The Watch

Huaca Historic Neighborhood

Veracruz, Mexico

2008 World Monuments Watch

Established in 1870 to provide housing for migrant workers outside the city walls of Veracruz, the Huaca neighborhood introduced a new organization of living space to this historic Mexican city. As in other coastal areas of the Caribbean, Huaca's housing was built of wood with tiled roofs. However, what distinguished it was the grouping of living spaces into complexes with shared patios and interior passageways. This organization brought with it a new urban scheme, similar to communal living ideologies that developed in Europe during the Industrial Revolution. The complexes are in danger of being destroyed due to a series of factors, including real estate speculation, the lack of resources for property owners to adequately care for their buildings, and structural deterioration. It is widely perceived to be easier to destroy the historic structures and construct new buildings than to protect existing ones. If this practice continues, these complexes will be lost, along with a part of Veracruz's cultural identity and the history of its working class. Last update: 2008

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