Friday, February 19, 2010

Construction in Mexico

It’s always interesting for me to go to a different place to see how the geography, climate, and customs influence the architecture. Who doesn’t love the image of a Swiss Chalet, or a Federal style building? Today, I’m going to share some details about my house in Oaxaca, Mexico. Houses in Mexico have to be strong enough to survive an earthquake, so construction is a much slower process than in the United States. The house is supported by large steel frames that are connected with brick and concrete block construction for the walls. The brick is rarely left exposed like it is in the United States. Instead, it is covered by stucco or other material to create a smooth surface. Drywall or sheet rock is rarely, if ever, used in homes. This construction keeps the house cool all year long, even on some of the hottest days. My house did not have air conditioning, like most other houses in the area, yet it was never hot inside the house. High ceilings, ceiling fans, and the smooth walls were all that was needed to keep the house cool. Sometimes the walls were cool to the touch even on the hottest days.

Oaxaca is a town of about 300,000 inhabitants located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains of southern Mexico. It is a 5 hour drive south of Mexico City. Here is the gorgeous view I had from the balcony off of my bedroom.

Most houses in Mexico are hidden by walls. This is a safety issue as well as a cultural characteristic. Many patios are found in the center or back of the home and are used frequently for socializing and al fresco breakfasts or afternoon snacks. My house was located in a gated community and as a result, does not have the high walls surrounding it. However, the wall and posts are quite high and serve as a strong deterrent to outsiders. Here is a picture of the wall and gated entrance.

This is one of the patios in the house. There was a sliding glass door that separated the patios from the rest of the house since they were open air. This was one of my favorite places to receive guests and to read in the afternoons.

Here are some other views of the house. There was honeysuckle in the front garden area and so many hummingbirds used to visit. I loved that.

Enjoy your day!

Is there a unique type of construction that is popular where you live?  What is your favorite style of home? 



  1. Hey there! I'm from MD, too!! Visiting from Friday Follow..I'm your newest follower! Love for you to come visit me!

    Have a great weekend :)
    ~Shelley @ Shelley's Swag

  2. Bethany,
    Your Oaxaca home was lovely. I enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures also. I lived in Dubai for 5 years, and the villas were also surrounded by high walls. I’m a Martha fan. I adored her when she first burst on the scene, and remember the first time I saw her Thanksgiving special. I’m getting ready to do a major closet organization and Martha is my go to gal. You have a nice blog, and I had a fun visit via Happy FF. I look forward to following you; drop by for a visit it’s always nice to connect with interesting people.

  3. Hello! I found your blog through Friday Follow- and I'm so glad I did! Hope lot's of new people find you as well!

    I'm your newest follower- I'd love if you'd come check out my blog!

    Shannon at:

  4. Following you from the Friday Follow!

  5. Happy Follow Friday!!


    Enjoy your weekend!

  6. What a lovely home! And thanks for your "get wells"! This stinks! LOL

  7. beautiful photos!
    Stopping by from Trendy Treehouse to say Hi!
    I am adding you so I can come back & read more!
    Please stop by!

  8. Happy FF!! I’m a new follower. Come visit me on my blog.

  9. Follow Me Friday follower. Have a great day!


  10. Beautiful pictures!!!

    Happy Friday!! I am a new follower!!


  11. Wow, what a gorgeous house! I never knew that they were built stronger and could keep coolnees inside like that, very interesting. Following from Follow Friday!

  12. Stopping by on the Friday Follow.
    Thanks for the virtual vacation! Beautiful photos.

  13. I found you through Friday Follow. What a cute blog. I love pink and green! Stop by and visit me!

  14. Just visiting from the Friday Follow links, and I am now following your blog. I look forward to coming back again soon to read more.

    Janet Ruth

  15. I'm following you from Friday Follow!

  16. wow, what a seriously beautiful home. that would be a dream come true. what a blessing and I bet its so much fun to build, plan and decorate!! Love it! xxoo LA

  17. Hi, I found your blog through Follow Me Friday and am now following! Happy Friday!


  19. Hi There! I'm still hopping around Friday Follow reading great blogs! It's my first Friday Follow! Hope you can visit mine. I now follow and subscribe.

    Bridgette Groschen
    Groschen Goblins

  20. Hi there! Thanks for joining the Blog Hop. I'm following you now. Love your blog. I'll be back later to read more.

    Happy Follow Friday!




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