Esperanza Rising


Pam Muñoz Ryan

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Tío Marco Character Analysis

Papa’s older stepbrother and the mayor of the town. Not quite as smart as Luis, his older brother, he follows the elder man around like a “donkey,” and does anything and everything Luis tells him to. Together, the brothers swoop in in the wake of Sixto’s death pretending to offer help and empathy—but in reality, conspire together to coerce Ramona into a marriage with Luis in order to seize control of Sixto’s land and finances.

Tío Marco Quotes in Esperanza Rising

The Esperanza Rising quotes below are all either spoken by Tío Marco or refer to Tío Marco. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Esperanza Rising published in 2000.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“My father and I have lost faith in our country. We were born servants here and no matter how hard we work we will always be servants. Your father was a good man. He gave us a small piece of land and a cabin. But your uncles . . . you know their reputation. They would take it all away and treat us like animals. We will not work for them. The work is hard in the United States but at least there we have a chance to be more than servants.”

“But Mama and Abuelita . . . they need . . . we need you.”

“My father says we won’t leave until it is necessary.” He reached over and took her hand. “I’m sorry about your papa.”

His touch was warm and Esperanza’s heart skipped. She looked at her hand in his and felt the color rushing to her face. Surprised at her own blush, she pulled away from him. She stood and stared at the roses.

An awkward silence built a wall between them. She glanced quickly at him. He was still looking at her, with eyes full of hurt. Before Miguel left her there, he said softly, “You were right, Esperanza. In Mexico we stand on different sides of the river.”

Related Symbols: The River, Papa’s Roses
Page Number: 36-37
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Esperanza Rising LitChart as a printable PDF.
Esperanza Rising PDF

Tío Marco Character Timeline in Esperanza Rising

The timeline below shows where the character Tío Marco appears in Esperanza Rising. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Las Uvas (Grapes)
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
...and Papa. A pair of riders approach, but it is only Tío Luis and Tío Marco—Papa’s older stepbrothers. Luis is the bank president, and Marco is the town mayor. Esperanza does... (full context)
Chapter 2: Las Papayas (Papayas)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
In the days after the funeral, Marco and Luis come by the house every day to hole up in Papa’s study and... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
...his property, and he “can make things difficult” for her and Esperanza. After Luis and Marco leave, the lawyer advises Ramona to be careful—Luis is a “devious, dangerous man.” Ramona, however,... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...they borrow money from their friends the Rodriguezes, but Alfonso warns her that Luis and Marco are “powerful and corrupt,” and will make things “difficult” for anyone in the community who... (full context)
Chapter 3: Los Higos (Figs)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Soon, Esperanza spots Luis and Marco approaching on horseback. They ride right up to Mama and apologize for her having suffered... (full context)
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...Ramona and Esperanza would have to depend on the charity of others, but due to Marco and Luis’s influence they’d probably have no friends or allies. Hortensia speaks up and says... (full context)
Chapter 4: Las Guayabas (Guavas)
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...women to be seen on the road at night because of bandits, and Luis and Marco’s spies could be anywhere—Señor Rodrigez explains that they will need to travel to Zacatecas so... (full context)
Chapter 13: Las Uvas (Grapes)
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon Mexico. She reveals that she could hardly go to the market without Luis and Marco’s spies following her. Abuelita had been tormented for months by “premonition[s]” that something was wrong... (full context)