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How to Flush a Broken Toilet in Latin America

Published December 20, 2021 in Personal Stories & Opinions - 2 Comments

Another article on pooping in Latin America?

I already got a few of those like this one here and this one here.

Time for another one!

Didn’t think I could come up with another topic to cover “how to take a shit” in Latin America but here we are.

If I can somehow come up with 10 articles on this topic, maybe I’ll turn it into its own section on my website?

Just in case anyone had doubts about how to take a shit down here…

Do you?

If so, email me and I’ll charge you an hourly fee of 250 USD so I can cover any questions you have about the proper way to shit down in Latin America.

I’m a generous guy.

In order to show you how what quality info I can offer, here’s a free article giving some guidance for those with difficulty on this subject.

So, as I wrote in a recent article, I just moved into another apartment in Mexico City by Pedregal de Santo Domingo.

As I moved in, the landlord about 4 nights ago told me how the “bathroom” upstairs has a broken toilet but I can always use the toilet downstairs!

Well, that would’ve been nice to know before I moved in!

She never told me.

As I say in Latin America, little surprises come and go every so often.

This is one of them.

She already had my deposit and rent in hand.

Now maybe I should’ve just forced her to give the money back and walk out but, after enough time here, I learn to just roll with the punches.

And, to be honest, the toilet downstairs works fine!

No issue with that bathroom.

Still, I noticed something odd the morning after.

The Innovative Way of Latin America to Find Use in Broken Shit

Not a gringo one!

But a Latin American one…

How does this secret tech work?!

Well, as I woke up the morning after, I heard someone flush the toilet that is upstairs close to my room.

I didn’t get up right away to ask how he flushed a broken toilet because I didn’t give a shit about it (pun intended).

But, later that day, someone knocked on my door.

It was a neighbor who is Mexican but calls himself “Jimmy” with a y.

Not a very Mexican sounding name.

It’s a topic for another day.

Anyway, Jimmy seemed very nice.

Some computer nerd type who wants to “practice his English” with me and who lives down the hallway.

Anyway, as we got talking, I asked him a few questions about the place.

One of which had to do with this toilet.

“So it’s broken, right?” I asked him.

“Yes but you can use it.” He said.

Then he showed me how.

This might be common sense to other folks but, despite living down here for a while now, I never had to learn how to flush a broken toilet before.

In my first trip to Latin America as you can read here, they actually had weird functioning toilets also that had some “eco” way of flushing them that was weird as shit (pun intended?).

Or when I visited the Amazon and basically didn’t have a real toilet to shit or piss in for a period of the trip.

Who knew the Amazon Rainforest might be lacking in toilets?!

I was never given the memo ahead of time.

Still, here I was learning how to flush a toilet that is broken.

If it’s broken, it should be broken right?

Not able to be used?

Not so!

Despite all of the shit talking (pun intended) that I do about Latin America, there is one thing I will say positively about the region and that is how innovative the typical local is when it comes to making broken shit work.

Why buy something new when you can find a way to repair it or use it while broken somehow?

To me anyway, it comes across as innovative because I never learned how to use a broken toilet before.

But how did he do it?

Using the Broken Toilet

So the toilet is broken as, from what I was told, some former neighbor got pissed off and had a melt down where he decided to break the toilet.

It has a huge crack in the part behind the toilet seat where you press the button to flush.

Given that Jimmy wanted to practice English, he tried explaining it to me in English.

He said simply that, to make it flush, you put a bunch of water in this bucket here and dump it in the toilet.


I asked him a very dumb question though as I must’ve not been thinking properly in which I asked “where do you put the water? In the bowl or in the thing behind it?”

And he seemed confused as he didn’t understand the question right away.

I asked a few more times as I had to for about anything else I said given his English is a little bit basic.

But, given he’s my neighbor, I felt like starting on the right foot and engaging in his “English practice” even though I do sometimes find it annoying when locals treat me like a English tutor.

Anyway, the dude understood eventually what I asked and went “oh yes yes!”

Then proceeded to demonstrate by putting the water in the thing behind the bowl that you would normally press a button to flush.

That same thing with a large crack in it.

As you can imagine, it was a dumbass question on my part with no thinking whatsoever put into it.

The water leaked out of the crack.

Thankfully, he didn’t put much water in it.

“That’s enough stupidity on my part for the day” I thought.

Anyway, it didn’t cause much of a mess and he showed me again but this time in the bowl.

To my surprise, it flushed!

I would’ve thought that the water would simply build up until it overflowed.

As you can tell, I’m not an expert on toilet design.

The water simply went down the pipe and that was it.

So what’s the takeaway?

Anything to Add?

First, if you ever find yourself in Latin America with a broken toilet, you don’t need to repair it!

Just grab a bucket and dumb about a third to half of a bucket water into it.

Done! Flushed.

Second, as I said, perhaps you can argue it’s an example of how, at least from my perception, folks in Latin America tend to be more innovative in finding ways to make broken shit (pun intended) work.

Repair it or make something broke somewhat functional even if it’s technically broke.

The classic example plenty of people bring up is how folks in Cuba make very old classic cars work over all these decades as you can see here.

To me, this is an example of making broken toilets work I suppose.

Anyway, that’s all I got to say.

Leave a comment below in the comment section.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,



Dazza - December 23, 2021 Reply

Merry Christmas!

You don’t even need to put water in the cistern.

All you need to do is fill your bucket of water and throw the water down the pan and it will flush!


Give it a go and let me know how it works out (it will work out fine!)

    Matt - December 23, 2021 Reply

    Thanks! Hope you have a good Christmas too.

    Yup, toilet works. 🙂

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