A molcajete is a bowl made out of stone.
A molcajete is a bowl made out of stone.

My father built our family business in Baja California, Mexico. There, while he was in college, started working at his father’s shop in the famous “Mercado Hidalgo”, where among many other traditional Mexican housewares, he sold molcajetes. When my father graduated college, he opened his own business in the same market and called it “La Mexicana”. The hallmark product sold at La Mexicana, from it’s inception, has been the molcajete. 

A little over 15 years after my father opened his first store, he and my mother made the decision to migrate to the United States. My younger brother and I were 7 and 10 years old at the time. When we moved across the border to San Diego, CA, the first item my mother unpacked and set in our new home, was the first molcajete that had been a part of my father’s first inventory. Once we moved to the U.S. and my father began expanding the small family business into the United States, he began distributing these precious stone bowls to supermarkets across the United States. 
Today, molcajetes are quite common in the United States. Go to virtually any Mexican restaurant in New York City, order fresh guacamole, and chances are, it will be served to you in a stone molcajete. To many, this piece of stone may only be a “guacamole bowl”, but to my family it is much more than that. It is the reason I am privileged enough to be afforded a college education in America. For me, a molcajete is an ideal representation of the American dream.

Year: 2004

– Ninett Rodriguez

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child