spring flowers
Flower fields

As a descendant of Mexican and Portuguese immigrants, I am deeply alarmed by our ongoing divisiveness and lack of ability to recognize the common threads that connect us regardless of our skin color, country of origin, age, or sexual orientation, and I can no longer remain silent. My tall stature, lightened hair and lack of a Mexican accent, make it difficult for most people to identify me as a Latina and I have flown under the discrimination radar for most of my adult life. However, this wasn’t the case when I was a child, and my skin was tanned dark chocolate brown from working in the fields.

I grew up in California’s Central Coast on a dairy farm. This rich farm country mostly relies on Latin, primarily Mexican immigrants to tend to the thousands of acres of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, and more. As a child, I worked in these fields alongside undocumented workers. And like them, I learned to fear the border patrol, commonly known as la migra.

I was about 10 years old the first time they came to the bean field where we were hoeing weeds. Suddenly everyone around me dropped their hoes and started running, shouting “La Migra, La Migra!”  I saw men in uniforms getting out of trucks running towards us.

I dropped my hoe and began running too. My heart was pounding with fear and tears gushed down my face as I ran through the fields.  I knew those men wanted to hurt us, but I didn’t understand why.

After running for what seemed like hours, we hid behind a large water truck. I was out of breath as I whispered to the woman hiding next to me, “why was LA MIGRA chasing us?”  And she replied, “We’re illegal, we were born in Mexico and don’t have papers, and if they catch us they will take us back to Mexico, but you’re safe.” I didn’t understand what she meant. Thankfully we weren’t found. And later my little group of escapees explained that I was safe because I had been born here and they had been born in Mexico and didn’t have papers. I was so confused. I looked like them, why would someone in a uniform want to take them away because they were born in Mexico?  My mother’s parents were born in Mexico. They were my friends, and I didn’t understand nor did I accept that I was somehow better than them because of my birth country.

When I spoke to my mother about my terrifying experience, she explained that there were complex rules about who could live and work in our country. And La Migra could take any of my friends back to Mexico at any time. And like my grandparents they were willing to live with this risk to give their families a better life.

I made a comment about the evil Migra wanting to hurt and separate my friends from their families, and she sternly explained that they were just doing their jobs and not to hate anyone.

My mother was an extraordinary human that understood, that most racial discrimination is learned at home and passed from one generation to the next. The seeds of hate are planted in our hearts, and rarely examined because it’s part of our family story. She had the insight and grace to know that my personal encounter with La Migra was not a justification to start building a long list of people that it was ok to hate, she made this unacceptable for me, and thankfully I listened to her.

From that moment on, I knew one thing to be true, we are all the same.  I don’t care what color you are, what country you grew up in, how old you are, or who you choose to love, you are my brothers and sisters, and we are all part of this giant human race, and I’m not better or worse than any of you! I still remember my prayers after that experience, wanting my friends to be safe and not taken back to Mexico. Today, my prayers and hopes have been upgraded to peace, acceptance, and love for all.

For those of of you who have chosen love and acceptance for all, thank you! Together we can elevate our humanity!

#onehumanfamily #radicalacceptance #wearethesame


  • Diana Silva

    Author, podcaster, vlogger, Molé Mama Founder

    Molé Mama

    Molé Mama is a San Diego-based author, home chef, vlogger, and podcaster. Diving into her Latina roots, she uses her magical molcajete, and other tools and techniques that make her food taste like grandma used to make back in Mexico.  Her book, Molé Mama; A Memoir of Love, Cooking, and Loss,  shares the stories of how she perfected her beloved mother's recipes. Readers swear that they smell Sonora enchiladas, Spanish rice, mole, and other delicious Mexican food simmering in their kitchens as they read her book.   Molé Mama Recipes YouTube cooking videos and weekly podcast celebrates family recipes, cooking delicious meals at home, and adding love to every recipe. Along with her guest chefs, Molé Mama explores recipes and traditions from around the world and the stories that keep them alive. Most of her podcasts will make you hungry, and you may find yourself dancing in your kitchen to salsa music.  Molé Mama is calling everyone to return to their kitchens and to preserve their living and past ancestors' favorite recipes and stories for future generations. "We need to try to preserve our cultures and not just let those favorite recipes disappear forever. The common thread of every cherished family recipe is that they were homemade with love, and that's the real secret ingredient," says Molé Mama. For many home chefs, cooking is their preferred love language, and that's why we cherish their recipes. Their love has the power to transcend an ordinary recipe into magic! Culinary Training  Diana was just nine years old, and when her culinary training began. Rose was making her legendary flour tortillas, and Diana's big job was to mix the masa. Rose expertly poured water, flour, salt, and a little baking powder in the bowl, and Diana eagerly put her small hands in the bowl and tried to follow her mother's patient instructions on how to mix it. Diana loved the way the sticky dough felt in her little fingers. She was so very proud and excited to help her mama. Diana didn't understand the road she had embarked on that afternoon and the joy she'd experience cooking with her mother for more than 20 years. To watch Molé Mama’s videos, listen to her podcasts and learn more go to: youtube.com/c/molemamarecipes https://www.molemama.com/mole-mama-cooking-with-love-podcast facebook.com/molemama @mole_mama