Mexico and Costa Rica Offer Unique Construction Techniques

Mexico and Costa Rica Offer Unique Construction Techniques

The differences to the real estate buyer are not always immediately apparent. This article will help clear up some of the confusion. Additionally, suggestions to help the potential buyer appreciate the seemingly endless opportunity for self-expression on a very large scale in real estate and other property that can be yours in many Latin American countries.

Vivid Architectural Expressions

The use of concrete is the universal material, but way it is incorporated into the architecture creates a state of wonder. Concrete block, mortar and brick, adobe, stucco, columns of poured concrete with metal reinforcement are all shaped, molded, and formed in a manner that seems otherworldly. The freedom of artistic expression by Latin American architects and stonemasons is equal to master artists’ expressing themselves in clay or bronze. Real estate owners really do live in masterpieces. Property buyers have a cornucopia of options to choose from in a living art gallery of housing options.

In general, buildings go up – having two, three, or four floors are common. The natural landscape is not disturbed like it is in North America. Allowing a mountain to enter a living room is seen a great deal, as is sharing outside walls with another dwelling, if the community is narrow. Buildings or fences are built on the property line, on the street, on the sidewalk – boundary easements are rare. Small unique expressions, like window seats, six square foot balconies with intricate metal work, coves in stonewalls to allow native treasures to be displayed, tiled hallways that feel like ancient aqueduct tunnels, arched doorways surrounding carved wooden doors, and nothing but the imagination to stop the next elegant architectural addition observed in the following room.

Color Explosions

The use of color in architecture is instantly obvious. Bold yellows, abundantly deep purples, brightly expressive turquoise, and rich dark reds are evident everywhere on the outside of homes. Step inside and see an amazing array of walls painted with the same vibrant expressions and often 2 or more colors in each room. The archway inside a doorway might be a deep navy blue, but the wall on the other side a luscious dark gold and the far wall of the room, a terra cotta red. The overall effect creates a sense of adventure. These colorful expressions are but an extension of the ribbon dresses women wear to dance the folkloric or the decorated muslin cloth shirts men in Guatemala wear cinched with intricate red belts covered in bright embroidery.

Builder Beware

The best means to have a dream home is to purchase a finished home that has been inspected by a reputable real estate agent. Although, in most places, building permits are required, contractors rarely purchase hem and inspectors are remiss in checking the progress. Unscrupulous contractors sometimes by-pass an architect in order to use low-grade concrete mixes that crumble in a few years instead of drying harder and stronger for thirty years or more. Latin American is one place where a quality seller is the best insurance for getting the quality you paid for in a home.


Professional people can find you the home of your dreams in Latin America countries like Mexico and Costa Rica. From waterfront estates to inland haciendas, there is an option to live like you have only dreamed of living in the past. Domestic labor is cheap and versatile. Your home really will be your stone castle in Costa Rica or Mexico. Come see for yourself what dreams await you.

Written by 2Casa Expert:  Dr. Jacqueline Zaleski Mackenzie, author, speaker, and social scientist, is author of Empowering Spanish Speakers and other books to help understand the Latino culture. She has a BS and MS in business and an EdS and PhD in bilingual and special education and sociocultural studies. She lives in a native village in Central Mexico where she researches the Mexican culture and remodels a campesino home.