Los Lavenderos Publicos, the public laundry, in San Miguel de Allende is a picturesque spot. These cement laundry basins line two sides of the Santa Elena Park on Calle Recreo, just above the Benito Juarez Park (also known as the French Park).Long before these tubs were built, the women in town would bring their laundry, and gossip, to this spot and wash their clothing on stones besides the natural springs. In 1901, the town's water supply was changed and these tub basins were built.
There is no attendant, no charge and it is first come, first serve. Over the years, washing machines and dryers have become a common item in many homes and laundromats have emerged around town. So it is not the center of washing and gossiping as it used to be.
We have Lava Magico on our street and even though we have a washer and dryer, occasionally we take our laundry across the street. It is washed, nicely folded, then bundled in plastic shrink wrap (eliminating many of the wrinkles) and done that same day. The cost is very reasonable and I am charged by the kilo.
I love the caracol (snail) design that is incorporated into the back splash of the laundry area and in the surrounding walls.
On a sunny day, you still will find the occasional family doing their laundry and bathing the children. And what kid doesn't love to have an outdoor bath!