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230 years of the foundation of Guatemala City

Neighborhood Ciudad Vieja, zone 10

Educational institutions:
Official Boy’s School No. 29 “Miguel Vasconcelos
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Students during recess.

Guatemala City, November 2006/ Around 1920s, in Guatemala City there was approximately 31 public schools and 49 private schools.

 

Among the public establishments, one of the first ten schools created in the country during the administration of General Justo Rufino Barrios in the decade of the 1880s stands out: the “Official Boy’s School No. 10 of Ciudad Vieja”.



The same, after Decree No. 728 of October 1917, acquired the name of Official Boy’s School No. 29 “José Miguel Vasconcelos”, in an event celebrated during the Minervalian Festivities when it was established that all public schools should have the name of a distinguished Guatemalan.

 

On this matter, it was the honor of the most distinguished student of that school, Julio Mejía, to take out the ballot with the name; acquiring therefore the name of Official Boy’s School “José Miguel Vasconcelos”, registered today in the Ministry of Education under number 29.

 

Originally, this educational center was located in the District “La Exposición”, close to what we know today as IGA in the so called high hill of the neighborhood (Villacorta, 1926: 187-88). Then, from 1910 until October 28, 1917 it was located in 2ª avenida 7-69 zona 10, of Ciudad Vieja, where there was a municipal tank which offered services to people of scarce resources of that sector.

 

At the beginning, the school worked with only three classrooms, which sheltered the first, second and third year of elementary, having Professor Manuel Rodríguez as Principal.

 

After 1917, the school was transferred to 6ª calle 4-76, zona 10, of the neighborhood “Ciudad Vieja”, land donated by the Rossi Family. In this new ground, President Estrada Cabrera ordered the construction of a wood building, which was demolished on April 23, 1965 in order to build the new one with funds from the program of Operation School, during the administration of the Military Government of Colonel Enrique Peralta Azurdia, inaugurating it a year later.



This was a safer building and with better technical-pedagogic conditions and during the time of its construction, the administrative and educational personnel were sheltered in the Evening Journey of the building occupied by the National Girls’ School “Darío González”.



Later on, during the 1976 Earthquake the building was severely damaged; but thanks to the intervention of President General Romeo Lucas García nephews, who studied in that school, the structure was improved and increased.



Today, the establishment is not only for “boys”, it has turned into a coed environment and there is a junior group of marimba doble y cuache “Tecún Umán”. For this reason, on the outside of the school they have planted eight Hormigo trees (this tree is used to build the marimba). The anniversary is celebrated on May 8. The Principal of the school is Elementary School Teacher Sara Morales de Recinos.

 

José Miguel Vasconcelos

 

Receiving Marimba lessons.

Born in Sololá on May 8, 1826, Quarry’s Engineer and Metals’ Tester, Surveying Engineer, Attorney with knowledge of English, Latin, French and German. He incorporated to the liberating lines of the Revolution in 1871.

 

He was called by the government to collaborate as political chief of Sololá, but he abandoned the post a few days later. On July 18, 1872, with a Governmental Agreement, the Special Ministry of Public Education was created, appointed to the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. This marked the beginning of a new period for national education.

 

They needed to appoint a Minister for the new area, someone with a true humanist calling and at the same time, an expert who was able to help in the progressive job undertaken by the liberal government of Justo Rufino Barrios and Miguel García Granados.

 

Therefore, having the needed qualities, the first person that exercised this post was José Miguel Vasconcelos, who acted as Minister of Public Education from July 18 to November 14, 1872. As Minister of Public Education he “organized and oriented the Guatemalan education, abolishing the so called “Pavón Law”, declaring education as secular. Imported texts from United States of America and tried to introduce a new methodology in education” (Revista de Educación No. 7-8, 1939: 136). He died in Denver, Colorado, United States in 1883.

 

Beloved Neighborhood Program
Dr. Frieda Liliana Morales Barco
Lecturas: 2737