Barrio (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbarjo]) is a Spanish word
meaning neighborhood. In Spain, several Latin American countries and
the Philippines, the term is also used officially to denote a division
of a municipality.
3 Other uses
4 See also
Argentina and Uruguay, a barrio is a division of a municipality
officially delineated by the local authority at a later time, and it
sometimes keeps a distinct character from others (as in the barrios of
Buenos Aires even if they have been superseded by larger
administrative divisions). The word does not have a special
socioeconomic connotation unless it is used in contrast to the centro
(city center or downtown). The expression barrio cerrado (translated
"closed neighborhood") is employed for small, upper-class, residential
settlements, planned with an exclusive criterion and often literally
enclosed in walls (a kind of gated community).
In Colombia, the term is used for any urban area neighborhood whose
geographical limits are determined locally. The term does not have any
implication of social class, as it is used to refer to not only
working-class areas but also well-to-do ones. The term barrio de
invasión or comuna is more often used to refer to shanty towns, but
the term "barrio" has a more general use.
El Salvador and Spain, the term barrio is used officially to
denote a subdivision of a municipio (or municipality); each barrio is
subdivided into sectors.
In Puerto Rico, the term barrio is used to denote a subdivision of a
municipio and its lowest officially recognized administrative
unit. A barrio in
Puerto Rico is not vested with political
authority. It may, or may not, be further subdivided into sectors,
communities, urbanizaciones, or a combination of these, but such
further subdivisions, though popular and common, are unofficial.
In the Philippines, the term barrio once referred to a rural village,
but it was changed by law in 1975 to the term barangay, the basic unit
of government with an average population of 2,500 people. It is still
used informally to refer to small rural towns and villages, as opposed
to barangay which can be used for both rural settlements and urban
municipal districts (the latter formerly known as visitas). It is
alternatively spelled as baryo, though the preferred spelling is the
United States usage of the term barrio is also found in Venezuela
and the Dominican Republic, where barrio is commonly given to slums in
the outer rims of big cities such as
Santo Domingo as well
as lower- and middle-class neighborhoods in other cities and towns.
Well-known localities in the
United States containing a sector called
Manhattan (Spanish Harlem), East Los Angeles,
California; Second Ward, Houston, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Miami,
Florida (Allapattah). Some of them are referred to as just "El Barrio"
by the locals and nearby residents.
Over the centuries, selectness in the
Spanish Empire evolved as a
mosaic of the various barrios, surrounding the central administrative
areas. As they matured, the barrios functionally and symbolically
reproduced the city and in some way tended to replicate it. The barrio
reproduced the city through providing occupational, social, physical
and spiritual space. With the emergence of an enlarged merchant class
some barrios were able to support a wide range of economic levels.
This led to new patterns of social class distribution throughout the
city. Those who could afford to locate in and around the central
plazas did so. The poor and marginal groups still occupied the spaces
at the city's edge.
The desire on the part of the sector popular to replicate a barrio was
expressed through the diversity of the populace and functions and the
tendency to form social hierarchies and to maintain social control.
The limits to replication were mainly social. Any particular barrio
could not easily expand territorially into other barrios, nor could it
easily export its particular social identity to others. Different
barrios provided different products and services to the city, e.g. one
might make shoes while another made cheese. Integration of daily life
could also be seen in the religious sector, where a parish and a
convento might serve one or more neighborhoods.
The mosaic formed by the barrios and the colonial center continued
until the period of independence in Mexico and Latin America. The
general urban pattern was one where the old central plaza was
surrounded by an intermediate ring of barrios and emerging suburban
areas linking the city to the hinterland. The general governance of
the city was in the hands of a mayor and city councilors. Public posts
were purchased and funds given to the local government and the royal
bureaucracy. Fairness and equity were not high on the list of public
interests. Lands located on the periphery were given to individuals by
local authorities, even if this land was designated for collective
uses, such as farming or grazing. This practice of peripheral land
expansion laid the groundwork for later suburbanization by immigrants
from outside the region and by real estate agents.
At the edge of Hispanic American colonial cities there were places
where work, trade, social interaction and symbolic spiritual life
occurred. These barrios were created to meet the space needs of local
craftsman and the shelter needs of the working class. At times they
were designed to meet municipal norms, but they usually responded to
functional requirements of the users. Barrios were built over
centuries of sociocultural interaction within urban space. In Mexico
and in other Latin American countries with strong heritages of
colonial centers, the concept of barrio no longer contains the social,
cultural and functional attributes of the past. The few surviving
barrios do so with a loss of traditional meaning. For most of them the
word has become a descriptive category or a generic definition.
The corresponding term in Portuguese-speaking countries is bairro.
Barrio and Barrios are also Spanish surnames. In Portugal, the derived
surname Barros is very common.
Colonia – neighborhood subdivisions in Mexican cities
Colonia (United States)
^ Ponce. Proyecto Salon Hogar. Map of Barrios of Ponce. Accessed 14
^ Un Acercamiento Sociohistorico y Linguistico a los Toponimos del
Municipio de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Amparo Morales, María T. Vaquero de
Ramírez. "Estudios de lingüística hispánica: homenaje a María
Vaquero". Page 113. Accessed 14 March 2017.
^ Historia de Nuestros Barrios: Portugués, Ponce. Archived 2014-09-03
at the Wayback Machine. Rafael Torrech San Inocencio. El Sur a la
Vista. elsuralavista.com. 14 February 2010. Accessed 12 February 2011.
^ Historias de nuestros barrios: una introducción. Rafael Torrech San
Inocencio. Lapicero Verde. 10 February 2015. Accessed 14 March 2017.
^ "Baryo". Tagalog-Lang. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
^ Boquet, Yves (2017). The Philippine Archipelago. Springer.
pp. 426–427. ISBN 9783319519265.
^ a b Siembieda & López Moreno 1998.
Siembieda, W. J.; López Moreno, E. (1998). "Barrios and the Hispanic
American city: Cultural value and social representation". Journal of
Urban Design. 3 (1): 39–52. doi:10.1080/13574809808724415.
Karl Eschbach, Glenn V. Ostir, Kushang V. Patel, Kyriakos S. Markides,
James S. Goodwin.
Neighborhood Context and Mortality Among Older
Mexican Americans: Is There a
Barrio Advantage? American Journal of
Public Health. October 2004. Volume 94. Pages 1807-1812
Look up barrio in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Hispanic and Latino American
Spanish terms for country subdivisions