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They finally arrive safely in the United States, currently in the grip of the Great Depression and settle in a farm camp in Arvin, California with Alfonso's brother Juan, his wife Josefina, and their children, Isabel and twin babies Pepe and Lupe.All the adults work either on the farm camp, picking and packaging produce, or with the nearby railroad companies.
She asks for Isabel's help to learn how to care for herself and the young children.
She begins to adjust to her new life, but still fantasizes about Abuelita coming with her money and rescuing her from poverty.
Esperanza proudly goes to show her mother the money orders she's saved for Abuelita only to discover them missing. Weeks pass, until Miguel's family receives a note asking them to meet him at the train station, and to bring Esperanza.
It's revealed he used the money orders to travel to Mexico and retrieve Abuelita in secret, as "proof that things will get better." The book ends on the day of Esperanza's 14th birthday and Esperanza has finally learned to be grateful for what she does have: her family reunited, friends who love her, and most of all: hope.
Tío Luis offers to continue to care for them and their ranch on one condition: Esperanza's mother must marry him.
When she refuses, he threatens that she will regret her decision.Following a massive demonstration by the strikers, the farm owners call Immigration officials to round up the demonstrators.As part of the Mexican Repatriation initiative, many of the people deported were natural born American citizens who had never been to Mexico.She stockpiles money orders in the hopes of one day sending them to Abuelita and allowing her to travel to the United States.Tensions rise in the camp as migrants from Oklahoma flee the Dust Bowl and look for work in California.Strikers from the farm camps insist that the only way to improve conditions for all of them is to unify and refuse to work, but many families are afraid of losing their only income and being unable to care for their children.Esperanza continues to work, crossing picket lines, because she needs to pay for her mother's hospital stay.However, this is a lie as she, Alfonso, and Hortensia plan to flee to the United States.Abuelita cannot accompany them due to her injuries, but promises that she will join them as soon as she is better.Esperanza is too young for a job and instead helps Isabel take care of the babies during the day.Esperanza quickly realizes that she doesn't know how to do practical work, such as wash clothes or even sweep a floor.