A fantastic day outing, while we build your dream.

Customers often ask us what they can do, when they visit the Yucatan, other than visit their house or reno under construction. While there are lots of cenotes and very interesting villages to visit and Merida to explore. There is also a really great day on the water, for those into fishing or looking for a fantastic family outing. Our friend Randy Bowser,  runs Progreso Fishing Tours (Yucatansnook.com) he is a pro at fishing for the local sea trout in the area and of course the Snook, Barracuda and Tarpon that are in the local waters as well. He follows a strict catch and release program, except for a select few direct for the table. So sustainable fishing is his priority, as it should be for all fishermen. So, if you are looking for a great day on the water, this is the place and he is the guy. I have fished for years, but Randy’s fishing knowledge and technique is second to none and his customers see the results. He has invested in a brand new boat, which is perfect for his chosen waters and is sponsored by Okuma, so you know you are using world class gear. But one word of caution, book early or be dissapointed. Oh and I forgot to mention he has really cool T-shirts too.


How to dial in Mexico: “¿Amigo, do you have to make a call?” V 2.0

We often get asked how to place long distant calls, well these folks have taken the time to do a flow chart explaining it all.

Casa Piña SMA



  • 4:3 aspect ratio, 11″ x 8 1/2″ paper-friendly
  • Added 045 branch to call long distance from a landline to a mobile in Mexico
  • Accommodated for large urban centres with two-digit area codes and 8-digit local numbers
  • Gave Pineapple a voice

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To all our customers and friends


WOW, I couldn’t believe it a 13.1 degree difference.

Today I decided to do a test, to check the efficiency of a 2 inch covintec panel in the real world vs the sales pitch. I already knew it was good but never expected this.

I had the time to do a test, with a laser temperature to gun, to check the efficiency of the covintec panels in direct sun. The wall in question is my west wall, so it gets the afternoon sun but not all day sun. I knew the panels are good but never expected this. The sun had set by maybe 10 minutes and the ambient air temp was 25 degress C. Outside wall temperature with the gun on bare mortar  wall 37.7 deg C.  Same spot on inside wall 24.6 a whopping 13.1 degree difference, that is a lot less energy required to cool a room, if you are using Air-conditioners. This is with a 2 inch Covintec wall panel. The roof is 4 inches so should even be better in the full sun all day.

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Mortar, machine spraying vs hand flicking.

If you drive into any small town in the yucatan, you will see the traditional block and mortar homes. You will also see the traditional methods of applying mortar to the surface. The abaniles flick the mortar, with varing degrees of accuracy, to make it stick to the target surface. This is not the fastest method of applying mortar, but it is the best method, if you are applying by hand. However, when we build with Covintec panels, we build much faster than standard block. So it makes no sense to build the walls of a house fast, then slow down while the mortar is flicked by hand onto the walls. We are speeding up the process, by applying the mortar via compressed air guns and soon by way of a mortar pump, so that it applies it continiously. You might be asking who cares, but this is important. The mortar guns apply the mortar at 95 psi, which gives a good compaction to the mortar, making it air tight and dense. This means strength, this is in part what makes a Covintec panel house hurricane proof. It also means we can add various additives to the mortar and apply them rapidly, as some of the corrosion inhibitors cause mortar to harden, faster than you can manually throw it. The mortar guns can spray the mortar as fast as you can mix it. If you are flicking it manually, it has to be mixed in small batches and water added to stop it from hardening. Adding water is a big problem as it changes the actual mix ratio, causing problems later. The more water in any cement product and the weaker the strength of the product. The other issue is wasteage. Mortar is not cheap and you want to make sure it stays on the wall.

Note in the videos, how little falls to the ground, this is a function of the speed of being shot from the guns.


Governor of the Yucatán with Aerocretos de Mexico

Taking in a Leones de Yucatán playoff game, with Governor of  the Yucatan Rolando Zapata Bello (center) and the the President of Aerocretos de Mexico, Fernando Villajuana Mendez (left), along with 2 of our clients, Stan Pappenfus and Jeff Herron


Covintec panel terrace

With more and more projects using Covintec panels, like this one, we have to order double semi’s at a time just to keep up. This is just the beginning for this project, which will add a master bedroom and bath up. All sound proofed and insulated by using covintec panels. We currently have 4 large terraces, being built in Covintec as well as 4 major renos with second story additions using them.

Panels in place and re-enforced with rebar ties



Finished upper terrace waiting for paint. Then the second level starts to go up.

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Art for your home

Art is a personal thing and art for your home even more so, every once in a while an artist comes along that captures the vibe of Mexico. Rosy Peraza Rios, paints the colours of the Yucatan and respects traditional values, with her art. If you are moving to the Yucatan and want to brighten up your home or want one of her works for your Museum in Paris. Contact Rosy for authentic Yucatecan art,


or artistamexicana.blogspot.com

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Hurricane season started Yesterday in the Yucatan

800px-Hurricane_Wilma_200510212015No one wants to have a hurricane visit their area, but they are a fact of life in the tropics. Traditionally, the North coast of the Yucatan has generally been a safe place to be. Due to the geography of the area, which tends to see storms follow the Yucatan channel or lose strength as they cross land. However, there have been a few notable exceptions such as Glibert and Isadora, that did huge amounts of damage. The one good thing about hurricanes is you can see them coming for days and have lots of time to activate your plans. You do have a plan don’t you?  Here in Mexico, once a storm reaches certain proportions and is predicted to hit this area, on the North Coast of the Yucatan, an evacuation order will be given. Once given, it is mandatory that you leave, it is NOT optional. You need to do your own homework, to find out where the closest evacuation shelters are and make sure you know how to get to them. For people who have pets, the problem becomes much more difficult, as the shelters do not allow pets. If you are a pet owner , you will need an alternate shelter for you and your pets. Now is the time to canvas friends, to see if they will allow you to bring your pets with you, in the event of an emergency. Remember, you may be stuck there for a week or more, under not so nice conditions, so tempers of both you and your pets might get frayed.

When a hurricane strikes it is not just a case of high wind. Hurricanes also bring massive amounts of moisture and humidity levels skyrocket. It could be 35+ degrees and 100% humidity for days on end, with no electricity for fans or A/C. Anything you get wet, will never ever dry, clothes, pills, papers, NOTHING! Plus mold and mildew will run rampant if unchecked. It will not be pleasant, to spend a week or more in a damp environment, exposed to mosquito’s nightly, along with your wet dogs. The only way to keep your sanity is to be absolutely prepared for the worst and make sure you have a way to keep everything as dry as possible. If you have an alternate place to stay inland and you have a generator. Make sure you have extension cords and spare fuel, also fill your cars gas tank and have a syphon hose. A modern car has 45 or so litres of fuel which can power a small generator for 4 or 5 days of reasonable use. So having a syphon hose handy is a good idea.

Below is a list of suggested items to have handy in the event that a hurricane does arrive. But, even if you head to a friends house or shelter and then return home, you will still need to be prepare. You may be with out power for a long period, if transmission lines are down and there is a good chance your beach home and more likely its contents maybe substantially damaged. Remember, no power means , no city water and fuel stations can’t pump gas, stores won’t have cold storage, etc. Like the Boy Scouts say “Be prepared”.

Here are recommendations on what to do before a storm approaches:

— Use hurricane shutters or board up windows and doors with 5/8 inch plywood. Make them now before you need them!

— Bring outside items in if they could be picked up by the wind, place screws in your tinaco lid, as they tend to fly away.

— Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting in case power goes off. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.

— Make sure your cisterna and Tinaco are full and you have 5 or more Garafons of water available.

— Make sure your vehicles fuel tanks are full and you have spare fuel for a generator, also have a siphon hose

— Have an evacuation plan.

— Learn the location of the nearest shelter or nearest pet-friendly shelter. This is a big issue for pet owners in the beach areas.

— Store important documents — passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, deeds — in a watertight container.

— Have a current inventory of household property.

— Leave a note to say where you are going.

— Contact relatives and let then know you maybe out of touch for a week or more.

— Unplug small appliances and electronics before you leave.

— If possible, turn off the electricity, gas and water for your residence.

Here is a list of handy supplies:

— A seven-day supply of water, a minimum of one gallon per person per day.

— Three days of food, with suggested items including: canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, energy/protein bars, trail mix/nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food.

— A can opener and eating utensils

— Flashlight(s) and candles.

— A battery-powered radio.

— Extra batteries.

— A first aid kit, including latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; petroleum jelly.

— A seven-day supply of personal medications, in waterproof containers.

— A multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screwdriver.

— Cell phones and chargers, laptops are handy if the Wifi in Merida’s parks is still up and running.

— Contact information for the family.

— A hammock setup, for each person, as a bed is almost useless in high humidity and will never dry.

— Extra cash.

— Mosquito netting or mosquito coils

— A map of the area, as familiar routes my be closed due to downed trees or other debris.

— Pet supplies.

— Wet wipes, showers may not be an option.

— Insect repellent.

— Rain gear.

— Duct tape.

— An extra set of house keys.

— An extra set of car keys.

— Household bleach.

— Toilet paper in zip lock bags or the handy single wrapped Costco rolls.

— Paper cups, plates and paper towels.

— DRY, Charcoal and matches, if you have a portable grill. But only use it outside.

A longterm project draws to a close.

This reno of a Centro home, involved new plumbing, electric, moving a kitchen, twinning the bathrooms building walls and a whole lot more, all on a very tight budget. We added antiqued concrete floors with pasta insets and the final touch was putting it all back together and polishing the floors.


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