Marisol and Magdalena are mejores amigas - best friends - who live in Brooklyn. They have grown up with their extended families, a group of colorful, eccentric relatives who are forever trying to reach the girls the ways of Panama, their native land. For Marisol, a Latinegra - a black and a Latina - child, life is especially challenging as she tries to balance several heritages. When Marisol's mother sends her to live in Panama with her abuela, the move puts Marisol's American values to the test, and also tests her friendship with Magdalena. But going to Panama also presents an opportunity for Marisol to search for her father, Lucho, a man she has never met.
Separated from her best friend in Brooklyn, thirteen-year-old Marisol spends a year with her grandmother in Panama.