The Creation of Adam

How has your family history, culture, or environment influenced who you are?


As my family has traveled, a reproduction of one artwork has traveled with us: The Creation of Adam by the Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo. The composition depicts the Biblical anecdote of God breathing life into man, who was created to resemble God himself. Michelangelo's fresco artwork can be found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City; today, a painting of the outstretched hands can be found on my abuela’s living room wall.

Until I was five years old, my family lived in Hackensack, New Jersey. Being Hispanic means that ‘family’ is not typical. It means that at every family get together, a new cousin is introduced. Despite the amount of Mendozas around, we were, and still are, incredibly close. We have a family gathering at least once a week, and no one ever eats or dances alone, influencing togetherness in everyone.

Eventually, my parents decided to relocate to Casselberry, Florida. As a tightly knit Ecuadorian family, we moved collectively; the two cars tightly consisted of my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, my cousins, and my own family unit. My grandparents were moving into a small townhouse that needed tedious remodeling. Naturally, we beckoned the rest of the family to assist them. The entire...

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