When a Mexican mother and her daughter come to the United States, the mother, Flor Moreno, gets a job as a maid at the home of a successful chef John Clasky, his insecure wife Deborah, their two children, and Deborah's mother. Despite Flor's lack of an English language vocabulary, she tries the best she can to assist the Clasky family in more than just house cleaning matters. However, when Flor is forced to live with the family over the summer, she has no choice but to bring her daughter, Christina along. Deborah, much to Flor's disliking, treats Flor's daughter much like her own and at the same time she hurts the feelings of her own daughter, Bernice, as well as Flor. When John's dreams begin to unravel, he begins to feel like his whole world is coming down around him, but with the love of his children and with the help of Flor, he finds himself trying to get through it all. Flor's daughter Christina, through which this story is told in a college letter to Princeton University, serves as a translator for the beginning of the film, but after Flor breaks the communication bridge by learning to speak English, Christina must learn that things come and go in life, but family is the most important thing a person can have.