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The Acuexcomatl Center for Environmental Culture is a major cultural and educational center in Mexico City’s southeast. Within the pueblo San Luis Tlaxilatemalco, it’s right on the edge of Tulyehualco. Both are among Xochimilco’s 14 original settlements.
The Nahuatl Acuexcomatl translates to “vessel where the water springs.” It’s the historic location of the Manantial El Encanto. This was a major water works, pump house, and water treatment plant until the 1960s. Parts of that facility are restored and on display.
But people come for the 7.5 hectares of open grounds as well as for educational and environmental programming. Today, it’s run by the Mexico City Secretary of the Environment (SMA). One of three environmental education centers, it opened in 1995. The center works to provide ongoing environmental education and ecological techniques for fish and honey bee production, wetlands rescue and maintenance, and to provide education and consultancy for Xochimilco’s unique environment. It’s also a research facility.
While the Acuexcomatl center has a stunning outdoor amphitheater and multiple architectural works of cultural value, (INAH catalogs some five important structures here), it’s mostly an outdoors attraction. Many gardens and walkways are open to the public. And so are some greenhouses. Displays change with the seasons, but there’s always something going on. The center is often visited in combination with Tulyehualco and the flower centers of Tlaxilatemalco which are just west of the entrance.