“Use of ancestral Mazahua natural soaps for water sustainability”
Mazahuas are an indigenous group that lives in a small area in Central Mexico and have accumulated centennial knowledge on the use of plant substrates as cleansing agents. In this project, students interviewed the Mazahua community, documented the artisanal soap making process, and compiled a list of seven substrates, such as soda, sanacoche and wood ashes, used by the Mazahuas in the elaboration of traditional natural biodegradable soaps. Biodegradability and substrate performance as cleansing agents were assessed by performing phytochemical analysis, concluding that these soaps comply with their purpose as detergents while having a lower environmental impact. Preservation of the Mazahua culture can provide an alternative to the use of commercial detergents, one of the main sources of water pollution.