From: W. H. HUDSON: "Far Away and Long Ago"
In those days, and indeed down to the seventies of last century, the south side of the capital was the site of the famous Saladero, or killing-grounds, where the fat cattle, horses and sheep brought in from all over the country were slaughtered every day, some to supply the town with beef and mutton and to make charque, or sun-dried beef, for exportation to
It was the smell of carrion, of putrifying flesh, and of that old and ever-newly moistened crust of dust and coagulated blood. It was, or seemed, a curiously substantial and stationary smell; travellers approaching or leaving the capital by the great south road, which skirted the killing-grounds, would hold their noses and ride a mile or so at a furious gallop until they got out of the abominable stench.
In those days bones were not utilized: they were thrown away, and those who wanted walls in a stoneless land, where bricks and wood for palings were dear to buy, found in the skulls a useful substitute.
The abomination I have described was but one of many - the principal and sublime stench in a city of evil smells, a populous city built on a plain without drainage and without water-supply beyond that which was sold by watermen in buckets, each bucketful containing about half a pound of red clay in solution. It is true that the best houses had algibes, or cisterns, under the courtyard, where the rainwater from the flat roofs was deposited. I remember that water well: you always had one or two to half-a-dozen scarlet wrigglers, the larvae of mosquitoes, in a tumblerful, and you drank your water, quite calmly, wrigglers and all!
All this will serve to give an idea of the condition of the city of that time from the sanitary point of view, and this state of things lasted down to the 'seventies of the last [i.e. 19th] century, when Buenos Ayres came to be the chief pestilential city of the globe and was obliged to call in engineers from