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Drain Workers Monument

Homage a los trabajadores de drenaje profundo
Photo courtesy of the CETis 7 Facebook Page

The Drain Workers Monument is officially the Monumento del Drenaje Profundo. It’s one of the more baffling of Mexico City monuments, but not one that’s well known. Most Mexico City residents will guess it’s somewhere in the former Yugoslavia, but it’s as homegrown as monuments come.

The artist responsible, Ángela Gurría, had completed a work, Señales, for the 1968 Olympic Games and the Ruta de la AmistadOne year prior to the monument above, in 1974, she became the first woman accepted into Mexico’s Academia de Artes. One of her best-known works, titled Río Papaloapan, still stands out front of the Museo de Arte Moderno.

The monument to the Deep Drainage project was part of the Deep Drain Museum. It opened here, with the monument, in 1975. Gurría’s project involved the construction of five concrete towers. The tallest is 30 meters high and the shortest is 13. But interestingly, at the top of each is a part of the forms used to cast the drainage pipes.

  • Mexico City’s deep drainage problem began formal studies in 1959. In fact, the project to prevent Mexico City from flooding had begun way back in 1607. The Hypsographic Monument to Enrico Martínez recalls that story. But construction on the drain tunnel memorialized here was begun in 1967. The giant Emisor Central opened in 1975 at a length of some 68 km and up to 250 meters below the surface of the earth.
  • The museum was built on the site of the truck maintenance garage. Their work, after all, was deep underground. The museum begun by the workers included artifacts and spectacular photographs of the tunnel digging process.
  • The museum closed in 1997 and in 1998 and the land was donated to CETis school #7.
  • CETis stands for Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos Industrial y de Servicios (Industrial Technologies and Services Studies Center). They’re high schools that offer technical-professional level diplomas in addition to the regular high school diploma. They have schools in all 32 states of Mexico

Visitors aren’t allowed onto the school grounds. One can imagine the kids must have some fun at the base of the monument, but the rest of us have to take it in from a distance. It’s visible from everywhere in the area.

How to get here
  • Calle Luis Espinoza, Col. Solidaridad Nacional, Alc. Gustavo A. Madero, 07268 CDMX


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Nearest at 1.54 kms.


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