Maria is an architect trained at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. Following her graduation, she spent several years working in architecture, construction and participatory design through her own practice, as well as in private and non-profit organizations in Bogotá. She moved to NYC and graduated from the Historic Preservation program at Columbia University in 2016 where she explored participatory planning processes and community preservation through installation art.

As a Project Manager at Hester Street, Maria leads and supports planning, design and development projects. She uses her skills and experience in architecture, planning and filmmaking to produce tools and design processes that creatively engage community members in projects that generate tangible benefits and advance community control of neighborhood assets. Maria recently led the design and build-out of a mobile health classroom in the Rockaways, created a short educational video for NYC’s Assessment of Fair Housing and is working with the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Puerto Rico to develop a Community Plan for cultural economic development and long-term resiliency in the San Juan neighborhood of Santurce.