Mexico Life
Richart Sowa's Joyxee Island Richart Sowa's Joyxee Island

This expat has his own private island

Richart Sowa created his island in Cancún with 150,000 recycled plastic bottles

Having your own private island would usually require a fair bit of cash, but for British artist Richart Sowa it took recycled plastic bottles — 150,000 of them.

Sowa’s Joyxee Island floats in a bay off Isla Mujeres, near Cancún, some 30 meters from the beach. It is 740 square meters in area and boasts a three-storey house, surrounded by palm trees, mangroves, fruit trees, herbs and other plants.

Everything sits on sand and soil atop the flotation provided by the plastic bottles and wooden pallets. Joyxee Island even has three beaches.

Sowa, 61, spent seven years building his floating paradise — his third. The last one, Spiral Island, was located south of Cancún but it was destroyed by a hurricane in 2005.

His new private island is linked to the shore with a 30-meter umbilical cord that carries solar-generated power, water and an internet connection. His two-bedroom house has three showers, kitchen and bathroom, dry-compost ecological toilet and a Jacuzzi.

“Living on my own floating island has been my dream for over two decades,” says Sowa. “Now I’ve succeeded I have the freedom to create and move my whole home and garden anywhere I like.”

He is also free to make his island as big as he likes, just by adding more plastic bottles.

Sowa, who makes a living from music and art and offering tours of his island, plans to become self-sufficient. In the meantime, he can nip over to neighboring Isla Mujeres on his ferry, also constructed of plastic bottles, to get supplies. It also serves to carry visitors — it can carry eight at a time.

During the seven-year building project Sowa was single, but once it was finished he looked for a partner to share it with. He found her on Facebook: ex-model Jodi Bowlin, 47, from Tennessee. Today, she shares the island lifestyle with him.

“My first impression of the island was that it was an upgrade from camping – luckily, I’ve always liked that Swiss Family Robinson experience,” said Bowlin.

Source: Mirror Online (en)

Reader forum