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TRAILBLAZER: Belize’s First Female Architect! Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00

Trailblazer Tuesday's brings you Belize's first female architect Ms. Esther Ayuso!

Belize’s first trained female architect, Esther Josefina Ayuso , was received as a small bundle of joy to Belizean father Oscar Ayuso and his wife Josefina Ayuso nee Medero one late November morning in 1958 in Caracas, Venezuela. Her father returned to Belize with his young family and Esther settled into her Belizean life. She graduated from St. Catherine’s Academy eager to move her adult life forward. Training in her professional area of interest was not available to her in Belize so Esther went to Venezuela where she had family support and completed a five-year technical undergraduate degree in architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas.

She attempted to find work in Belize but a lack of employment in her field resulted in her move back to Venezuela to start her career in 1983. Esther met and married a fellow architect and started her family in Venezuela but a military coup in 1992 provided the impetus for Esther and her family to return to the safety of Belize. Esther worked with Professional Engineering Services for three years following her return home then opened an architectural business with her husband. Hurricane Keith in 2000 totally destroyed her business and ushered Esther into another phase of her career. She started using her skills to monitor construction projects. The first of this was the Universal Health Services Hospital (Belize Healthcare Partners Limited). The most recent was the Inspiration Center which, Esther notes, was designed by a young Belizean female architect.

Esther’s architectural contributions are featured throughout Belize for private individuals and business establishments. One major architectural design was the extension of the Belize Medical Associates hospital. Other works include the remodeling, flow and extension of both Cleopatra White and Matron Robert polyclinics. Custom furniture and interior designs architecture are evident in the Hoy Eye Clinic, the main branch of Atlantic Bank and several of its branches throughout the country.

Belize’s first female architect is pleased to note an increase of women the field and dreams of the day when the fundamental courses for this field will be taught in secondary schools to better prepare young people, particularly women, for the field of architecture and other architectural related areas.