínez, who act as witnesses, all with the legal capability  as acting as such, Mr. Tadeo Piñol, attorney at law, forty-six years of age, acting in his own behalf, and Mr. Delfino Sánchez, Minister of State in the Finances and Public Credit Ministry, forty-two years old, representing the Supereme Government, both married and residents of this neighborhood, both of whom I am acquainted with, as well as the witnesses, I hereby certify that Mr. Piñol stated that: upon the dismemberment of the Hacienda known as Las Charcas, located in Guatemala City, he was entitled to eleven “caballerías” (land measurement unit unique to Guatemala), according to the documents dated August 3, 1882, submitted to Mr. G. Arreola, Esq., because said estate had been registered to his name in the Ownership Registry N° 76, sheet 356, book 56: that he has sold to the Supreme  Government of the Republic, ad corpus, the western portion of the surface of Las Charcas Hacienda, including all its legal annexes, free of any debts or charges or direct or subsidiary responsibility.  The western  portion is separated from the rest of said Hacienda by the road that leads to Amatitlán from the Guarda Viejo control post to the marker at the door, in the terms stated in the communication documents that have been annexed to the protocol and that are hereby provided.–


Republic of Guatemala, Ministry of State and the Finance and Public Credit Office.


Government Palace, Guatemala, July 12, 1883.–
Actuary, Chamber and Finance.


Map of Las Charcas Hacienda, 1883

This Ministry released the following agreement on the tenth day of this month.–  The General, President of the Republic, wishing to provide adequate lands to the population, agrees to: 1 Authorize the Minister of State and the Office of Finances and Public Credit to purchase from Mr. Tadeo Piñol, for sixteen thousand pesos, a portion of the lands known as Las Charcas, which are located within the following boundaries: (1) from Guarda Viejo to the south, along the crevasse that separates the lands property of Mr. Emilio Gálvez y Pamplona, up to the Portillo door; to the west, from the crevasse that divides the Portillo lands and the Espino pastures up to the royal road that runs to Amatitlán; and to the north, also from Guarda Viejo, along the royal road to Amatitlán. Second (2) that the payment of said sixteen thousand pesos should be done as follows: Mr. Piñol will receive a cash down payment of six thousand pesos and the remaining ten thousand pesos will be provided in the form of a document from the National Treasury payable to Mr. Piñol on the last day of December of this year.  Subscribed by the President.– Sánchez . I forward this transcript for your information and hereby request that you provide us with the applicable certificate in favor of the Government. L. y R.– Sánchez .

Republic of Guatemala, Ministry of State and the Finance and Public Credit Office.–

Government Palace, Guatemala, July 23, 1883.

Actuary, Chamber and Finance.

The General, President of the Republic has decided that the certificate of purchase of the lands known as Las Charcas from Mr. Tadeo Piñol should be amended in order to pay one percent interest on the ten thousand pesos to be remunerated to said gentleman by late December.–


Wide streets are particular of the neighborhood.

I hereby inform you of this decision and request that you amend the pertinent certificate.– L. y R.– Sánchez . And when the six thousand pesos are paid cash and when you have received the document corresponding to the ten thousand pesos plus one percent monthly interest that must be paid by the National Treasury on the last day of December of this year, I instruct you to grant the Supreme Government the ownership of the land in question to do as it wills with it.  The Minister states that he accepts the sale in the terms set forward by the present document.–


I, the notary public, certify that I have seen the ownership documents of Las Charcas and the certification of the payments corresponding to the 3/1000 tax that literally state:


“José Joaquín Palma” Federation-type school.

The Public Administrator of the Department of de Guatemala.–
Certifies: that Mr. Tadeo Piñol informed that he owns a rustic property in this municipality.  The property is located close to the city and is known by the names of Las Charcas or Castañaza, and was registered as part of this department as order 825 and declaration 306, and he presents invoices for the payment of the 3/1000 tax up to last June 30.–

Finances Office of the Department of Guatemala, July 10, 1883.–
There is a seal.– Máximo Santa Cruz. The full document was read, before the witnesses, and I hereby certify that all involved ratified it without changes and all sign with me; one more witness attended the reading on behalf of the seller (....), during most of the procedure, and I instructed that the testimony of this document be forwarded to the Ownership Registry, for inspection.– Delfino Sánchez.– Tadeo Piñol.– Miguel Solares G.– J. Vicente Espínola.– Gmo. Martínez.– Before me, Francisco González Campo.


One of the neighborhood houses

The certificate that confirms the purchase was published in El Guatemalteco newspaper, n. 466, pp.2-3, columns 4 and 1, Guatemala City, October 30, 1883, and literally says:

Ministry of Finances

Authorizes the Political Chief of this Department to verify that the Las Charcas lands are distributed free of charge, as instructed.
National Palace: Guatemala, October 26, 1883.


On July 10, a portion of Las Charcas Hacienda was purchased with the praiseworthy objective of permitting the population to expand into the southern region of the city, and to provide land free of charge to the homeless.  It was decided to divide the Hacienda, which is located between the boundaries set by the aforementioned decision, into small plots measuring 20 x 25 yards and to grant them to the aforementioned, who from this date have one year to demarcate their plots with walls, or at least with adequate fences, and should build at least a one-room tenement. 


During the first ten years they will not be permitted to, in any way, impose fees upon or sell their properties, which have been provided for the enjoyment of their families.  Whereas, the General, President agrees to: authorize the Political Chief of this department to verify that the land is adequately distributed per instructions, to provide the respective ownership documents which must state all the restrictions, and to confiscate the plots that have not been demarcated and are devoid of buildings and to grant them to persons willing to comply with the regulations, because the land was purchased for the objectives stated earlier -– Communicate.– signed by the General, President.– Sánchez .

Lecturas: 2638