Casa De Los Arboles
Casa De Los Arboles/House of the Trees
The dining room/kitchen.
We visited Yelapa and thanks to a friend of our son's, we were able to stay in this house for a few days. It was built by a very eccentric lady from New York who moved here, fell in love with yelapa and stayed for the rest of her life. She died here in the early 2000's. The house was filled with books. She was connected with the art scene in New York and she invited artists from New York to come down, live there and make art. In return they would help her to build various parts of the house. There were several areas which served as art studios.
The house has no walls, just floors and low walls to keep out the water during the rainy season. The roof is rancho wood with a canvas and plastic covering. There are no square corners or apparent plan except to preserve the beautiful trees and conform to the geography of the hillside.
It really shows what you can do with limited money and materials. The floor is just the plain "ladrillo", traditional bricks which are wider, thinner and longer than regular bricks. They are just laid in sand on the dirt floor. The roof structure is just small wood trees hacked out of the jungle. Add a little concrete and wood for shelves and seats and you have it.
Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico
South of Puerto Vallarta at Boca De Tomatlan, the coast road swings inland over the mountains. The mountains south of Boca come right down to the Bay and a road is impossible. There are several communities south of Boca, but they can only be gotten to by boat. Yelapa is probably the most famous. It now has electricity but that is a fairly recent addition. It is an indigenous community, collectively owned by the descendants of the original inhabitants who were given a land grant by the Spanish crown. They have allowed houses to be built on leased land, but no one from outside the community can own land there. A small tourist industry brings in much needed income.