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Peru – House made of…of…ummm…seashells??

November 10, 2007 - Peru

by Steve Henrichon

One day last week, we arrived home and Don Jorge and Niña Fanny (owners of the hostel we stay at) were cleaning up rubble. The house next door decided to collapse and when it fell, it knocked down the wall on Don Jorge’s property which fell and destroyed a nearby shed. Luckily nobody was injured. Nobody was living in the house next door because it has been unsafe to live in after the earthquake. We helped dig rubble and salvage anything of value under the rubble. We were searching for buried survivors, only our survivors were hundreds of glass soda bottles buried beneath the collapsed roof. They are able to sell the bottles back to the distributors to be refilled. If you ask me, it was a hell of a lot of work for some glass bottles but then again, 10 cents/bottle goes a lot further in Peru than it does in the US.

I went over to inspect the fallen house next door. I picked up a piece of concrete and it was filled with seashells! All of the rubble on the ground was made of seashells! The whole house was made of @%$!ING seashells! No wonder it collapsed. Actually, I say this in jest because I was amused that they use seashells in their building materials. Its maybe not the best option but certainly the most readily available. They mix the seashells in with the concrete to help make it stronger. As it turns out, most of the houses close to the water are made from concrete and seashells.

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