Made by the Puerto Rican muralist Mario Resende (Son/Hijo)

A collaborative project between district leader Samy Nemir Olivares, art curator Debora Rivas, and Brayan Pagoada, youth organizer at CUFFH.


«Growing up I had the opportunity to go to art school. This experience gave me a lead in my career as an artist. I saw how other kids struggled with education in Puerto Rico. We still have a struggle with education and basic needs like electrical power. What this mural means to me is the ability to pay it forward while paying homage to my hometown. It is great to be a part of a community mural that involves the youth of the area. Inspired by the song Canción Bonita I wanted to celebrate the beauty of this island despite its challenges.»


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The muralist offered an educational workshop with adolescents from the CUFF Youth organization, where they discussed how to make a social impact in Puerto Rico through creativity.


The mural is a tribute to Puerto Rico and was inspired by the song “Cancion Bonita”


To support CUFF Youth and learn more about the collaborators of this project click here

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All About SON/HIJO

My art is on the streets, comes from the streets of Santurce, Puerto Rico. My name is written on the walls, I am a fine artist,  professional mural painter. My walls are full of labyrinths exploring the origin of the world. Always thinking internationally I have exposed in places like New York, Boston, Miami and Tokyo. Encouraged by community needs I have traveled to Bogota, Curitiba and La Habana spreading eco-friendly messages along with indigenous history conservation and multicultural artistic events. Seeing communities unite and youngsters success are part of my goals, for this matter, I have been bringing workshops to schools and giving lectures, we can change so much through art. Collective work is also very important to me. I am a member of the collective  «El Corográfico». I am in constant learning and analyzing my consciousness.

Quality in my final work is my ambition, consistently seeking perfect lines. My mission? To inspire others. My resolution is to dedicate my art to the evolution of the universe, planet earth and human race. The unstoppable growth of our society, nature and cities are my ventures.


District Leader Samy Nemir Olivares Samuel N. Olivares

Samuel is a Puerto Rican-Dominican, queer, progressive activist who believes the most effective way to advance social justice, inclusion, and progressive values starts at the local level and in our communities.

Raised by a single mother, Samuel understands the hardships that working families face: growing up with housing insecurity, food stamps and attending public schools while facing disabilities, unemployment, and bankruptcy. Samuel is determined to use his personal history and understanding to connect with community issues.

Since 2016, Samuel has dedicated himself to community organizing and grassroots activism to effect transformational change. Through his work with the Center for Popular Democracy in Bushwick, Samuel has championed safe conditions for Puerto Rican FEMA refugees in Brooklyn, supported youth-led campaigns for more school counselors and an end to the school-to-prison pipeline, and advocated for fair wages and an expanding voting rights. Samuel also helped campaigns protecting housing, health care, immigrants rights and reforming the criminal justice system.

Samuel migrated to New York City from Puerto Rico, after obtaining a Bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, and earned his Master’s in International Affairs in Human Rights from The New School in NYC . His early career in journalism merged his academic pursuits as he focused on the stories of undocumented immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color.

Currently, Samuel serves on local community and school boards, where he advocates for after-school programs in the arts and athletics. Samuel also volunteers with his local merchants and community association, resisting displacement and protecting small, locally-owned, and immigrant-owned businesses.


Art Curator Debora Rivas BHeardd Media

Debora Rivas started her career as a construction project manager. After years of feeling unfulfilled, she decided to start a company that supports passion-driven creative projects.

Her company Bheardd Media’s core values are to create meaningful content.  She developed The Awareness Art program.

Through this program, she has been able to curate artwork throughout the city of Bushwick. Her purpose is to communicate much-needed dialogue through art.  The incentive is the beautification and growth of her community.

She has several projects in development and looking forward to unveiling in 2021.

Contact for more info or  future projects:


Brayan Pagoada Youth Organizer

Brayan was born in Honduras and moved to the United State at the age of 13 as an unaccompanied minor. When he arrived in NYC, not only did he have to adapt to a new environment, he also had to learn a new language, culture, lifestyle and how to navigate many unfamiliar and complex systems.

I am the Youth Organizer at CUFFH. As a youth worker I deliver in a world where youth people are trusted, believed, seen and heard where we work to amplify youth voices and practice deep listening, spark brave educational spaces that are healing transformational and justice-aligned!


About CUFFH Youth

Gaining Responsibility through Ownership and Willingness (GROW) is CUFFH’s youth organizing program


GROW meets weekly to offer professional development, community organizing training, facilitation skills, and recreational activities for youth ages 14 to 25.  GROW programming includes 6 social justice programs based in 4 local churches and one high school.


Programming opportunities include music, arts, public speaking and organizing training, in addition to our long standing after-school basketball program. GROW empowers youth to tackle the community issues that impact their lives by exposing them to organizing and leadership development skills in a fun, recreational setting.