'La Ceiba' Water Tank – Villahermosa, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

'La Ceiba' Water Tank

The majestic, sacred tree is represented on this piece of public infrastructure. 

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The “La Ceiba” elevated water tank is one of several similar pieces of public infrastructure established in the city of Villahermosa. They were erected during the mandate of Leandro Rovirosa Wade as Governor of the state of Tabasco. Rovirosa occupied the position between 1977 and 1982, and the water tanks across the state capital would be one of the lasting legacies of his mandate.

After they fell out of use, a few of the water tanks were transformed into eclectic pieces of muralism in 2009. Of these, the best-known is the tank that depicts a mighty ceiba tree. Ceiba is a genus of the Malvaceae plant family, and being native to the Americas, it has featured prominently in the cosmogony of several indigenous peoples of the continent.

Among these, the Chontales consider several types of ceiba as sacred trees. A Chontal community of Tabasco is actually known as La Ceiba. Artists from this community, including lead artist Eliazar Hernández Arias, were selected to paint this particular water tank. Inspired by its height, they settled on depicting the namesake of their hometown.

Know Before You Go

Since the water tank is located in a public space in the middle of one of Villahermosa's main avenues, it is visible at all times and features nighttime lighting.

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