La Maestra

Relationship: Im/migrant

When my mother immigrated to the United States, she was able to bring only a little of what reminded her of home. My mother took with her a seed from a plant called “la maestra,” which was given to her by her mother. When my mother arrived in the United States, she got a small pot, filled it with soil, and put the seed in it. As the plant flourished so did the new family she began to create with my father. The plant not only became a symbol of her connection to home but served as a cultural reminder to my brother and me of where we are from. Whenever anyone from our family had a headache or a fever, she would take some of the leaves from the plant and make a tea out of it. She did not understand fully how the plant helped us get better, but she knew that it would help. As for me, the plant became a focal point in my interest in the sciences, as I try to understand how the plant helps us get better and what other types of plants there are in Mexico that could be so helpful. This history created my own personal connection to the plant. “La Maestra” is currently still with us, twenty years and counting. It serves as an indicator how far along our family has developed, while at the same time serving to me as a gateway to what my culture possesses and what it can teach me.

Place(s): Mexico
Year: 1999

– Bryant T

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant