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Cozumel donates its first sargassum house to elderly couple

Cozumel, Q.R. — Longtime Cozumel islanders have received a new home. The house, which was constructed with sargablocks, is Cozumel’s first sargassum building. The modest home was delivered to a longtime elderly couple over the weekend.

Volunteer construction of the home began in mid-2022 and took nearly nine months to complete. It is the island’s first house made of sargassum-based bricks. The new home was donated to an elderly couple who live alone and were found to be in need.

The sargassum house was built in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood by volunteers who donated their time and materials. It was built on the same lot as the couple’s former home.

All the bricks, glass, doors, paint, furniture and accessories were donated. Bake sales helped raise funds in the process.

Construction started with the demolition of their old house, which included reusing some of their former material such as sheet metal. The base for the modest house was dug by hand.

The recipients of the 6 x 8-meter home were 95-year-old Doña Lorenza and her 75-year-old husband Don Armando.

Omar Vázquez Sánchez, the owner of the BlueGreen México company who manufactures the sargassum-based bricks along with volunteers from Comedores Santa Teresa de Calcuta, built the house using 2,250 seaweed-based blocks.

The bricks, which are made from approximately 20 tones of locally washed-up sargassum, will last around 120 years, since they are weather resistant to tropical storms and hurricanes.

Omar Vázquez Sánchez, the owner of the BlueGreen México based out of Puerto Morelos, has been helping to construct buildings and other projects using local seaweed.

In March, 800 sarga-bricks were donated to the Gabriel García Márquez High School in Playa del Carmen to build new outdoor benches for students.