Wood for our casita

Well hello everyone! I know, it’s been awhile since we wrote. Lots has happened. Maybe someday I’ll get around to the full update here on the blog, but in brief, we had a baby, moved to Central America, and now we are building a house! So it’s not like I wasn’t writing because there wasn’t anything going on!

Today I’d like to start writing about the construction process of our wee house. A little house is called a “casita” in Spanish, and so I’ll be referring to our wee casita. Our casita is indeed wee, coming in at a whopping 500 sq. feet (plus a bunch of storage in the basement) You may think that is small, but it’s HUGE compared to our sailboat! One of the long term advantages of having lived on a very tiny sailboat is that everything else in comparison is so big!!

As is the tendency, we do have bigger dreams for the future. The long term plan for our casita is to live in it while we plan and build a bigger house on the same lot that will eventually be our permanent home, and the casita will be a guest house or rental when people like YOU come to visit us! But first things first. Right now just getting the casita done feels like an extraordinary task, given that this is the first time we have ventured into the realm of house building and we are doing it in a foreign language with almost no money.

One of our main priorities in building this house is that the materials be sourced from local, sustainable materials. We are building our house in a newly forming “eco-village” and the entire community is focused on sustainable, green design, which we are very excited about. Luckily for us, in our community there are some people who are amazing resources for us to find materials that are not commonly available on the larger market. Through the connections of our building manager and neighbor we are getting amazing tropical hardwoods that are all sustainably harvested. Almost all of the wood is coming from trees that have fallen naturally on their own, so we are not contributing to any deforestation through our choice to build our house with wood. Some of that wood is even coming from right down the road. We recently went to visit the site where some very large trees were knocked down by a flooding river several years ago. These trees are now being cut and hauled over to our building site, where some of them will become our roof rafters!

Here is a video showing some of the boards being hauled up from the river by some very hardworking men. They had to cross a tricky river with large rocks, go under another large fallen tree (I had a difficult time understanding why they didn’t cut up that tree first so it would be easier to get the wood farther down the hill out. They had some reason that didn’t make sense to me in Spanish) and up a steep hill to bring the wood to the road where it would make the journey of about 5 miles to our building site.

DSC 0912 from Wee Happy on Vimeo.

We will be posting more soon about the interesting, sometimes arduous process of building a unique house in a foreign country! And we’ll post cute pictures of our adorable baby too! Just not in this post….

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