Colegio de Arquitectos: 30 Years of Contributions to the Profession

Architecture professionals in Puerto Vallarta have been meeting with colleagues to discuss questions, issues, problems and new trends ever since significant real estate and urban development began in the city (primarily related to the tourism boom that began in the 1970s). Since then, they have been proposing ways that regulations can ensure the responsible practice of the profession and benefit the destination.

In August 1987, a group of them decided to formalize these sessions and their contributions by founding an organization of architects, endorsed by the Dirección de Profesiones de Jalisco and the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Mexicana, to gain greater recognition and professional support. Thus, the Colegio de Arquitectos de Puerto Vallarta del Estado de Jalisco A.C. was founded 30 years ago next month.

In an interview with architect José Fernando López Márquez, current president of the organization, we had the opportunity to explore their social role and the way key players in the real estate industry can benefit from establishing a relationship with the association.

“The mission of the Colegio de Arquitectos is to ensure the interests of urban development and the citizens of Puerto Vallarta, promoting professional development and providing the community advice, roundtable discussions and consulting regarding works and projects,” he says.

The group currently has more than 50 members who actively participate in its sessions. Representing various areas of the industry, they include architects, builders, interior designers, construction managers, urban planners, research specialists, academics and administrators. Thus, the institution benefits from diverse approaches and points of view, all aimed at the same objective: to ensure the quality of diverse construction and urban projects in Vallarta. Working closely with government agencies and public entities such as Desarrollo Urbano (Urban Development Authority), SEAPAL (Potable Water, Drainage and Sewage Services) and CFE (Federal Electricity Commission); the Colegio de Arquitectos has a voice in undertakings that have a concrete impact on the city.

“Any citizen, real estate entrepreneur or professional can contact the Colegio de Arquitectos to get feedback or resolve an issue. There is a widespread belief that we are an educational institution, but in reality we fulfill a different social function. This does not mean that students cannot come to us. In fact, they can join and get information about the field, meet experienced professionals and provide us with new perspectives,” clarifies López.

One of the Colegio de Arquitectos’ contributions in recent years has been its work with the municipal government in updating building regulations to eliminate gaps regarding what can and can’t be done. López notes that some regulations have not been updated in decades and that this has caused uncertainty among industry professionals.

“In a period of 10 years, Puerto Vallarta has changed tremendously. In addition, architecture is a very dynamic sector, constantly renewed and reinvented. Some people are pleased to see this transformation in Puerto Vallarta, while others are more interested in preserving the image of Old Vallarta. The Colegio de Arquitectos’ job is to arrive at consensual decisions that ensure the city’s best interests and to see to what extent these two perspectives can coexist harmoniously, in accordance with the ordinances.”

In addition to the Colegio de Arquitectos de Puerto Vallarta del Estado de Jalisco, the area is home to three organizations of engineers and the Colegio de Arquitectos de la Costa Norte de Jalisco. López notes that these associations have forged links, share the same social interests and promote training and professional development among their members.

The statutes of the Dirección de Profesiones de Jalisco state that professional associations must offer professional services to the community, something that most of the population does not know. López invites us to take advantage of this opportunity by contacting the organization about specific needs.

“We can advise and help anyone who has questions about a project near their home or public works in their neighborhood or needs to develop a construction plan. All you need to do is come in and schedule it.”

For more information about the Colegio de Arquitectos de Puerto Vallarta del Estado de Jalisco and how you can connect with this network of professionals, visit or call (322) 222-4833. In their Facebook page you can also access their monthly newsletters, which includes articles, op-ed columns, news, residence profiles, activity reports and other information of interest to real estate professionals in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.