Courtesy Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

While other countries may be enjoying their second or third generation of prominent women architects, Latin American countries are just seeing their first. To celebrate the breakthrough firms, architect Nora Enriquez put together the exhibit Spaces Through Gender at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco. As she states in the introduction to the exhibition: "Recognition of women’s impact on the world of design has been slow. ... In Latin America, the first generation of influential women in architecture is just beginning to emerge." Women highlighted in the exhibit all run their own firms and span many countries south of the equator: Tatiana Bilbao, Fernanda Canales, Frida Escobedo Lopex, and Rozana Montiel from Mexico; Rocio Romero from Chile, and practicing in St. Louis; Galia Solomonoff from Argentina, and practicing in New York; Catalina Patino and Viviana Pena of the collective Ctrl G, and Ana Elvira Velez of Colombia; Carla Juacaba from Brazil; and Sandra Vivanco from Peru, who now practices as A+D: Architecture+Design in San Francisco. Vivanco says that the reason that these countries are only just now producing such great work by women is because of the necessary recovery from the dictatorships, drug trafficking, and civil wars of the '70s and '80s. As these countries now enjoy better security, they see the need to rebuild cultural identities and can better support artists and architects. Through Sept. 29. •