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Latino Landscape Architects Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year Americans celebrate the four weeks between September 15 and October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a great time to recognize the many contributions of Hispanic and Latino American landscape architects to U.S. society, says K. Richard Zweifel, FASLA, president of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

“Landscape architects of Hispanic origin are drawn to the landscape architecture profession because of their affinity for the environment, science, and art,” says Zweifel. “Aspiring Latino landscape architecture students are growing in ranks among graduates, and all of them want to transform their communities through sustainable design.” 

This summer, ASLA held its third annual Diversity Summit. Here are the Hispanic landscape architects who helped in that effort and who sit at the forefront of the profession both in and outside of practice:

Roberto Rovira, ASLA. Rovira is the principal of Studio Roberto Rovira Inc. in Miami and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental and Urban Design at Florida International University. He has been lead designer in national and international projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Middle East, and his work ranges from installations to urban projects.

Melissa Henao-Robledo, ASLA. Henao-Robledo works as a business development representative for outdoor furniture company Landscape Forms, serving the Austin, Texas, area. Henao-Robledo has spent the last several years promoting the landscape architecture profession to minorities in Austin through the Latinos in Architecture and DesignVoice committees of the American Institute of Architects.

Bianca Paz Ribadenieira, ASLA. Paz Ribadenieira is a landscape designer for the parks and recreation department of St. Paul, Minnesota. She had previously spent six years in international design practice, including in Ecuador and Spain.

Diana Fernandez, Associate ASLA. Fernandez is a landscape architect with Sasaki Associates in Boston. Fernandez has been recognized many times for exceptional leadership and has received four ASLA student awards, including a 2011 ASLA Student Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category and a 2013 ASLA Student Award of Excellence in the Communications Category. She also is serving as chair of the ASLA Emerging Professional Committee.

Carolina Carvajal, ASLA. Carvajal, a native of Colombia, joined Carol R. Johnson Associates Landscape Architects in 2011. She has been a key team member on projects in the United States and abroad, and has developed particular expertise in community outreach and engagement.

Jose M. Alvarez, Associate ASLA. Alvarez is a landscape designer with EDSA Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He has developed a unique understanding of tropical and subtropical landscapes in areas including South Florida, the Caribbean and South America. He has been recognized with awards of merit in 2011 and 2012 by the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

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