Into the Beautiful North

by

Luis Alberto Urrea

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Don Pepe is Nayeli's father. He used to be the only policeman in Tres Camarones, and he adored his daughter. He enrolled her in karate so that she'd learn how to take care of herself, though Nayeli believes that he desperately wanted a son. Three years before the start of the novel, Don Pepe left Tres Camarones to take a job in Kankakee, Illinois. Though he began by sending money home, after he sent a final postcard, he stopped writing entirely. Nayeli idolizes her father and thinks that he'll surely agree to come back to Tres Camarones once he sees Nayeli again. However, when Nayeli finally tracks him down in Kankakee, she learns that he has a wife or girlfriend and a toddler. She decides not to confront him, but she leaves the postcard tucked under his truck's windshield wiper for him to find.

Don Pepe Quotes in Into the Beautiful North

The Into the Beautiful North quotes below are all either spoken by Don Pepe or refer to Don Pepe. 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:
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown and Company edition of Into the Beautiful North published in 2010.
Chapter 7 Quotes

He never said he wished he'd had a son, though she could tell he thought it often.

Related Characters: Nayeli, Don Pepe
Related Symbols: Postcard
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

Suddenly, Nayeli said, "I still want to find my father."

Idly, Tacho said, "Why would he want to go back?"

"Me," she replied.

Related Characters: Nayeli (speaker), Tacho (speaker), Chava Chavarín, Don Pepe
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

"Men are no good."

"My father is good."

Your father is a dog like all the other dogs."

Related Characters: Nayeli (speaker), Tía Irma (speaker), Don Pepe
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Into the Beautiful North LitChart as a printable PDF.
Into the Beautiful North PDF

Don Pepe Character Timeline in Into the Beautiful North

The timeline below shows where the character Don Pepe appears in Into the Beautiful North. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
...the local cinema. She sometimes dreams about going to the United States to find her father, but she doesn't like to think about him. (full context)
Chapter 3
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...The narrator explains that along with Matt's card, she also keeps a postcard from her father in her knee sock. It came from Kankakee, Illinois. Her father, Don Pepe, has been... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...muses that Irma was the reason she started playing soccer, and it was Irma and Don Pepe who enrolled her in karate. She thinks that to Tía Irma, who is known as... (full context)
Chapter 4
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...fetches the crabbing supplies from the storage boxes, as Irma tells Nayeli's mother that if Don Pepe had come to the lagoon before he left, he would've stayed. Nayeli's mother sadly replies,... (full context)
Chapter 7
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Nayeli approaches her mother's small altar to Don Pepe . A few candles surround a framed photo of him in his police officer's uniform.... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...will ruin her week's plans. Finally Vampi agrees and suggests that Nayeli can find her father while they're there. All three girls sit, stunned by the plan. They decide that they'll... (full context)
Chapter 8
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...and the phone number from Irma into her pocket, and her mother insists she take Don Pepe 's postcard. Nayeli's mother says she wishes Nayeli could bring Don Pepe back to Tres... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Nayeli blurts that she's going to find her father, and Irma says simply that they'll see. After the girls board, Irma tells them to... (full context)
Chapter 11
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...Irma. Vampi and Yolo insist they've already failed, but Nayeli vows to herself to find Don Pepe . Tacho calmly says they need to find a place to stay for the night,... (full context)
Chapter 18
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
When Nayeli wakes up, she pulls out her postcard and reads her father's message, "everything passes." Then, she pulls out her card from Matt. She notices that Yolo... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...Matt or bring home American babies. Nayeli tells Irma that she wants to find her father in Kankakee. Irma sighs, but knows she won't be able to dissuade Nayeli. She promises... (full context)
Chapter 19
Racism Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...what they want to do now that they're in America. Nayeli wants to find her father and Matt, Yolo wants to find Matt and Tacho, and Atómiko declares he wants to... (full context)
Chapter 25
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
...he comes to the bowling alley. Nayeli interrupts and says she wants to find her father, and Tacho says that America would be perfect if only there were hot air balloons.... (full context)
Chapter 26
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...help Irma recruit the rest of the men, as Nayeli must leave to find her father. Nayeli hands him Irma's hotel information and insists he must go. Chava gives her cash... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...her dad is foolish, Irma gives Nayeli a debit card and tells her that men, Don Pepe included, are no good. (full context)
Chapter 27
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...is bored with the entire project of this road trip. Tacho doubts they'll actually find Don Pepe , but he feels obligated to support Nayeli by driving across the US. (full context)
Chapter 33
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
...beautiful, but Tacho sniffs that the river at home is better. Nayeli wonders what her father will say when she sees him, but she knows he'll smile. (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
...Nayeli puts a washcloth on Tacho's forehead and assures him that she can find her father alone. (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...a coward, and Nayeli is stronger than she is. She tells Nayeli to get her father and kick ass before hanging up. Nayeli hears Tacho say he wants to go home... (full context)
Chapter 34
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...Nayeli walks to a drive-through taco shop and asks the man if he knows her father. He suggests she go to the library and assures her that everyone likes Mexicans in... (full context)
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...help. The woman's nametag says Mary-Jo, and Nayeli tells her that she's looking for her father. A young man walks by and says that Mary-Jo runs the city, but Mary-Jo explains... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
...a cookie, and soon, a Mexican-American officer shows up. Nayeli explains she's looking for her father, and the cop dials around as Mary-Jo says brightly that she loves Mexico. After a... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
...end. Beyond is a field and the highway. Nayeli turns back and wonders if her father shares a house with other men. She imagines him picking her up and laughing when... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Male vs. Female Heroism Theme Icon
...a toddler out of the backseat, and Nayeli starts walking towards her to ask after Don Pepe . Nayeli stops in her tracks when she sees Don Pepe get out of the... (full context)
Chapter 35
Racism Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
...tells her that she's going to tell her mother that she simply didn't find her father, and Mary-Jo offers her apologies. Mary-Jo helps them purchase their tickets to San Diego, and... (full context)
Chapter 36
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
...As he drives, he asks Nayeli where her smile went and if she found her father. Nayeli says she found him, but it wasn't good. Finally, Arnie pulls over and asks... (full context)