Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Cobblestone Diaries gets a lesson...How to make a cobblestone street!

We arrived in the quaint mountain village of Mineral de Pozos a little after 10 am. Our driver finally managed to navigate a series of roadblocks created by workers who are in the process of laying cables and pipes under the cobblestone streets. This is a massive undertaking and is mostly done by hand. While the work meant that we would have to make numerous detours to get around town during our visit, it was extremely fascinating to watch the workers first dismantle, then rebuild the cobblestone streets. I had never thought about the process of building a cobblestone street. I guess I thought of all the streets were old, as they look old immediately even after being rebuilt. I kind of assumed the process might be a bit of a lost art, but it is very much alive and well!

The process of chiseling out the stones by hand, digging up the channels for the wiring and pipes by shovel, and replacing the stones one by one, is extremely labor intensive, but the amount of progress made during our two day visit was impressive to say the least!  I made a point of checking on the work and was able to photograph the process. The workers came to recognize me and would smile and wave while I took my pictures.

The process itself is relatively simple. First, a bed of concrete is laid onto the soil and tamped into place. Next a crew of workers begins to lay the stones out, carefully checking them for level. Finally a layer of cement is pushed into the cracks between the stones to stabilize the roadbed. A little wash with some water and a sweep with a broom, and viola, a cobblestone street!

The project to put the wiring underground in Pozos is significant. Wiring in Mexico is interesting to say the least, and a number of beautiful views are often spoiled by a rats nest of wires and cables. How an electrician can even decipher some of the connections is beyond me! Burying the wires is part of the progress being made here under the Pueblo Magico program, and will help restore the village to some of its colonial glory. We look forward to visiting in the future to see the results!

Click on any photo to enlarge!