Quito’s Yaku Parque-Museo del Agua

With interactive displays and sparkling fountains, the Yaku Parque-Museo del Agua in Quito, Ecuador, confirms an undeniable universal truth – life cannot exist without water. Located in the historic district of El Placer, on the slopes of the majestic Pichincha volcano, this fascinating museum presents facts regarding this essential element of life in a way that is both interesting and educational. Even the location of the Yaku Parque-Museo del Agua is special, as it facilitates a special connection between nature and human activity while opening up spectacular views of the surrounding areas. This is truly a place to stop and contemplate the simple, and yet important, aspects of life – including water.

Some of the first tanks used for water storage and purification for the town were located in the district of El Placer, so when the idea to create a museum relating to the value of water and is myriads of uses, this seemed to be the logical place to build it. As a collaborative project between the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito, the Company Metropolitan Water Supply, the Corporation for Living in Quito, and the Rescue Fund of Cultural Heritage, the new museum started to take shape. Yaku is the Quechua word for water, and it was decided to incorporate this into the museum’s name – Yaku Parque-Museo del Agua. In addition to raising public awareness for the need to preserve the region’s precious natural water sources, the museum also serves to highlight the historic value of the El Placer.

Since opening its doors to the public on 6 December 2005, the Yaku Parque-Museo del Agua has received thousands of visitors who have come to appreciate more fully just how essential clean water is in every day life. By means of the history-related displays, younger generations have come to appreciate the history of the area they live in, as school groups are guided through the museum. Visitors are also given a deeper understanding of each and every person’s responsibility to preserve the natural resources of, not only the area we live in, but the planet in general.