Taking place in Florida during the early 2000’s a young girl is grieving her grandpa and holds a symbolic funeral under the mango tree. It sprouts for the first time beginning a cycle of nourishment and community.

"We used it (the mango tree) as a small graveyard, we dug our baby bunnies and our grieving letters to our grandpa. It was the closest thing to a funeral I've been to." - Me,  "I didn’t realize it was a mango tree and thought I didn't like mangoes for a long time. When I gave it another try, I became obsessed. I love to climb it." - Ale/My Sibling

"It’s not a Miami day without some Mango to be enjoyed. When I think of Mangoes I think of catching monarchs with my grandpa and releasing them when my mom got home from work. When I think of mango trees I think of the unmentioned love of picking your fruit on a warm and sweaty day and enjoying it with friends and family, together." - Liz

"My favorite is by itself. I like to peel and cut in caudritos, tipo quesitos" - Hugo/My dad

"...my fondest memories are from summer vacations to the coast and beach. The trip there would be so much fun. I'd see mango carts on the roads and we would stop to buy them. Usually, I'd also get mango sherbet stored in large wooden buckets surrounded by ice as well." -Tzasna

"A perfectly sweet and acidic balance. The mango flesh texture is not too firm and not too smushy." - Tina,  "It smells tropical, floral and earthy when walking through mango trees." - Yartiza

The young girl’s bedroom. "After my grandpa died, we sold his house so my grandma could come live with us. No one had been living there for quite some time... I never told my parents, but when I started driving, sometimes when I’d be so sad or overwhelmed all I’d do is hop the fence, pick up a stray mango from the ground that looked nice, climb the other tree and eat one. I never would know when “that” visit would ultimately end up being my last, but I like to think the tree wanted me to come see her for as long as we could." - Liz

"It reminds me of summer time and play time. A type of delicacy for tropical climates. It'll only grow under the right conditions, it's preserved for us and we nurture it." - Me

 The mango tree welcomes a red cardinal who the young girl befriends. The bird collects things from the backyard and toys left outside. "I had a pet iguana named Freddy in middle school. I constructed a cage in the backyard with a wooden structure and chicken frame. I used to smash mangos on top of its cage to lick/eat." - Sabrina

History of Mango in Miami (a very summarized version!) *
Mangos were first cultivated in India and Southeast Asia since the 4th and 5th century B.C. Then in the 16th century, Portuguese colonists distributed the seed to West Africa, Brazil and Barbados. The first recorded introduction into Florida was Cape Sable in 1833 by Dr.Henry Perrine but it didn't sprout. In 1862, Dr.Fletcher imported a seed from Cuba noted as ’No. 11’. In 1868, seeds planted south of Coconut Grove produced 'Turpentine Mango', a popular one eaten then. The U. S. Department of Agriculture introduced ’Mulgoba’, from India, in 1889. John and Florence Haden visited a farm with Mulgoba Mangoes and bought some of the fruit trees. They planted the seed and made the popular mango known today as 'Haden'. "In the early 1900's a seedling program spearheaded by Dr. David Fairchild focused on introducing mango varieties to Florida to produce mangos that could be sold commercially."
South Florida became one of the few places in the U.S. that can grow them due to the climate and terrain.
*This history highlights settler colonialist and white perspectives. I wasn't able to find Indigenous history or their relationship with mango but I know it is out there. I hope in my continuation of learning more I or others can make it accessible.​​​​​​​
Process Pics
Process Pics
Back to Top