In Santiago's room there are two paintings. One is "a picture in color of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and another of the Virgin of Cobre". These images are "relics of his wife", testimony to her strong Catholic heritage. Santiago had also once kept a "tinted photograph of his wife" on the wall, but after she died he had taken it down and put it on a shelf in the corner of his hut "under his clean shirt". Seeing the photograph of his wife on the wall after she was gone was too difficult, and made him too lonely.
Santiago's shack itself is spare and simple. It is made "of the tough budshields of the royal palm which are called guano and in it there (is) a bed, a table, one chair, and a place on the dirt floor to cook with charcoal". The brown walls "of the flattened overlapping leaves of the sturdy fibered guano" are unadorned except for the two religious paintings that belonged to his wife.