We decided to give the mural an oceanic theme since Maite wanted to be a marine biologist. Maite Yuleana Rodriguez was smart, compassionate, loved science, animals, the color green, Attack on Titan and had just taught herself to sew.

Ana Hernandez

Ana Hernandez’s Artist Statement

The process in making this mural was bittersweet and cathartic. I had the opportunity to hear about Maite from her mother, Ana. She shared photos, as well as letters Maite had written.    

Maite’s family participated in creating the mural by painting hearts. Her mother and two older brothers painted three fish representing each of them, following along a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle which represents Maite. A Kemp’s Ridley turtle, the rarest sea turtle in the world, was just named after Maite by conservationists in Corpus Christi. Maite’s mother, Ana, also painted the heart on Maite’s iconic green Converse. Her favorite and the last pair of shoes she wore.