INAH, Puebla Government to Restore Communal Laundry

Photo: Mauricio Marat/INAH


As part of an ongoing project to restore traditional public places, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), in cooperation with the state government of Puebla, announced on Friday, June 17, that it has begun the rehabilitation and restoration of the famed Lavaderos de Almoloya, a large communal laundry in the state capital dating from the end of the 18th century.

Beyond serving as a public laundry for over a century, this collection of 96 public laundry washing sinks, located in the Barrio de El Alto in the center of Puebla City, was once a vital hub of social and cultural exchange, particularly for the lower classes.

The Lavaderos de Almoloya, which were fed by fresh water from the nearby Cerro de Guadalupe and Loreto springs and which consisted of two vaulted bays covering the laundry sinks, had, over the years, been eroded by disuse, neglect and the demolition of part of their installations to build a pedestrian access stairway.

Additionally, constant humidity and the use of abrasive cleaning salts also contributed to their destruction.

Manuel Villarruel Vázquez, head of the INAH in Puebla, said that the project will require the support of a team of specialists and could take over a year to complete.


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