Barrio (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbarjo]) is a Spanish word meaning a quarter or neighbourhood. In Spain, several Latin American countries and the Philippines, the term is also used officially to denote a division of a municipality.


In 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time, and it sometimes keeps a distinct character from others (as in the barrios of Buenos Aires even if they have been superseded by larger administrative divisions).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 to describe any urban area neighborhood whose geographical limits are determined locally. The term can be used to refer to all classes within society . 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.

In Cuba, 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.[1][2] A barrio in Puerto Rico is not vested with political authority.[3] 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.[4]

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 Spanish one.[5][6]

The United States usage of the term barrio is also found in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, where the term, barrio is commonly used to describe slums in the outer rims of big cities such as Caracas and 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 "Barrio" include 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 relocate. 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.[7]

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.[7]

Other uses

A predominantly Latina/o community or neighborhood in the United States, barrios have some characteristics in common with African-American ghettos. The term generally refers to urban enclaves that resulted from historical segregation and displacement of Latina/o communities. Historically, barrios have been marked by poverty and oppression. However, Gina M. Pérez notes that barrios are also, "precious spaces that affirm cultural identities, nurture popular cultural production, and provide sanctuary for people with long histories of displacement, land loss, repression, and collective struggle."[8] Some important historical barrios in the U.S. are East L.A. and Spanish-Harlem. Barrios are dynamic spaces that shift in response to sociocultural changes. Many barrios are currently undergoing gentrification.

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.

See also


  1. ^ Ponce. Proyecto Salon Hogar. Map of Barrios of Ponce. Accessed 14 March 2017.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Historia de Nuestros Barrios: Portugués, Ponce. Archived 2014-09-03 at the Wayback Machine Rafael Torrech San Inocencio. El Sur a la Vista. 14 February 2010. Accessed 12 February 2011.
  4. ^ Historias de nuestros barrios: una introducción. Rafael Torrech San Inocencio. Lapicero Verde. 10 February 2015. Accessed 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Baryo". Tagalog-Lang. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  6. ^ Boquet, Yves (2017). The Philippine Archipelago. Springer. pp. 426–427. ISBN 9783319519265.
  7. ^ a b Siembieda & López Moreno 1998.
  8. ^ Pérez, Gina M. "Barrio." Keywords for Latina/o Studies Ed. Deborah R. Vargas, Nancy Raquel Mirabal, and Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes. NYU Press. 2017. p. 18.


  • 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
18th Street gang

18th Street, also known as Calle 18, Barrio 18, Mara 18, or simply La 18 in Central America, is a multi-ethnic (largely Central American and Mexican) transnational criminal organization that started as a street gang in Los Angeles. It is one of the largest transnational criminal gangs in Los Angeles, with 30,000 to 50,000 members in 20 states across the US alone and is also allied with the Mexican Mafia. As listed in the Justice Department Report about 18th street and MS-13, "These two gangs have turned the Central American northern triangle into the area with the highest homicide rate in the world."


Anón (Barrio Anón) is one of the 31 barrios in the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Along with Marueño, Coto Laurel, Guaraguao, Quebrada Limon, Real, and San Patricio, and the coastal barrios of Canas and Capitanejo, Anón is one of the municipality's nine bordering barrios. Anón borders the municipalities of Jayuya and Juana Diaz. The name of this barrio is of native Indian origin. It was founded in 1878. Barrio Anón is one of three Ponce barrios (the others are Barrio Guaraguao and Barrio San Patricio) located on the Cordillera Central mountain range.

Barrio 19

Barrio 19 is a television program shown on MTV showcasing a diversity of street talents and urban underground pursuits in cities such as Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, London, Osaka, Hamburg, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo.

Young people from cities all over the world exhibit their impressive talents learnt on the street, skills including rapping, beatboxing, breakdancing, card tricks, BMX tricks and parkour, amongst others, are the most commonly demonstrated skills.

Barrio Logan, San Diego

Barrio Logan is a neighborhood in south central San Diego, California. It is bordered by the neighborhoods of East Village and Logan Heights to the north, Shelltown and Southcrest to the east, San Diego Bay to the southwest, and National City to the southeast. Interstate 5 forms the northeastern boundary. The Barrio Logan Community Plan Area comprises approximately 1,000 acres, of which slightly more than half is under the jurisdiction of the Port of San Diego or the United States Navy rather than the city of San Diego. The community is subject to the California Coastal Act.

Barrio de Muñó

Barrio de Muñó is a municipality and town located in the province of Burgos, Castile and León, Spain. According to the 2004 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 32 inhabitants.

Barrios of Puerto Rico

The barrios of Puerto Rico are the primary legal divisions of the seventy-eight municipalities of Puerto Rico. Each of Puerto Rico's 78 municipios are divided into geographical sections called barrios (English: wards).


Caloocan, officially the City of Caloocan, (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Caloocan), or simply known as Caloocan City, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in Metro Manila, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 1,583,978 people making it the fourth-most populous city in the Philippines.

It is divided into two geographical locations with a total combined area of 5,333.40 hectares. It was formerly part of the Province of Rizal of the Philippines' Southern Luzon Region. The city's name is colloquially spelled as Kalookan. It comprises what is known as the CAMANAVA area along with cities Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela.

The word caloocan comes from the Tagalog root word lo-ok; kalook-lookan (or kaloob-looban) means "innermost area". South Caloocan is bordered by Manila, Quezon City, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela. North Caloocan shares its border with Quezon City, Valenzuela and Marilao, Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte in the province of Bulacan.

Daddy Yankee

Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez (born February 3, 1977), known by his stage name Daddy Yankee, is a Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, and record producer. Ayala was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, and was raised in the neighborhood of Villa Kennedy Housing Projects. Daddy Yankee is the artist who coined the word Reggaeton in 1994 to describe the new music genre that was emerging from Puerto Rico; he is known as the "King of Reggaetón" by music critics and fans alike.Ayala aspired to be a professional baseball player, and tried out for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball. Before he could be officially signed, he was hit by a stray round from an AK-47 rifle while taking a break from a studio recording session with reggaeton artist DJ Playero. Ayala spent roughly one and a half years recovering from the wound; the bullet was never removed from his hip, and he credits the shooting incident with allowing him to focus entirely on a music career. In 2004, Daddy Yankee released his international hit single "Gasolina", which is credited with introducing Reggaeton to audiences worldwide, and making the music genre a global phenomenon. Since then, he has sold around 20 million records. Daddy Yankee's album Barrio Fino made history when it became the top-selling Latin music album of the decade between 2000–2009. In 2017, Daddy Yankee, in collaboration with Latin pop singer Luis Fonsi, released the hit single "Despacito". It became the first Spanish-language song to hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since "Macarena" in 1996. The single gained global success. The video for "Despacito" on YouTube received its billionth view on April 20, 2017, and became the most watched video in YouTube's history. Its success led Daddy Yankee to become the most listened artist worldwide on the streaming service Spotify in June 2017, the first Latin artist to do so.As of 2017, Daddy Yankee has won 82 awards from 270 nominations since his rise to international fame in 2004. He has won 5 Latin Grammy Awards, 2 Billboard Music Awards, 14 Billboard Latin Music Awards, 2 Latin American Music Awards, 8 Lo Nuestro Awards, an MTV Video Music Award and 6 ASCAP Awards. He also received a Puerto Rican Walk of Fame Star, special awards by People en Español magazine, and the Presencia Latina at Harvard University. He was named by CNN as the "Most Influential Hispanic Artist" of 2009, and included in Time 100 in 2006.

El Museo del Barrio

El Museo del Barrio, often known simply as El Museo (the museum) is a museum located towards the northern end in the neighborhood of Museum Mile, immediately north of the Museum of the City of New York and south of the future Museum for African Art. Founded in 1969, El Museo specializes in Latin American and Caribbean art, with an emphasis on works from Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican community in New York City.


Maragüez (Barrio Maragüez) is one of the 31 barrios of the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Along with Magueyes, Tibes, Portugués, Montes Llanos, Machuelo Arriba, Sabanetas, and Cerrillos, Maragüez is one of the municipality's eight rural interior barrios. The name of this barrio is of native Indian origin. It was created in 1878.

Maria la del Barrio (Philippine TV series)

Maria la del Barrio (Lit: Maria of the Barrio) is a Philippine remake of the Mexican telenovela of the same name, starring Erich Gonzales and Enchong Dee. The series premiered on ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida evening block and worldwide on The Filipino Channel from August 15, 2011 to March 2, 2012, replacing Mula Sa Puso.

The series was streaming on YouTube.


Marueño (Barrio Marueño) is one of the 31 barrios of the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Along with Anón, Coto Laurel, Guaraguao, Quebrada Limón, Real, and San Patricio, and the coastal barrios of Canas and Capitanejo, Marueño is one of the municipality's nine bordering barrios. Marueño borders the municipality of Peñuelas. The name of this barrio is of native Indian origin. It was created in 1831.

María la del Barrio

María la del Barrio (Lit: Maria of the Slums/English title: Humble Maria) is a Mexican telenovela produced by Angelli Nesma Medina for Televisa in 1995. The series is a remake of Los Ricos También Lloran. María la del barrio is considered one of the world's most popular and successful shows ever, having been broadcast in over 180 countries. It is the last part of the Trilogía de las Marías.

The main protagonists are Thalía and Fernando Colunga. With Ludwika Paleta and Osvaldo Benavides are co-protagonists, while Itatí Cantoral is main antagonist. With are stellar performances are Ana Patricia Rojo, Sebastián Ligarde, Ariel López Padilla, Mauricio Aspe, Yuliana Peniche and leading actors Ricardo Blume, Irán Eory, Carmen Salinas, Meche Barba and René Muñoz. With the special participation of Aurora Molina and Manuel Saval.


Melilla (US: mə-LEE-yə, UK: meh-, Spanish: [meˈliʎa]; Tarifit: Mřič) is a Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing a border with Morocco, with an area of 12.3 km2 (4.7 sq mi). Melilla is one of two permanently inhabited Spanish cities in mainland Africa, the other being Ceuta. It was part of the Province of Málaga until 14 March 1995, when the city's Statute of Autonomy was passed.

Melilla, like Ceuta, was a free port before Spain joined the European Union. In 2011 it had a population of 78,476, made up of Catholics of Iberian origin (primarily from Andalusia and Catalonia), ethnic Riffian Berbers and a small number of Sephardic Jews and Sindhi Hindus. Spanish and Riffian-Berber are the two most widely spoken languages, with Spanish as the only official language.

Melilla, like Ceuta, is officially claimed by Morocco.

Palermo, Buenos Aires

Palermo is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It is located in the northeast of the city, bordering the barrios of Belgrano to the north, Almagro and Recoleta to the south, Villa Crespo and Colegiales to the west and the Río de la Plata river to the east. With a total area of 17.4 km2 (7 sq mi), Palermo is the largest neighborhood in Buenos Aires. As of 1991 it had a population of 256,927 inhabitants (1991 census [INDEC]). It is the only barrio within the administrative division of Comuna 14.

Portugués Rural

Portugués Rural or, more commonly, simply Portugués (Barrio Portugués), is one of the 31 barrios in the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Along with Magueyes, Tibes, Montes Llanos, Maragüez, Machuelo Arriba, Sabanetas, and Cerrillos, Portugués is one of the municipality's eight rural interior barrios. It was founded in 1831.

Quebrada Limón

Quebrada Limón is one of the 31 barrios of the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Along with Anón, Coto Laurel, Guaraguao, Marueño, Real, and San Patricio, and the coastal barrios of Canas and Capitanejo, Quebrada Limón is one of the municipality's nine bordering barrios. It borders the municipality of Peñuelas. It was founded in 1878.

San Pedro Sula

San Pedro Sula (Spanish pronunciation: [sam ˈpeðɾo ˈsula]) is the capital of Cortés Department, Honduras. It is located in the northwest corner of the country in the Sula Valley, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of Puerto Cortés on the Caribbean Sea. With a census population of 719,063 in 2013, and 1,445,598 people living in its metropolitan area in 2010, it is the nation's primary industrial center and second largest city after the capital Tegucigalpa.

Sexto, Ponce, Puerto Rico

Sexto (Barrio Sexto) is one of the 31 barrios of the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Along with Primero, Segundo, Tercero, Cuarto, and Quinto, Sexto is one the municipality's six core urban barrios. Barrio Sexto used to be called Barrio Cantera. It was organized in 1878.

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