Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Como se llama tu casa?

Many things are different here in Mexico.  Well, most things. Well….. Everything! One of the different things I love about Mexico is the houses are often affectionately given names by their owners. How this all began I am not certain, but maybe the practice harkens back to colonial times. The grand old haciendas had names, used primarily to distinguish them from one another, similar to the large ranches of Texas which of course have names.  Communities sprung up near the haciendas where the workers and their families lived, the haciendas may have fallen into ruin but many of the small communities around the crumbling haciendas that dot the Yucatan peninsula today still carry the name of the original hacienda. Naming your home is a very charming thing to do and most expats take great care in doing so. There are many names I absolutely love: such as Casa Suenos, Casablanca, Casa Azul, Casa Las Sirenas, Casa de dos Tortugas, Casa Buena Vista.

 Expats often select a name describing a feature of the home, themselves or what they hope their home will be, using Casa Rima our friends from Texas carried over the name of their sailboat. From observation, we have concluded most Yucatecans do not name their homes. As you walk the neighborhoods, you see plaques attached to homes such as La Familia Gomez. Choosing a charming name for a home seems to be a Gringo thing!  After the purchase of our Merida home, we began to muse over what name to choose, we had some good laughs with names such as Casa Cerveza, Casa Iguana and Casa Adie. It brought back memories of naming our children and pets. We pondered and we pondered but nothing was sounding right.

Of course living here in an old colonial home was our dream, of course, our home offers the hope of a simple and secure future. We considered Casa Amarillo, but I did not want to be tied down with a certain color for the facade, what if someday I painted the façade, pink, lime green or turquoise we could find ourselves in a constant state of renaming our house! One day as most things go with us as a joke we decided House in the South, we are south of centro historico, we are from a southern state in the US; we thought it all made perfect sense. The Spanish translation is simple and strong. A beautiful stone plaque engraved “CASA SUR” will soon hang near the front door.


  1. Mine will be Casa Nana, because it was my grandmother's skimping and saving all her life that gave me the financial freedom to buy my house in the Centro. Only later did I find there is a more famous Casa Nana, a big mansion in Palm Beach. Looks like someone else's Nana put aside even more money!

  2. Hola. We are John and Alan. I just found your blog and I'm enjoying reading your posts. Our house, Casa de Las Lechuzas was actually named by Henry Ponce when he listed the property for the previous owners. You can read our post and the story of how we chose to keep that name.


  3. Lee - I think that's a great name and a great reason for it. Our kids had a ''Nana'' also (Saras mom).

    John and Alan. Thanks f/ the comment. We've been reading and enjoying your blog for awhile (Lees blog also). We've got some neat construction post coming up very soon.


Simply click on ''Name / URL, add your name and write your comment, then click on ''Publish comment''.