A palapa (a Spanish word of Tagalog origin, meaning "petiol of the palm leaf") is an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves. It is very useful in hot weather and, therefore, very common on Mexican beaches and deserts. It is one of the most important architectural contributions of West Mexican culture.
palapa is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary which considers the word to be of American-Spanish origin. However, we could ultimately trace the roots of the word to the Philippines. Palapa (Tagalog) refers to an opensided structure with thatched roof made of dried palm fronds, usually found on beaches and used as shade.
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