Tanqué de la Unión
Across the narrow street in front of the Iglesia de Santa Clara
, some women still wash their laundry in the Tanque del Unión
: stone sinks, sheltered by a series of arches, that were built for this purpose. Traditionally, every Guatemalan town held public washbasins, called tanques
, where women would chat during the long daily process of washing clothing by hand. This custom has all but vanished in Antigua, and only two tanques
are still in good repair. The sinks occupy one end of a narrow, grassy plaza named Parque Unión where Antiguans come to grab some street food and enjoy a picnic, and where a carved Galician stone cross has stood since 1988 - it was a gift from the city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.