Piña Colada

Piña Colada


Christmas is over! Did el niñito Jesús bring you everything you asked for?

I’m hosting my family for New Years Eve and I’m working on putting together my menu for the night.

I’ll be roasting a chicken, barbecuing some ribs, making mashed potatoes, gravy, and for dessert I’m making my Coconut Rum Tres Leches, and we’re washing it down with wine and piña coladas. –I know what you’re thinking pero, this is what my Mom requested.

My mom loves piña coladas, and she orders them every.single.time we go out to to eat somewhere–so we’re making those today!

Piña Colada

My mom and I (aka baby potato with a head of hair) in Colima MX

When I turned 21, I was finally able to be a sponsor for my parents and they were finally able to receive their green cards. When they came in, I was so relieved.

It just felt like I had all these worries lifted off my shoulders because they could have easily been taken away from my siblings and I at any moment.

A green card meant that my parents could finally obtain a drivers license, legally work in the U.S. and they could finally be able to visit their family back in Mexico that they hadn’t seen for years.

Piña Colada

I grew up in Santa Ana, a predominantly “Hispanic” city in Orange County, where the threat of La Migra was very real. ICE routinely conducted raids in our neighborhoods and I can still remember how scared I would be when my mom would go to the Laundromat or the Supermarket by herself because I never knew if she’d make it back home.

A few weeks ago, Santa Ana’s City Council unanimously voted to declare the city a sanctuary city, to protect undocumented immigrants and it makes me super happy to see the city I grew up in stand up for them and actually recognize them as human beings. #They’re Not Rapists #They’re Not Drug Dealers

Piña Colada

I have an immense amount of respect for my mom because I know it has been quite the turbulent journey for her and I didn’t make it any easier for her when I came out to her as queer. La aprecio mucho because she has learned to ask questions, and she has learned that it is okay to challenge our cultura machista, so whenever she asks for a piña colada I am more than happy to whip one up for her

Did any of you have any similar experiences growing up with undocumented parents/family members? Feel free to share any thoughts/stories!


Piña Colada
Makes 2
Recipe type: Drinks
  • For the Drink
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • 3 tablespoons condensed milk
  • 1½ oz rum
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 cup of Ice (add an extra half cup if you wish)
  • Garnish
  • Whipped Cream
  • Maraschino Cherries
  1. In a blender, mix the pineapple juice coconut milk, coconut water, condensed milk, rum, vodka and ice. (I don't like my piña coladas to be super icy so we're only using a cup of ice, but if you want it a little thicker add an extra ½ cup of ice.)
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and garnish with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.



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  • Jorge Valdivia

    Esteban, the story you posted about living in fear of la migra and the day your parents green cards finally came in was so powerful. Thank you for sharing! My family and I lived with the same fear for years. Parents and two older brothers benefitted from amnesty during the Reagan era. I was the first born here and, in spite of that, back then I knew we simply wouldn’t dare talk about their undocumented status because of the fear of deportation. Like your mother, my mami loves her piñas coladas. I think I’m gonna have to try your recipe and do a toast with my mother and father and the rest of my family. One day I’ll tell you the hilarious story of my mother’s citizenship exam. It’s hilarious! Thank you for this blog. I LOVE it!

    • Esteban Castillo

      Jorge, thank you for sharing! I know I was super young, pero it would have been nice to talk about this then because I know a lot of friends were in the same situation!

      Moms are too funny, I can’t wait to hear your story! 🙂

  • Esteban your story is very inspiring, our people are going through moments of much suffering and family separations. Me duele ver a mi gente sufrir. I am very happy for your mom, y que bueno que le preparas sus piñas coladas. By the way, I like your name, that’s my son’s name, too.