Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday's postcard: Puerto Barrios in Guatemala (probably)

This old postcard (1930s?) probably depicts a scene in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.

We only have two text clues to work with. Scratched into the photo on the front is the word "BARRIOƧ" -- with a backwards S. And written in ink on the back is "GAUTEMELA [sic] BANNANA [sic] PORT."

So, yes, I think Puerto Barrios is a good educated guess. Located within the Gulf of Honduras, it was named in 1884 for Guatemalan president Justo Rufino Barrios. According to Wikipedia, "its heyday was in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, following the construction of a railroad connecting large banana plantations with the shipping docks."

A major railroad can clearly be seen on the postcard. And the back of the postcard mentions a banana port. That's all the more reason to think this is Puerto Barrios.

Puerto Barrios was heavily damaged by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in February 1976. Afterward the earthquake, a new primary seaport for the region was built in nearby Santo Tomás de Castilla, and Puerto Barrios has struggled since then to regain its former importance.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Chris Otto, I am a postcard collector wh happens to be coming to York, Pa. where you live next month for the big postcard show at the Fairgrounds. I would like to talk to you about your Puerto Barrios, Guatemala postcards seen on google. My email is Email for my telephone number. Thanks. Looking forward to it. Bill