My husband helped lead mission trips to Tegucigalpa, Honduras every summer for twelve years, ending in 2011. Hurricane Mitch was the original reason our church started sending teams from Houston to Honduras, but they kept returning for many other reasons.
One of the primary tasks of the teams was the build new houses, particularly for families who had been impacted by the hurricane. As you can see from the photo, the new houses were basic, one-room homes with one door and maybe a window, dirt floors and corrugated metal roofs. My neighborhood association wouldn’t allow me to build a tool shed in my back yard with those specs. In fact, the deed restrictions require a building with a floor, coordinating paint, and a composition tile roof. However, the recipients were thrilled to move into their new homes. They were profoundly grateful for the bare necessities.
My research over the last few days has been about roofs made from palm fronds (a short YouTube video just for fun). The structures are charming and picturesque. I’ve decided homes made in this way would be fine places to live most days of the year. One of the selling points for thatched roofs is they are constructed from highly renewable resources. Think green.
I weathered Hurricane Ike by “sheltering in place.” I must withhold judgment on the ability of thatched roofs to endure hurricane force winds since I haven’t seen it for myself. Let’s not forget the building underneath the oh-so-environmentally-friendly roofing material. Even if the roof holds, will the building?
If you’ve lived in a home with a roof made of palm frond thatch, I’m interested in your experiences. Even if you haven’t, I want to hear your opinions.
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