Esperanza Rising

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Esperanza Rising

Ezperanza Rising takes place in the 1930s. Ezperanza and her family are very wealthy, and her parents own a very large ranch. She is an only child, so she is spoiled and used to getting her way. However, when Esperanza and her mama go to the United States to work as immigrant farm laborers, Esperanza has trouble accepting responsiblity and that they are now poor.This story deals with a lot of controversy between poor and rich people. The book also shows different Mexican traditions and emphasizes how important family is. "Mexicans put a high value on hiearchy and structure in business and family matters" (Zimmermann).Esperanza and her mama are working on the plantation farms in California during the Great Depression. Jobs are difficult to come by, and once they get a job they have to work hard to keep it. If a worker is slacking or goes on strike their job might be given to someone else who is willing to work for less pay.

Main Characters

Esperanza Rising is a captivating story that sheds some light on the lives of people in Mexico during the Great Depression. After a series of unfortunate and tragic events, Esperanza and her mother leave Mexico with another family. They relocate to California, where they work as laborers on a plantation with other Mexican families. Will Ezperanza and her mother ever find happiness again, or will they remain petty immigrant laborers for the rest of their lives?

Esperanza: Main character in the story. Esperanza is thirteen years old and has grown up on her parent's ranch, El Rancho de Las Rosas. She is spoiled and has the nicest things. However, Esperanza is a very bright young girl who has to face many challenges. Eventually, she adapts to her present life in California. Miguel: A few years older than Esperanza, but they have known each other their whole lives. He and his parents are servants for Esperanza's family. Miguel is very loyal and always willing to put others before himself. He does things for others that are not expected of him. Ramona Ortega: Esperanza's mama, who is a very strong and determined moman who does what she can to protect her daughter.


- Zimmermann, Kim. Mexican Culture: Customs and Traditions. Source: Internet. Retrieved from

Esperanza Rising By: Pam Munoz Ryan

Historical/Cultural Relevance


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