Houses in the gated community…

This is a Travelers Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis). We encountered a few of these in Mirador San Jose.

Yesterday, when we drove to the little store, we drove around the neighborhood looking for photo ops. Other than the flat-roofed houses and dry vegetation of unsold lots, there weren’t many photo ops. Eventually, the balance of the lots will be sold, but it could be a long time when this location is far from shopping and entertainment.

Most of the people we’ve met here are French Canadian, as mentioned and as described below:

“The inhabitants of the French colony of Canada (modern-day Quebec) called themselves the Canadiens and came mostly from northwestern France. The early inhabitants of Acadia, or Acadians (Acadiens), came mostly but not exclusively from the southwestern regions of France.”

We love the look of this wooden house, which we posted earlier, in the gated community with a Traveler’s Palm in the front.

From what we’ve heard from locals, the company promoted the development of this gated community via seminars and video presentations that primarily took place in Canada, appealing to those on the brink of retirement. Word of mouth spread., builders stepped in, and many of the lots were sold.

On Wednesday night at Kokomo, we met one of those builders, a friendly French Canadian who was proud of the houses he’d built. We are living in such a house, and it seems well-built. The ravages wrecked by the sea air are the ultimate source of wear and tear in these and other oceanfront and other nearby houses.

There’s a soccer field and tennis courts in Mirador San Jose, but we’ve yet to see anyone using these.

Most of the houses are stucco, but after decades in the real estate business, I observed that stucco is not exempt from wear and tear from moisture from humid environments. Nor is wood. Even in Marloth Park, South Africa, far from the sea but near a river and especially humid during the summer months, stucco houses eventually show wear and evidence of mold.

We’ve observed that the brick houses in Marloth Park seem to endure during the hot and humid times of the years, and the house’s exteriors seem to last the longest, even over many new siding materials that claim to resist moisture. Many homes being built there are brick and blend well with the bush environment.

“In a completely brick-built house the interior walls are actively absorbing the air humidity. Bricks can easily absorb humidity, as they have a surface that is more diffusion-open than other materials. As opposed to other materials, humidity doesn’t harm bricks.”

A Christmas tree-like pine is growing in the neighborhood.

But in Ecuador, brick may not be affordable, and lower-quality brick can cause problems down the road. Of course, it’s at the discretion of each buyer and their builder which type of exterior they may choose to use and that which is most affordable. Appearance is also a factor, and brick may not appeal to the buyer in many cases, depending on the style of the house.

In any case, most of the houses in Mirador San Jose are stucco with flat roofs. However, each house appears to have its own unique design, which was suited to the desires of the owners when the houses were initially built. Here is the link to the development for Mirador San Jose.

Another Christmas tree-like pine is growing in the neighborhood. Most of the houses in this gated community have flat roofs, except for the above wood house.

Of course, the more we interact with the locals at dinner on Wednesday nights, the more we’ll discover. We’re certainly no experts on what is transpiring in this gated community. Nor will we be by the time we leave here in a few months. We are always curious about our surroundings and share our perceptions here with all of you, whether accurate or not. As we learn more, we’ll share more.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, November 4, 2013:

The Regency Hotel London, in South Kensington, England, where we’ll stay for 15 nights before boarding our ship at the port in Harwich, a three-hour drive from London. For more photos, please click here.