Nov 13, 2011
The 3rd Little Piggy...
“The first little piggy built his house of straw. The second little piggy built his house of wood, and the third little piggy build his house of bricks...” Well you probably remember what happened. “The big bad wolf...etc.”
From that old fairy tale, let me take you through a brief history of Paa Mul. PM started out as tent camping on the beach, which evolved to a trailer park, which evolved to people building palapas for shade next to their trailers, which evolved to building bigger palapas and parking the rvs under them, which evolved to adding patios and outside kitchens which evolved to building part of the structure with cement blocks, and then to building mostly out of block. These are still all under the classic PM palapa.
This may be obscure minutia to most of you readers but bear with me.
Paa Mul is technically a “trailer park” and up to the recent past, all of PM palapas included rvs. Some of the older trailers have been here for 20 or more years and like trailer parks anywhere and especially here, these old trailers were not standing up well to the years of tropical weather. Some of these trailers have been modified and upgraded with stucco exteriors, more substantial floors, new doors and windows, etc. But underneath, they were still flimsy rvs.
A couple of years ago, PM palapa construction went through a phase of “faux” trailers, in which the trailer part of the building was permitted to be built on a steel beam frame, off the ground, with an old axle under the frame, and the rooms built from lumber and sheetrock. Quite complicated and expensive.
Then last winter a few palapas were being built from the ground up with all rooms of cement block. This is basic tropical construction -- very sturdy and inexpensive.
Last spring, we applied for a renovation permit from the office. For unclear reasons, they brought a halt to these cement block non-trailer structures.
Over the summer we found “new/old” trailer and brought it down to be our permanent home here. But as often is said here in Paamul, “Just wait, things will change”.
When we here arrived a couple of weeks ago, we saw that the all-block building had started again. This time our visit to the office was greeted with positive response and our all-brick casita construction is a go.
I brought out my plans, got a quote from our Mayan builder, David, and we are under way. We have moved the trailer across the road to another lot and will live there for the next month or so. The foundations have been dug and this morning as I sat in the loft and wrote this, there was a crew of 4 mixing concrete to pour the footings.
This “casita” will essentially replace the footprint of the trailer, with two rooms and a half bath adding up to approximately 12 x 34 feet and 8 feet tall. Being all cement and stucco, it will nicely compliment our existing rooms -- the kitchen, living, dining, bathroom and bodega.
In the interest of full disclosure, our Mexican home will be made of straw (the palapa roof), wood (the palapa posts and beams), but mainly of bricks (and tile). So I say, bring on the big bad wolf (hurricane), let him/her huff and puff and our home should stand.