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Well, just about my mommy. After Michael died, she cried for a really long time. You know about Michael? Well, sometimes she still cries. So don't hurt her feelings and don't die, okay?
— Mateo talks to Adam[2]

Mateo Solano Villanueva is a character on Jane the Virgin. He is most recently portrayed by Elias Janssen.


Mateo was born on May 14th, 2015[1] to Jane Villanueva and Rafael Solano, he was the result of an accidental artificial insemination performed on Jane by Dr. Luisa Alver, Mateo's aunt. Mateo has a sweet side and a big heart but is full of energy and can cause a lot of mayhem for the people around him. He has lived his early life, mostly dividing his time between two homes; the Villanueva Home and Rafael's apartment, although, he was thrilled when at age five his parents reunited and eventually married. According to The Narrator, Mateo has a peculiar sense of humor. He tends to find Michael's silliness very funny and gets along great with his parents and extended family.

Mateo enjoys a close relationship with his grandparents and bsabuela, Alba, who support Rafael and Jane by helping out with picking Mateo up or babysitting him. It is later revealed that he is the narrator of the series.



Mateo was the result of an artificial insemination performed by his aunt Dr. Luisa Alver, sister of Rafael Solano. She was actually meant to inseminate Rafael's wife Petra with his sperm but during that time of distress, she mixed up two appointments and accidentally inseminated Jane Villanueva instead. Rafael and Petra still wanted the baby as this was Rafael's only sample and last chance to have a biological child. Jane was overwhelmed and didn't feel ready to be a mother but after realizing this was Rafael's only chance to have a child, she agreed to have it and give it to Petra and Rafael, believing they were a happily married couple.[3]

However, Rafael eventually divorces Petra after finding out she's been having an affair and ended their relationship. Jane decided she wanted to keep the baby and not give it away.[4] Throughout the course of the pregnancy, Jane and Rafael grew closer and eventually pursued a relationship.[5]

During an ultrasound, the doctor noticed an echogenic focus which possibly could be a marker for chromosomal abnormalities. They were offered a procedure to find out if it really was anything but that would include a small risk of miscarriage. They agreed to go through with it and they find out everything is fine.[6] Jane and Rafael break up, despite still having feelings for each other but remained civil for their child's sake.[7]

Birth and early life[]

Jane goes into labor while on a bus. With contractions only five minutes apart, the driver is convinced to drive Jane to the hospital where Jane is met by Rafael and her Abuela Alba. In the hospital they get told this could take a long time and Rafael and Jane starts discussing names for the baby, settling on Nina but arguing about the last name for the baby, both of them wanting the baby to have theirs. Although Rafael settles for having both names with his as a middle name. Jane starts to give birth and her ex-fiancé Michael gives her parents Xiomara and Rogelio a lift to the hospital and arrive just in time for Jane to give birth to a healthy baby boy. They agree to name him Mateo after Jane's deceased grandfather, with his full name being Mateo Gloriano Rogelio Solano Villanueva.[8]


Mateo is reunited with his family

However, their happiness is short-lived as a nurse comes in to take Mateo for his hearing test, but in actually she is working for the crime-boss Sin Rostro and kidnaps Mateo.[8] However, they soon realize Mateo is gone and the nurse has left the building. Michael, help them get Mateo back and all in all he was gone for 142 minutes before reuniting with his family.[9] After having saved Mateo, Rafael asked Michael to be Mateo's godfather.[10]

At three weeks old, Mateo was baptized with Jane's friend Lina as his godmother and Michael as his godfather. Jane got a letter informing her she had been accepted to grad school but struggled when she realized she had to take a course she missed before which she had to start right away, meaning she had to leave Mateo earlier than she had planned. Still, she agrees to go and not let motherhood get in the way of her dreams.[10]

Rafael and Michael gets into a bad fight which turns ugly when Michael pushes Rafael into a vase, causing it to break a chard to hit Mateo's arm. He is okay but Jane decides to end things with Michael as he let his judgment result in Mateo getting hurt and she needed to put him first. That night, Mateo smiled at Jane for the first time.[11]


Mateo's first Thanksgiving

Rafael and Jane start estate planning to plan for Mateo's future. They agree that if both of them die, Xiomara would have custody of Mateo which brings up the issue of Mateo's trust fund. Jane is shocked when she learns that Mateo would get 40 million dollars if Rafael died and struggles to grapple with the fact that her son will grow up rich. One month later, a doctor tells Jane and Rafael that Mateo has a flat head and suggests he wear a specially fitted helmet to help reshape his head. A month later, Mateo starts wearing his helmet but Jane feels guilty as she's missing it for a writers' retreat with her class. Jane is hurt when Mateo doesn't want to nurse but only takes the bottle. Two months later, Jane gets a clogged duct in her breast making it hard to continue pumping so she agrees to stop and deviate from her plan of nursing for the first year. One month later, Jane and Rafael finally finalizes Mateo's trust fund plan, including that for every dollar he gets he'll have to give one away to charity. Later Mateo gets to take off his helmet and celebrates his first Thanksgiving.[12]

At around nine months old, Mateo is introduced to his new baby sisters, Anna and Elsa, Petra and Rafael's twin daughters.[13] Meanwhile, Jane and Michael gets engaged[14] and while out looking for houses, Mateo took his first steps.[15] After finally finding a property, Mateo moved from the Villanueva house to a new house with Jane and Michael.[16] After Michael had a good day babysitting Mateo for a day, he said his first words, Daddy. Only the problem was he said it to Michael and not Rafael. Later, Rafael asked to have Mateo more days in the week, three instead of two, as he wanted to be the man most present in his son's life.[17]

Mateo celebrates his first birthday with his closest family in the hospital after getting sick forcing Jane and Rafael to cancel his party.[1] Not long after, Jane married Michael, making him Mateo's stepfather.[18] At Eighteen months old,[19] Mateo lost his step-father who passed away from his injuries obtained after being shot at his wedding night.[20]

Three years later[]


Mateo and his father in 2020

At almost 5 years old, Mateo is causing a bit of mayhem for his parents as he can be a bit hyperactive which he sometimes expresses by hitting other kids or his sisters. Mateo knows that it's wrong and apologizes to his mom, calling himself a 'bad boy' which Jane immediately refutes, saying he can never be a bad person. Rafael suggests that Mateo release some energy by joining a karate class, which Mateo's sisters have enjoyed immensely. The strict discipline of the art form has a positive effect on Mateo, however, he can still be socially unruly and his parents decide to hire an aide following a suggestion from his school.[21]

Mateo got on well with his aide, Alex, who after spending some time with Mateo reports back that Jane and Rafael that even though Mateo has some impulse-control issues that they have to work through, they have nothing to worry about; that Mateo isn't abnormal/scarred in any way, which Alex underlines when Mateo's parents reveal that Jane's husband died and Rafael was in prison for 9 months when Mateo was around 2. He tells him he's happy and has a strong attachment to both of them.[19]

When Mateo loses his first tooth he is excited for the tooth fairy to come. However, the moment is ruined when Anna and Ellie tells him the tooth fairy doesn't exist. Petra has the girls apologize and tell him they were just playing a prank to sooth things over but when he doesn't believe them, Petra dresses up as the tooth fairy and visits him a night, bringing the magic back for him.[22]


Jane Villanueva

Main article: Mateo and Jane

Although Jane didn't feel ready for motherhood when she first fell pregnant and planned to give him up, she soon warmed to the idea. After his birth, Mateo became the center of her world, and his entire existence, from the beginning, has given Jane the courage to risk her heart, test herself, explore, and experience life. Mateo's life is Jane's first foray away from her safety net, into a world of adventures – everything she could only dream of and loves writing about.

Rafael Solano


When Rafael first learns of Mateo, he is shocked at the way Jane got pregnant but also thrilled at the thought of realizing his dream of having a child. While Jane is pregnant, Rafael is excited about the birth and helps Jane wherever possible, but falters when his family issues surface. However, he is still completely involved and present at Mateo's birth and is excited and enthusiastic about being a great father to Mateo and spending as much time with his son as possible. In the beginning, Rafael often feels left out of childcare for Mateo and less of a part of the early baby care, as Mateo lives primarily in the Villanueva house. This feeling is exacerbated after Jane and Michael marry, and Rafael realizes he wants more days per week with his son, so he doesn't feel like he's missing out on his son's life, or the life Rafael and Mateo have together. As a young boy, Mateo worships Rafael, who is his hero.

Anna & Ellie Solano


Anna and Ellie are Mateo's twin half-sisters on his father's side. Despite being almost a year younger then Mateo, the twins are often shown to be more mature than him. Despite that, they enjoy spending time with him and also prove to have patience with some of his bad behavior, such as pulling Anna's hair and throwing carrots at them.[21] Spending time with them is important to him, evident in how he has a meltdown when Jane tells him they won't come bowling with them.[23] However, as the twins are so close, Mateo sometimes feels left out as they always stick together, although, they are shown to put their differences aside and have a good time together.[24]

Xiomara Villanueva


Xiomara often babysits Mateo, while Jane is busy at Grad School and enjoys being a grandmother.[25] She also makes small quips to Mateo about Jane to tease her, similar to Alba and Jane's relationship. Mateo has a great relationship with his grandmother, who often babysits or picks him up from kindergarten and he acts as Rogelio & Xo's little helper/best man at their wedding in 2020. She even helped him prepare a dance for the school musical.

Alba Villanueva


Alba and Mateo spend almost as much time together as Mateo does with his parents – especially his mother – as he is growing up in her house. After his kidnapping and the subsequent toll on the family, Alba was seen to have Xo and Jane rest and taking over care for Mateo a short while, a strong family unit helping each other in times of need.[26]

Rogelio De La Vega


Little Mateo is also named after his maternal grandfather, his first middle name being Rogelio. His grandfather likes to incorporate this in their exchanges, calling him 'Matelio'. As a baby, Rogelio was very excited about spending time with his grandson and wanted to babysit.[27] He is shown to have a good relationship with his grandfather and they have fun together.


Petra becomes part of Mateo's family after she gives birth to his half-sisters.[28] When Rafael goes to prison, Jane and Petra agree to meet with the kids every Saturday for brunch, resulting in all of them growing closer as a family and three years into the future Mateo refers to her as "Aunt Petra". Petra is also the one who got Mateo into the same preschool as the twins.[21] After the twins accidentally reveal that the tooth fairy doesn't exist, Petra dresses up as her and sneaks into his room at night to make things right and make him believe again, which means a lot to him.[22]Petra sometimes disciplines Mateo, but she always gets told off by Jane.

Luisa Alver

Luisa and Mateo have not had a lot of contact. Although physically responsible for the emanation of Mateo[3], Luisa has been absent for long periods during Jane's pregnancy[29][30] and Mateo's paternal aunt was, unbeknownst to his parents, kidnapped at the time of Mateo's christening took place.[31] However, Luisa has been consistently supportive of Rafael and his relationship with Jane, as well as Rafael's wish to secure Mateo a great family life. Following Luisa's disappearance with Rose and subsequent reappearance with her 'new girlfriend' (really Rose in disguise), Rafael doesn't trust her and doesn't allow her to see his kids.[32] After much growling, Rafael finally introduces Luisa to Mateo and the two get on well as they decided to spend a beach-day together. That wouldn't last long though, as Rafael soon realized Luisa was still working with Rose and once again shut her out from his life,[33] though it would later be revealed she was actually working with the police to bring Rose down.

Michael Cordero


Michael was not only Mateo's stepfather, he was also his godfather. Before his Christening, Jane and Rafael agreed that Lina and Michael would be his godparents, however, Rafael and Michael were not getting along very well so Jane offered to change Mateo's godfather. Rafael put his differences with Michael behind him and agreed that Michael would make a good godfather.[10] As a stepfather, Michael and Mateo had a close bond and a special connection. Michael often looked after Mateo and would often entertain him with a hand sock puppet of a bee or with his 'impressions'. Mateo called Michael 'dada' before Rafael which made Rafael, understandably, uncomfortable and jealous.

Liliana De La Vega

31 Mateo and Liliana

Mateo meets his other great-grandmother for the first time at 8 months old, and they spend some time together hanging out in Jane's room and taking a walk while she is visiting with the Villanuevas was very excited to meet her great-grandson.[34] He calls her his "Great Glamma" and she helps him practice for his reading at Jane and Rafael's wedding, saying he would be great at voice-over work.[35]

Manuel De La Vega

Little Mateo meets his great-grandfather for the first time at 8 months old, when Manuel came to visit the Villanuevas for the first time[34]. This also marks the first time Mateo's mother, Jane, meets her paternal grandfather.

Mateo Villanueva

Mateo is named after his great-grandfather. Although he has never met him since he died long before Mateo was born.


  • Mateo’s birthday was originally stated as May 12, but on chapter Ninety-Seven is confirmed to be con May 14.
  • Mateo's aide, Alex, is surprised that Jane's husband died and that Rafael went to prison, as Mateo shows no signs of trauma from those events in his life.[19]
  • Alex also states that Rafael is Mateo's hero.[19]
  • Mateo's great-grandmother Alba had six sisters and they all had girls.[36] Therefore, Mateo being named after his late great-grandfather was extra special to the Villanuevas, as he was the first boy born into their family for generations. However, this is revealed to be an error as his great-grandmother's sister, Cecilia Mora had four children, including three sons.
    • Although it's possible they're not counted due to Alba's estrangement with her sister Cecilia.
  • He was kidnapped by Rose/Sin Rostro in Chapter Twenty-Two.
  • He is Venezuelan through Jane and Xiomara, Mexican through Rogelio, and Italian through Rafael.
  • He would have been called Nina Solano Villanueva if he was a girl.[8]
  • He is behind the rest of his class with reading, and Jane and Rafael are doing everything to help him read better.
    • It is later revealed that it's because he has ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
    • In Chapter Ninety-Six, Mateo is able to read.
  • Mateo is revealed as The Narrator in Chapter One-Hundred.
    • It is hinted in Chapter Ninety-Eight that the narrator is gay, which means Mateo is gay.
      • There were many hints about this every time Jane met a new love interest.
  • Because Mateo was kidnapped, Jane and Rafael were afraid that Rose could've switched the baby, so a DNA test was done, confirming Mateo to be their biological son.



SEASON 1 (1/22)

Chapter Twenty-Two

SEASON 2 (22/22)


SEASON 3 (20/20)


SEASON 4 (17/17)


SEASON 5 (17/19)

All except Chapter Ninety-Eight and Chapter Ninety-Nine

Notes and references[]

main Jane VillanuevaXiomara VillanuevaAlba VillanuevaMateo Solano Villanueva
Rafael SolanoRogelio De La VegaPetra SolanoMichael Cordero
recurring Rose SolanoJane RamosLina SantillanJorge GarciaDarci FactorBruceEsteban Santiago
Adam AlvaroMarlene DonaldsonNadine HansonChuck ChesserRoman Zazo
family Luisa AlverAnna & Ellie SolanoMateo VillanuevaBaby De La Vega FactorManuel De La VegaLiliana De La Vega
Mia AlverElena Di NolaEmilio SolanoMagdaAnežka ArchulettaCatalina MoraDerek Ruvelle