Mision Marielena was built on a construction that is 150 years old. In its first phase, the building was used as a military quarter with the main objective of safe keeping the pilgrims of the region from indigenous and outlaws attacks.
The construction was built with materials found in the region, such as clay and wheat straw blocks. Ceilings are made of amacham-brada wood, soil and morillos logs; the latter were cut from the forests that make the mountains surrounding the Valley of Cuatro Ciénegas. This type of construction is called terrado locally. Material used to finish the walls is made of slaked lime, sand and ash base which acts as a natural thermal element with a unique hardness that lasts a long time; these are key due to the desert climate that prevails in the region. Thus the thickness of the walls in between 1 to 1.5 meters (3 to 4.5 feet) and ceilings with considerable heights; altogether help preserving adequate temperatures within the building during any season of the year. The actual doors and floors were remodeled about 100 years ago.