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One of the changes that you need to adjust to when living in México is that there are very few restrictions as to what can be built where or what businesses you can have for a vecino (neighbor).  In this respect we have been very fortunate.  Our house is situated between two businesses.  On one side is a tiny office where IMG_1937the employee collects rents from 9 to noon, five days a week.  On the other side is the computer center for Instituto de Vivienda del Estado de Yucatán (IVEY).  Their mission is to provide decent housing for the poor.  They work 8 to 5, five days a week.  We know our vecinos and they know us; overall they have been wonderful.


P1010008But recently our peace and tranquility was shattered, albeit temporarily, when IVEY decided to add a two-story addition on the back of their building.  We have a pool in the back and find the pool hard to use when there are construction workers sitting on scaffolding two stories above it.  We found out that the contractor has a deadline in his contract and will be fined by the state for every day he’s late, so we hoped that the project would progress rapidly.


The jefe at IVEY, Juan Enrique Concha Garcia, has been over personally to advise us of each step and to ensure us that if anything in our casa or jardín is damaged, that they will fix or replace it.  We really only had two questions for him when the construction started: (1) We verified that there would be no windows overlooking our yard and (2) that they would put a finish coat of concreta over the concrete block structure.  If fact, Juan said, that they would put two finish coats over the blocks and paint it as well.


IMG_1924IMG_1921True to his word, they came over this past Wednesday to ask if they could start finishing the blocks on our side.  We told them that we were going to the market, but that they could start at noon.  Promptly at 12:15 the albañiles (masons) began lowering scaffolding over the wall into our IMG_1926IMG_1927yard.  We offered that they could bring the scaffolding through our house, but they would have none of that.  They quickly set up the scaffolding and began putting the initial coat of concreta on the concrete blocks.  Imagine our amazement when we noticed that they had put down a tarp to collect any concreta spillage.  They had to trim the tops off of our bougainvilleas to get to part of the wall, but they will recover quickly.


IMG_1930 On day 2 they applied the finish coat and left a helper in the yard for a couple of hours to pick up pieces of concreta splashed on the trees and bushes. IMG_1932
IMG_1940 On day 3 they painted the newly applied concreta – two coats – again with the tarp in place. All-in-all, a fine job by the obreros. IMG_1941

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 18/07/2011 18:27

    It looks really good. The only thing was that they had to take a tree down that looked like it shaded your yard pretty well.
    I hope our neighbors (a trucking company) work out well!

  2. 18/07/2011 18:33

    The tree looked good on our side of the wall, but all of it on their side was dead. Plus, since it was dying, it was dropping worms into our pool. So it was really no great loss.

  3. 18/07/2011 22:33

    I hate worms! Glad it was a positive loss.

  4. 19/07/2011 06:01

    That’s not so bad, judging from the final photo. Nice to hear how thoughtful they were. Does your yard still get enough sun?

    • 19/07/2011 06:33

      The new addition is on the North side of our yard so there was no impact on the sunshine. It did, however, change the air currents, but we still haven’t decided whether it’s for better or worse.

  5. YucatanMan permalink
    20/07/2011 19:04

    We’ve been told that Merida has a restriction which prevents anyone building up with windows on your side that allows “new views” into another property’s garden (backyard).

    Not sure if that is ‘officially true’ but it is something to check into if anyone ever does open up a window in that block wall. . .

  6. 21/07/2011 06:43

    It’s true, but you can still build it with a (don’t quote be on the distance) 15-foot setback. There’s a hotel being built that runs between 47 and 45, closer to 45. The homes on 45’s south side are going to have many sets of eyes. From the courtyard of the Merida English Language Library you can see a real doozy built with no regard for their neighbors.

  7. 22/07/2011 04:53

    Great story… I’ll bet that the two of you approached your neighbors with respect and courtesy and that’s why you had this happy outcome. I have found that when I make “requests” of my neighbors down the street (a metal working shop!!!) in a courteous manner, they will be most accommodating. But if I go storming the gates (not an unreasonable reaction considering the noise level sometimes) I get nowhere, fast. Graciousness is truly the key that opens doors, quiets rackets, lowers music, and yes… conjures up splash tarps… Not always an easy lesson for us to learn but an important one. Excellent resolution!

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