The living room (sala) is where we will spend most of our time so we are having the ceilings at 6 meters. The colonial homes in the Yucatan were all built with high ceilings to move hot air up and cooler air down. Because our house will not be American Behemoth we wanted the primary living space to be open and we believe the high ceilings will be the ticket. We will be wired for AC but we will do our best to live without it. No AC should be doable as long as we summer in Michigan.
We are having long and narrow windows ( .5 meter X 1.5 meters) set near the ceiling on the opposite side of the sala from the cool backyard. We hope the natural circulation along with ceiling fans will move air and cool the house. We will also have a loft that opens onto a front, upstairs porch. We want to be engaged in the neighborhood. The porch will open wide into the loft for more airflow and the sound of the propane truck as it makes its way through the streets.
Stories speak of Conquistadors riding their horses straight into their homes (courtyards) without dismounting prior to entry. Apparently the Mayans were likely to kill the Spanish if they got off their horse outside the safe confines of their own house. Without horses the domination of Central America would have been much harder. Without a rider on the horse it was harder to enslave Mayans. Funny how indigenous people become indignant when they are oppressed.
We won’t have any horses but do hope to go riding with a few new friends we have already made in Valladolid.