Beautifully and authentically rendered by actor and playwright Adrian Vargas, these twelve stories tell of the almost unendurable journey most migrant campesinos undertake to find the "American Dream."
"The childhood life of A migrant farm worker"
"It touched my heart"
At the age of 14, Francisco Jiménez, together with his older brother Roberto and his mother, are caught by la migra. Forced to leave their home, the entire family travels all night for 20 hours by bus, arriving at the U.S. and Mexican border in Nogales, Arizona. In the months and years that follow, Francisco, his mother and father, and his seven brothers and sister not only struggle to keep their family together, but also face crushing poverty, long hours of labor, and blatant prejudice.
From the perspective of the young adult he was then, Francisco Jiménez describes the challenges he faced in his efforts to continue his education. During his college years, the very family solidarity that allowed Francisco to survive as a child is tested. Not only must he leave his family behind when he goes to Santa Clara University, but while Francisco is there, his father abandons the family and returns to Mexico.
"Excellent for English learners"
As he prepares to recite the Declaration of Independence before his eighth grade social studies class in California, the thing Francisco has feared for 10 years finally happens. La migra, the immigration police, come to his classroom and pick him up for deportation to Mexico. Soon back in the United States with a "green card", Francisco struggles through adolescence, working two or three jobs a day and striving to excel at school.