Esperanza Rising takes place in Mexico and Southern California, in 1930 and 1931.
View Esperanza Mexico in a larger map
Click the - (minus) button on the left side of the map several times - that will move you back and you'll get a better idea of just how far Esperanza and her family had to travel to get to the United States!
The action starts in Aguascalientes, Mexico. That is where Esperanza's family's ranch, El Rancho de los Rosas, is located. (Pam Muñoz Ryan's grandmother's ranch was actually named El Rancho de la Trinidad.)
Characters with Esperanza in Mexico:
Esperanza Ortega: (almost) 13 year old daughter of a wealthy fruit farmer
Sixto (Papi) Ortega: Esperanza's father
Ramona (Mama) Ortega: Esperanza's mother
Abuelita: Ramona's mother. Abuelita and her family came to Mexico when Abuelita was young.
Marisol Rodríguez: Esperanza's best friend, and closest neighbor
Señor and Señora Rodríguez: Marisol's parents, and owner of the ranch next door.
Chita and Bertina: Esperanza's friend from school.
Hortensia: The Ortega's long-time housekeeper
Alfonso: Hortensia's husband, el jefe (farm manager), and campañero to Sixto Ortega
Miguel: Hortensia and Alfonso's 16 year old son
Tío Luis: Sixto Ortega's stepbrother. Bank president with political aspirations.
Tío Marco: Sixto Ortega's stepbrother. Mayor of Aguescaliente.
Additional Characters with Esperanza in California:
Juan and Josefina: Alfonso's brother and his wife
Isabel: Juan and Josefina's 8 year old daughter
Lupe and Pepe: Juan and Josefina's 1 year old twins
Marta: another farmworker, but working in a migrant camp under much worse conditions
Ada: Marta's mother
Silvia: Isabel's best friend
Irene and Melina: adult neighbors in the farm workers' camp
Chiquita: Isabel's kitten
Mr. Yakota: Japanese shop owner who sells to the Mexican community