La Cebadina

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

A cebadina is a drink that was made popular in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. This red carbonated drink is made from barley water, tamarind, and jamaica (ha-mai-ka) which comes from the hibiscus flower and gives the drink it's red color. My mom would drink this as a child on particularly hot days or when she had an upset stomach, as it aids with indigestion. My mom was born in Leon and immigrated here with her family in 1975 because her father wanted a better life for his family. He first came alone and worked in Southern California in a potato chip distribution warehouse where he sent his money back to Mexico to support his family. Once he saved up enough money from his increased wages, he sent for my mom and the rest of the family. Pulled from poverty and an underdeveloped area, my mom remembers the hardships of acclimating to a new society where they didn’t always speak her native language. One thing that she remembers is feeling like a piece of home was still with her when her mom made cebadinas. She also recalls having a sense of security in drinking something familiar when she was sick.             I was born and raised in the United States. I don’t know Spanish and I’ve only visited family in Mexico once. My mom loves any opportunity to share her culture with me and now when I have an upset stomach, instead of going to the store down the street, my mom takes the time to share a piece of her home with me and makes a refreshing cebadina for me to drink.

Year: 1975

– Felisha Moraga

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant