Palapa

I earlier had promised to post pictures of a palapa typical of the Arroyo Zacate and Avasoslo del Valle area I visited last weekend.This palapa is in the rear yard of the home of one of Abbi’s aunts we visited.

Here is a shot of the roof structure, which is most often composed of poles rather than the dimensional lumber used in this particular palapa.

This shot shows the palm fronds laid horizontally to the rafters, which uses the spine of the frond as a structural element.

The palapas in Merida, with which I was familiar, had smaller poles or lumber laid horizontally across the rafters that supported palm fronds laid vertically relative to the rafters.

The method shown in these photos is more efficient as to the use of poles or lumber but uses more palm fronds.

The photo below shows that the leaves are removed from what becomes the upper side of the spine of each frond. The fronds are then laid shingle style to provide the roof covering.

Using this method half the frond leaves are wasted, but it provides a more water tight roof covering than roofs with the fronds laid vertically.

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8 Comments

Filed under palapa, Travel, Veracruz

8 responses to “Palapa

  1. El Macho Grandisimo

    Very informative pictures.

  2. You now know how to build that palapa roof you’ve always wanted to build. So get busy collecting the fronds from all of those palm trees growing int he D. C. area.

    I really like the idea of having an outdoor kitchen and general hangout area in a palapa and hope to someday have one.

  3. El Macho Grandisimo

    So called needle palms (I think called Sabol) are quite common. We had two seedlings in pot, but I don’t think they made it through winter. As the climate warms they are getting more common.

  4. El Macho Grandisimo

    Ann’s sister Kiki lives in a thatched house in Bali with no walls or windows. It’s quite nice.

  5. El Macho Grandisimo

    What kind of palm trees do they use? Do coconut fronds work?

  6. El Macho,

    Sorry for the delay in my response but I have been so busy tending to my reprobative duties in Cabo.

    I believe the fronds in the photos are from Royal Palms, which become really tall with trunks the color of concrete, which bulge from mid-height, and are often used for columns to support the palapa roof. The palapas in Merida, I think, generally use fronds from Coconut Palms, which are more abundant there.

  7. Here where I live in Quintana Roo near Chetumal palapa roofs are made with poles vertically to the peak and then lightweight saplings horizontally spaced about 18″ apart. Then the two types of material for the actual roof covering are either from the Huano tree which looks sort of like a palm but with less long fronds or it is made from a type of grass (zacate) which is tied into bundles and then tied onto the horizontal saplings. The zacate roof is a little more expensive to build because each little tied bundle of grass covers less than what one Huano frond covers so you have increased labor costs.

    The roofs are durable and hold up for 10-15 years.

  8. Hi Kathe,

    Thanks for stopping by for a view and for your comment.

    It sounds as though palapa roofs are put together in Qunintana Roo in the same manner as they are in Merida.

    I suppose the different techniques developed based upon which materials were most readily available.

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