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.