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Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising


by Pam Muñoz Ryan

 Table of Contents

Esperanza Rising Characters

Meet the Cast

Esperanza Ortega

We feel like we really get Esperanza. Sure, this thirteen-year old experiences more drama and turmoil in one year than most of us will encounter in a lifetime. But really, she's just a normal kid....


Confession: we have a big crush on Miguel. (Don't tell Esperanza. Did you see how mad she looked when Marta was checking him out?) He's super cute and he knows how to fix things. Swoon. If that's n...


Words of WisdomWe're pretty sure this lady speaks only in proverbs. Esperanza's grandma is just full of wise gems. Here are a few of our favorites:"Do not be afraid to start over." (2.38)"We are li...

Mama (Ramona Ortega)

For Richer or PoorerMama is a vision of loveliness. Check out "her way of walking into a room, graceful and regal" (11.9); her elegant way of wearing her hair "in the usual braided wreath that crow...


Marta is a political firecracker. She's just a kid, maybe sixteen or seventeen, but this girl has some serious political convictions, and she's not afraid to speak her mind. She helps organize stri...

Papa (Sixto Ortega)

Papa isn't like other wealthy landowners in Mexico. Sure, he's rich, but he's not greedy. He sympathizes with the poor and gives land to some of his most loyal workers. He treats his employees with...


Next to her stood a girl about eight years old, wearing a dress that was too big and shoes with no socks. Delicate and frail, with big brown eyes, long braids, and skinny legs, she looked like a yo...

Tío Luis and Tío Marco

Tío Luis and Tío Marco are the big, bad wolves of this story. Well, according to Esperanza, they look more "like two underfed billy goats" (2.57). But that doesn't make them any less mean. Althou...

Minor Characters

Marisol and Señor RodríguezMost of what we know of Esperanza's life goes down in California. But that doesn't mean we can forget where she came from. Back in Mexico, Marisol is Esperanza's best f...
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