Several years before the start of the novel, Matt went to Tres Camarones as a missionary, where he won the heart of every woman in town by writing their names phonetically on notecards. He also loved movies and spent every night in the theater with the women. Before he left, he kissed Nayeli. In the present, Matt works in San Francisco, but returns to his mother's home in San Diego to deal with her affairs after her sudden death. He feels lost in life, and he enjoys helping Nayeli and her friends with their mission. Though Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi believe that Nayeli will surely win Matt's heart, Matt has sex with Yolo instead—though he also seems unaware that Nayeli still harbors feelings for him. Despite the fact that the Tres Camarones group likes Matt, and Matt helps them in a number of ways while they're in the US, Matt is also somewhat racist. For example, when he smokes with Carla, he semi-seriously suggests they call the police on the "illegals" and build a wall on the Mexican-American border.