Story by Zuleyma Morales, Summer 2018

A lime tree is something sweet and sour to life. It's common to have limes in Mexican cuisine, as it’s used on dishes, fruits, beverages, etc. Each summer, my father would come home dehydrated from working out in the sun, so my sister and I would make him Agua de Limon, or limeade. His dehydration lessened with the sweet limeade. Lime can be delicious but painful as well. If I get injured and there isn’t a first aid kit, my family likes to cut a lime and squirt it on my injury to disinfect the wound. Lime leaves are used for tea because of its benefits for the body. My abuelita uses the leaves for tea and drinks them before she goes to bed, and together, we would tell stories to each other about our childhoods.

Limes are accessible to us in the U.S. at supermarkets but the price can range from a good deal to pricy deal. Fifteen limes for a dollar is a good price for my parents but if limes are five for one dollar we hesitate to buy them. We should question why a couple of limes are priced for a dollar. Where do the limes come from? Limes are imported from Mexico because the land crops have good conditions for harvesting. The U.S. doesn’t have a lime industry so the country depends on Mexico for the limes. The lime industry in Mexico changed when the products were held hostage by drug cartels, and due to the reduction of limes shipped to the U.S, the prices spiked. These drug cartels targeted vegetables and fruits shipped to the U.S. to increase their business. Exporters and farmers involved with limes are targeted by the Knight Templar, a drug cartel. In Michoacan, locals have been battling against violence from the Knight Templar.  Beyond violence, limes have created a health risk for children in Ecuador. My friend traveled to Ecuador as volunteer where she was given the task of cleaning teeth for children who didn’t have access to healthcare, and she observed that many children had rotten teeth from excessively eating limes. These different stories demonstrate the value of limes and their contribution to a sweet and sour life.