Like two coils of clay combining into one sculpture, Marie-Elena's artwork combines her Panamanian and American upbringing into an expression of both cultures. She has always been attracted to ancient, pre-Columbian artifacts, specifically those found in and around her native land near the Panama Canal. There, she was exposed to the diverse indigenous cultures and flora and fauna found in the tropical rainforest. Her artwork stems from these elements and an interest in color, texture and form. Each of her sculptures is a metaphorical self-portrait representing the combination of her Panamanian heritage and her American traditions, producing a hybrid with features from both experiences. She creates her sculptures by blending the ancient technique of coil building with contemporary ideas which simultaneously embrace her roots and explore the contemporary world.