Inventive Mexican Builds House From Sargassum Seaweed

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

When life gives people lemons, the smart ones make lemonade.

Omar Sanchez Vazquez, a  Mexican living in Puerto Morelos, located between Cancún and Playa del Carmen, is one of the smart ones.

He has built a house out of sargassum seaweed, the aquatic plant that has been piling up on the beaches of parts of Mexico and the Caribbean in vast amounts this year.

The house, named Angelita in honour of Sr. Vazquez’s mother, is made of plankton transformed into organic, thermal and functional bricks, that cost 50% less than terracotta brick.

The reddish house is rustic, but solid enough to withstand hurricanes. The bricks are made using the same technique as traditional terracotta bricks, a process Vazquez knows well. He has also figured out how to neutralize the odor of the seaweed during the process. 

Vazquez plans on patenting his sargassum building material process and confirms that with the tons of sargassum available, he could build numerous houses for the people of Quintana Roo. 

He currently owns a plant nursery and intends on opening a seaweed sorting facility.


Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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