Octogenarian lives in house made from bottles after previous home was destroyed in earthquake

A conservation loving octogenarian lives in a house made from recycled bottles after her home was destroyed in an earthquake.

Tree hugging Maria Ponce built her home in El Borbollon, El Salvador, after collecting the raw materials of plastic bottles and their tops over the course of seven months.

The 87-year-old collected the discarded trash from roadsides and even from family and friends, who gave her strange looks in response.

Maria said: “My relatives told me I was crazy, and my friends too.

“I was thinking how to build this house and I saw it in a dream one Saturday.

“I built it all on my own. 


“People would ask why I wanted the bottles and I would answer ‘to build a house’.

“Now everybody is surprised because visitors give me money, that’s how I survive.”

Maria lost her previous home in an earthquake that rocker El Salvador on January 13, 2001, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.


The natural disaster which caused 944 fatalities and destroyed 108,261 homes, flattened her house that was made of soil and rocks.

Maria said: “If it rains, the house trembles but doesn’t fall.

“I don’t think it will ever fall down.

“It doesn’t get wet, and even if it were to fall, it wouldn’t kill me as if it were made with cement.”

Having collected the bottles – so many that she can’t remember – Maria first started by laying cement on the ground before placing the bottle caps in.

She said: “To make something like this requires a lot of patience.


“After that I painted bottles on the inside wall like flowers using my finger.

“I started with white paint, then added the lines.”