And I don’t believe you can get “free water” on Facebook, either. In colonial Guatemala, people gathered at public water tanks and washbasins do the laundry. But the activity encompassed more than laundry; the public water basin was the gathering place to share news and gossip and build community connections.
That’s why today, many still use the public washbasins even though most of them have running water at home. In the post Water Tanks and Colonial Style Social Networks on antiguadailyphoto.com, Rudy Girón writes:
As I took these pictures, I took the time to talk to several of the women doing the laundry and I asked what were some of the reasons for utilizing the public washbasins even though most of them have running water at home. These are some of the answers:
- Los lavaderos públicos, public washbasins are more comfortable because they are larger and the water is closer.
- At the lavaderos públicos, public washbasins I get to see and talk to my friends and neighbors.
- Los lavaderos públicos, public washbasins have plentiful of free water.
- At the lavaderos públicos, public washbasins I get to see things and people, sort of free entertainment.
- Los lavaderos públicos, public washbasins provide less distractions than being at home doing the laundry.
- At the lavaderos públicos, public washbasins the temperatures are cooler and thus more comfortable.
- Los lavaderos públicos, public washbasins are my only choice since I do not have running water at home.
This is part of the water series on antiguadailyphoto, which is worth a look–the photos and posts give a wonderful glimpse into the social, cultural and historical background on local water issues in Central America.