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Visited Merida a year ago & noticed walls everywhere. Is this just the style or are they to keep out the thieves?
 

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Visited Merida a year ago & noticed walls everywhere. Is this just the style or are they to keep out the thieves?
Walls around homes are common throughout Latin American countries, not only Mexico. It is the traditional style, the outer walls surrounding the inner sanctum of the home and family.

Of course, they do also provide extra protection against thieves, especially if they have broken glass or barbed wire at the top.

Likewise, iron bars on windows are common throughout Mexico and Latin America, reflecting both a traditional style of construction (the designs are often quite decorative and lovely), as well as providing protection.
 

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Latin American building styles came with the Conquistadores, who were just a few minutes from still being under Moorish control; you know, those arab folk who had occupied Spain for over 700 years, maintaining civilization, education, medicine and the habit of building very comfortable homes with courtyards, patios and privacy, all within walls to keep them cool and secure. Having enjoyed living in a couple of them in Mexico, we learned to appreciate that Middle-Eastern influence on architecture. They do not build flimsy wooden houses with sticks, nor plop them down unsecured in the middle of a plot of land. It is a different world. We liked it.
 
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