Building our new home in Belize, the story continues.

       My crew isn’t letting any dust settle underneath their feet!


Measuring exact lines for house and support concrete columns

To “re-cap” my last post, the guys were staking and stringing out the layout of the house, and where the 20+ concrete 12 ft. columns would go to support the structure. The next thing you know, the steel rebar is delivered to construct base and column steel support towers. There are three workers, that set up a little “bending station”, and are cutting rebar to size and creating steel bases and the support towers.


Manually dug support holes (20), and structure alignment 

While the support structures are being constructed, another three guys are busy digging the 20 5×5 by 5 ft deep square holes that the steel supports and concrete will be poured into for columns.


This is the “iron” delivered that will be bent and formed by hand into cages and towers.

Knowing that there will be tons of concrete going into this project, it was no surprise when two dump trucks of Belize rocky soil are delivered, along with two palates of cement and a couple loads of cinder blocks.


The “Iron Bending Station”

When all the support holes are dugout, the guys start erecting the towering steel support columns, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This whole process of digging all the support holes by hand, bending and forming the large square support basses and towering columns, has taken a week.


One iron support cage for each of the 20 support holes.

Sunday morning at 7 am, there are nine workers on-site, meeting to discuss how they will proceed today. Within minutes, two guys with wheelbarrows are transporting bags of cement closer to the support holes. A couple guys move the cement mixer to the site, and within minutes, they have the mixer going, as the guys load bags of cement and shover the gravel dirt into the mixer.


7 am on a Sunday morning, the guys are mixing cement, dumping in wheelbarrows, and dumping in the holes.

A note on the use of this Belize rocky soil for making cement to support the house. In the U.S. we use cement grade sand, but here in Belize, they use the same stuff that was used centuries ago to build the Mayan Temples and pyramids, which by the way, are still standing ;). That says that this method and material for concrete gets harder each year.

Where have I heard that before? 😉


So I watch in awe as these hard-working guys mix cement and pour it into wheelbarrow’s, and then dump it into the holes, covering the 5×5 cage and tower bottom. I think of the homes I had built, and have watched being built back in the U.S. Back there, contractors put up forms, and a cement truck arrives and pours everything. You only need one guy to pour cement back there.


Aligning the iron towers in the center of base iron cage before pouring concrete.

Here the expression, “many hands makes light work”, goes along with, “there’s nothing wrong by doing it the old way, and everybody get’s paid”!


Cemented iron support cages for 12 ft concrete formed columns.

I’m thrilled to watch this entire process, and these guys work so very hard every day. It reminds me of what my Dad told me so very long ago, “Work hard your entire life, and someday maybe you can really enjoy your retirement:.

Well Dad, here I am.

And so the page is turned to the next page.


The Pirate…Gary





About storiesbygary

I am a Freelance Writer / Photographer, writing travel related articles for international magazines, blogs and websites and my own published books.
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