Puerto Barrios

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Puerto Barrios

Puerto Barrios, seaport of Guatemala. Located on one of the finest deep-water harbors on Central America's Atlantic coast, Puerto Barrios (estimated 2002 population 81,078) was officially founded by the Guatemalan government in 1895 as the northern terminus and principal port for the Northern Railroad project. In 1904, when the Guatemalan Railway Company (owned by United States interests) received the rights to complete the line between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios, it was also granted ownership of the port's steel pier. The United Fruit Company was the major user and developer of the port during the first half of the twentieth century, during which it became one of the busiest banana ports in Central America. After the inauguration in 1955 of a modern new port at nearby Santo Tomás de Castilla, Puerto Barrios languished, especially after the earthquake of 1976 severely damaged its wharf. The wharf was finally restored to use in 1990 by Cobigua, the Guatemalan banana company, in collaboration with United Brands, or Chiquita, successor to United Fruit. Puerto Barrios began to show some signs of rejuvenation in the 1990s.

See alsoRailroads; United Fruit Company.


Wayne F. Anderson, "The Development of Export Transportation in Liberal Guatemala, 1871–1920 (Ph.D. diss., Tulane, 1985), pp. 321-406.

Paul Glassman, Guatemala Guide, 4th ed. Dallas: Passport Press, 1990, pp. 260-264.

Additional Bibliography

Chang Sagastume, Germán Rolando. Guía de historia y geografía del Departamento de Izabal. Guatemala: s.n., 1995.

Pinto Rodríguez, Lisandro. Primera monografía de Puerto Barrios, cabecero del Departamento de Izabal. Ciudad de Puerto Barrios: L. Pinto Rodríguez, 1995.

Pinto Rodríguez, Lisandro. Tercera monografía del Departamento de Izabal y sus cinco municipios. Puerto Barrios: s.n., 1997.

                                    Diane Stanley

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Puerto Barrios

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