Words cannot express the pain we feel at the loss of our student Nerea this past weekend. Nerea passed away in a motorcycle accident (12-9-2015) in Senegal, where she had extended her internship with Fons Català de Cooperació. Nerea excelled as a student, but most importantly as a human being. She was one of the good ones: compassionate, kind, hilarious, responsible, dedicated, positive, motivational, warm, authentic, and hungry for adventure. She was an awesome football player, loved surfing, and made a point of living life to the fullest, everyday. She had all the plans in the world to make the world a better place as an architect, even though she was already doing so just by being her. She had a passion for helping others and a special connection with Senegal, not to mention her native País Vasco. We’ll remember you always the way you would want us to, with a huge smile on our face. Like yours. We love you, Nerea. Te queremos, Nere.


During her internship, Nerea worked on the establishment of an urban planning office in the Senegalese municipality of Oussouye and its current project of implementing a rational grid as a solution to the city’s anarchic expansion, aimed at supporting stable growth, regulating traffic and improving living conditions. Together with the local community, local authorities and a team of volunteers, Nerea
produced a definitive plan for the urban transformation of the 70-acre neighborhood of Buwenten, which will now serve as the groundwork for the local technical office to build upon, revise and implement. Thanks to her contribution, hundreds of families will have access to basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation.

In her internship report, Nerea expressed her acknowledgements and gratitude:

“It was a pleasure to come back to the beautiful country that is Senegal and share its peculiarities with its kind people. I would like to express my gratitude to the local technician Maguette Diatta for his companionship and his knowledge transfer. Thanks to Toti Rovira, Sandra Bestraten and Emili Hormías, my supervisor and mentors, for giving me the opportunity to be engaged in this project and providing their help and support. I also want to thank my colleagues Victoria, Victor and Sergi, who spent these months working with me side by side in the urban project. And finally, thanks to the mayor Edouard and Paulette Lambal for hosting us and to the citizens of Oussouye who have accepted us as one of their own and taken care of us so gently.”

In remembering Nerea, here are a few words from our staff:

“Nerea was one of those students that touch your heart, with her commitment, solid work ethics and values. She was always there to lend a helping hand and exceeded expectations in the quality of her work. Her intelligence and facility to communicate her ideas brought her praise from all of our professors at her thesis presentation as well as during her courses. Her bright smile and warm ways will always bring back happy memories to all of us that had the privilege of knowing her. She will be terribly missed. We pray that all her family and friends find solace during such a difficult time.” –Co-director Carmen Mendoza

“Nerea was a wonderful person, full of kindness and so grounded. She had the gift of making everyone happy and this year her presence filled the masters course with joy. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity of being her thesis supervisors. She was always open, hardworking and willing to share everything. In every way, she was a person to admire. Our hearts are broken. We pray that her family finds the strength to overcome this unbearable pain. We will never forget you.” –Co-director Sandra Bestraten and professor Emilio Hormías

These are just a few of her many special moments during the masters course. Please visit our Facebook album Remembering Nerea, where we invite any of you who knew her to leave a message in memory of Nerea and in support of her family and friends.

Workshop with Cal-Earth

Presenting her team’s proposals before Sergio Palleroni, Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman and our co-director Carmen Mendoza during the field trip to Tijuana, Mexico.

Nerea during her internship this summer in Senegal

Nerea’s positive spirit will no doubt live on through the work of her dear classmates, professors and students of our program.

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