Age: 50

Occupation: Artist

Location: Fishtown, PA

Relationship Status: Widowed


Cesar immigrated to the US from Mexico more than 20 years ago. He was eager to pursue his dreams for a better life, which for him included pursuing his passion for art. He made murals in his hometown in Veracruz, but he'd never seen large-scale projects until he arrived in Philadelphia. Both the massive size and the actual technique of the art blew him away. He took meager jobs to support his passion and he eventually became a volunteer with the Mural Arts Program. He's now one of their featured artists! Cesar is also father to two children ages 15 and 10.


Ana, Cesar's beloved wife and the mother of his children passed away nine months ago. The family has had a terrible year, dealing with the loss of Ana, Isabella turning 15 without her mother, and the family being forced to live outside of their home due to some city-mandated updates. Cesar wants nothing more than to show his kids that they are going to be ok and he wants to bring the family closer together-something he knows that Ana would love.


FASHION: As a painter, Cesar is always covered in paint. Ana did most of the shopping for him. He's been so grief stricken that he hasn't making sure that he's dressing well-or that the kids are.

GROOMING: Cesar is very negligent in this department-with himself and the kids.  He barely remembers to comb his own hair and forgets about the kids grooming. He has longer hair, a goatee and doesn't pay much attention to himself at all.

DESIGN: After Ana passed, the family had big plans to paint the interior of the home to give them a fresh start and to honor Ana. Since they've been displaced for a few months and are living with friends, plans have been on hold. As soon as they get access to move back into their place they are eager to forge ahead and may even paint a mural for Ana in the home.

FOOD: Cesar loves to indulge in rich, Mexican foods. He and the kids are definitely eating for comfort through food. Ana didn't leave any recipes behind so he's creating his own, based on what he remembers.  Cesar is worried about his son's recent weight gain. He also struggles with making healthy choices and specifically worries about incorporating vegetables into the kids' diet.

CULTURE: The family is surrounded by art. Ana was also an artist and was called the "Paper Mache Queen."  Cesar's son has taken a recent interest in baseball and Cesar is hoping to rally the family around this as a way to engage him (and also help him with his weight!) Ana was the leader for the family with regards to cultural activities. She planned the kids birthdays. Now that his son is turning 11, Cesar feels clueless for what to do. Isabella was planning her quinceanera with her mom, but cancelled it. The family did a last minute celebration for her and is planning to do another one in Mexico this summer.

EVENT:   A celebration of Ana's life on the one-year anniversary of her death  / Quinceanera in Mexico.

Nominator: Jane Golden, Head of Mural Arts Program - Philadelphia

  • Jane knows the past few months have been incredibly difficult for Cesar and she feels he’s lost a bit of his spark. He takes no time what so ever for himself. Cesar is such a bright light for not only his kids but for the entire community as well and she wants to see him shine once more with the help of the Fab Five!