Antigua's public pila, or washing place, is not used as much as it used to be, but the water still flows and it's a beautiful reminder of the past.
The Public Pila of Antigua, Guatemala
Photo by Christopher Minster
Back in the colonial era, not everyone had private water in their homes. They would take their washing to the public "pila:" a sort of old-fashioned laundromat. There they would chat, gossip, catch up on news..and maybe even wash some clothes. The public pila is still used occasionally by poorer families in Antigua, but mostly now it's appreciated by visitors who marvel at the beautiful relic.