Into the Beautiful North

by

Luis Alberto Urrea

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Nayeli Character Analysis

Nayeli is a nineteen-year-old Mexican girl from a small village called Tres Camarones. She works as a waitress at Tacho's bar, La Mano Caída, and as the campaign manager for Tía Irma's run for mayor. Three years before the start of the novel, Nayeli's father, Don Pepe, went to the United States to a town called Kankakee, Illinois. He sent her one postcard, which Nayeli treasures. Growing up, Don Pepe put Nayeli in soccer and karate, and Nayeli believes that her father desperately wanted a son. This belief has influenced Nayeli to think more highly of male heroism than female heroism. It comes to her attention that there are no men in Tres Camarones, which Nayeli sees as a problem: for the first time ever, there are no babies in the village, and the "narcos and bandidos" are invading. After watching The Magnificent Seven at the local cinema, Nayeli hatches a plan to take her friends, Tacho, Yolo, and Vampi to the United States to find seven men who will then be able to protect Tres Camarones and keep the village alive. Once finally in San Diego, Nayeli finds that she still has a crush on Matt, a missionary who kissed Nayeli several years ago when he visited Mexico on a mission trip. She's hurt, then, when she walks in on Matt having sex with Yolo. Nayeli decides that she needs to find her father, so she and Tacho embark on a cross-country road trip to Kankakee, Illinois. She is shocked when she finally discovers that Don Pepe has a wife (or girlfriend) and a child in the US, and she decides not to confront him. Though she feels dejected and as though she failed, the epilogue shows Nayeli returning to Tres Camarones with men to save the village.

Nayeli Quotes in Into the Beautiful North

The Into the Beautiful North quotes below are all either spoken by Nayeli or refer to Nayeli. 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 3 Quotes

Karate, Tía Irma insisted, was good for the legs. Power on the field. But Nayeli was not fooled. To La Osa, life and love were war, and she expected Nayeli to win as many battles as possible.

Aunt Irma wanted her to beat up men.

Related Characters: Nayeli, Tía Irma
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

"We are Mexicans," Irma informed the fruit seller—needlessly, he felt. "Mexicans eat corn and beans. Did you notice? The Aztec culture gave corn to the world, you little man. We invented it! Mexicans grow beans. How is it, then, that Mexicans cannot afford to buy and eat the corn and beans they grow?"

Related Characters: Tía Irma (speaker), Nayeli, Vampi, Yolo
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

"These illegals come to Mexico expecting a free ride! Don't tell me you don't have Salvadorans and Hondurans in your school, getting the best education in the world! They take our jobs too [...] What we need is a wall on our southern border."

Related Characters: Tía Irma (speaker), Nayeli, Vampi, Yolo
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
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 8 Quotes

"You will see," Irma said. "The Americanos are kind. Friendly people. Generous people. They have quaint customs—they aren't really, shall we say, sophisticated like we are. You can't drink the water—it will give you diarrhea. But it's very clean there. Good food. You'll see."

Related Characters: Tía Irma (speaker), Nayeli, Tacho, Vampi, Yolo
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

The USA didn't look as nice over there as it did on television.

Related Characters: Nayeli, Tacho, Vampi, Yolo
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

She was so disturbed that it gave her the strangest comfort, as though something she had suspected about life all along was being confirmed, and the sorrow she felt in her bed at night was reflected by this soil.

Related Characters: Nayeli
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

Nayeli looked at the migra agents through the iron mesh. Big men. Happy, bright-faced men. Shiny and crisp. Green uniforms. Short hair. Mustaches.

What made them different from her?

She could not tell.

Related Characters: Nayeli, Officer Arnold Davis (Arnie)
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

Nobody but Nayeli's gang was on a quest to protect and repopulate their villages. They were there for food, to send money home. These invaders, so infamous on American talk radio, were hopeless and frantic with starving compulsion.

Related Characters: Nayeli, Vampi, Yolo
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

"You are there to collect Mexicans," Irma reminded her. "Don't fall in love with that missionary!"

"I won't."

"And don't screw him, either. If you give him the milk for free, why would he buy the cow?"

"Tía!"

"Don't bring me any damned American surfers. And don't bring me any American babies. Bring me Mexicans."

Related Characters: Nayeli (speaker), Tía Irma (speaker), Matt
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

"Welcome to the United States," Velma shouted at them as if they were deaf.

Everyone smiled warmly, wondering if she was mad at them.

Related Characters: Velma (speaker), Nayeli, Vampi, Yolo, Atómiko, Matt
Page Number: 213
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:

"Ay, m'ija," he sighed. "All they need is a few hot-air balloons to make it perfect here." Ahead of them, a hot-air balloon rose." "Oh," he said. "America wins every time."

Related Characters: Tacho (speaker), Nayeli, Chava Chavarín
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:
Chapter 27 Quotes

On the radio, they heard many angry Americans with loud voices saying Mexicans were unwanted, and immigrants carried disease and harbored terrorists. English only, the AM shouters boomed; English was the official language of America.

Related Characters: Nayeli, Tacho
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

"Where are you from, por favor?" Nayeli asked.

"Colorado," she replied.

"But...qué es la palabra...original?"

"Colorado."

Related Characters: Nayeli (speaker), The Cook’s Wife (speaker), Tacho, The Cook
Page Number: 279
Explanation and Analysis:

"You get out of here. Illegals. What about the rest of us? What about us, cabrones? I came here LEGALLY! You hear that, LEGAL. You criminals come in here, make me look bad? I'm sorry, but you have to leave. Get out!"

Related Characters: The Cook (speaker), Nayeli, Tacho, The Cook’s Wife
Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

"Please? The sign say six thousand pounds of dog. Of the pradera!"

The woman said, "Oh. The big giant prairie dog." She leaned forward. "It's a lie. It's made of cement."

[…] Tacho went out to the minivan and massaged his forehead.

Nayeli jumped in and said, "Just in time."

She was baffled when he announced, "It is all a cruel illusion."

Related Characters: Nayeli (speaker), Tacho (speaker), El Brujo (speaker)
Page Number: 303
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 33 Quotes

"Sweetheart," he said. "People like us? We don't marry Johnny Depp."

Related Characters: Tacho (speaker), Nayeli
Page Number: 315
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Into the Beautiful North LitChart as a printable PDF.
Into the Beautiful North PDF

Nayeli Character Timeline in Into the Beautiful North

The timeline below shows where the character Nayeli 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
Nayeli dances down the streets of Tres Camarones on her way to work at the Fallen... (full context)
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Nayeli is coming from Tía Irma's campaign headquarters. Irma is running for mayor, and if she... (full context)
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...Tacho, brushes off the cop's insults and slurs—he's gay, and he's heard it all. Finally, Nayeli bursts through the door, flirting with Tacho on her way in, making the narcos wonder... (full context)
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Still laughing, Scarface and the state cop holler for drinks. Nayeli delivers two beers as fast as she can so that she doesn't have to be... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Tacho and Nayeli carry on with their work. Nayeli thinks about one particular missionary, Matt. All of Nayeli's... (full context)
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Nayeli pulls out Matt's card, which she keeps in her knee sock, to inspect it. It's... (full context)
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Nayeli sweeps the sidewalk outside and thinks that boys no longer whistle at her. She wonders... (full context)
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As Nayeli sweeps the floor, she sighs over Matt. Finally, she tosses her broom inside and declares... (full context)
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Tacho sighs, thinking that these days, the bar only attracts old ladies and Nayeli's friends, none of whom spend money. He started selling shoes out of his bedroom after... (full context)
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Tacho groans—Nayeli's friends, "the notorious girlfriends," are approaching his bar, yelling "Adios," the customary greeting in Tres... (full context)
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...and declares dramatically that she doesn't know how much more she can take. Yolo and Nayeli roll their eyes, but Tacho makes up a bowl of cut fruit sprinkled with chili... (full context)
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Nayeli and Yolo pull up videos on the internet. When they find one of Captain Jack... (full context)
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When Nayeli gets home late, her mother tells her that they're going to the lagoon the next... (full context)
Chapter 4
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The next morning, Nayeli hurries after Tía Irma as they walk down to the dock. Nayeli's mother slides into... (full context)
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Nayeli and Yolo wade through the lagoon and giggle at Tacho, who is on the shore... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
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...the basket, the crabs wrestle each other and never let any of their companions escape. Nayeli remarks that the crabs are much like the women in Mexico, and Yolo tells her... (full context)
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Suddenly, Nayeli spots a crab and dives for it. When she pulls it out of the water,... (full context)
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Later, as Tacho and the women eat their crabs, Nayeli asks the group if anyone in town is pregnant. Irma jokes that she and her... (full context)
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...night, Irma turns her color television towards the window so the village can watch TV. Nayeli watches those gathered to watch TV and those who pass on the street. She realizes... (full context)
Chapter 5
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The next morning, Tía Irma steers her ancient Cadillac towards Mazatlán. Vampi, Nayeli, and Yolo snore peacefully in the backseat. As usual, Irma points out a mountain, promises... (full context)
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...fruit. She tells the woman to go home and says that Mexico is for Mexicans. Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi are appalled and embarrassed, but Irma goes off on a tirade anyway.... (full context)
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Irma agrees to let Nayeli drive home. As Vampi and Yolo sleep in the backseat, Nayeli whines that she's lonely.... (full context)
Chapter 6
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In the days leading up to the election, Nayeli and Irma work hard to make the women of Tres Camarones believe that they should... (full context)
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A few days before the election, Irma and Nayeli knock on the door of García-García's big, white house. One of his five housekeepers answers... (full context)
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...is finished, she takes one of García-García's cigarettes and waits for him to light it. Nayeli thinks that she watched this happen on TV, and that Irma looks like Bette Davis.... (full context)
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...Irma the winner. The women light off fireworks, and Tacho plays loud music. Irma hugs Nayeli and says that a new age has arrived. (full context)
Chapter 7
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That night, Nayeli wanders around her mother's dark house and thinks about poor orphaned Vampi. Vampi's parents died... (full context)
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Nayeli approaches her mother's small altar to Don Pepe. A few candles surround a framed photo... (full context)
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García-García's cinema, the Cine Pedro Infante, fills for the festival. Nayeli attends with Tacho and shouts at Vampi and Yolo across the theater. The entirety of... (full context)
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...Irma puts her lighter in the air to scare them off, and then Westworld begins. Nayeli and Tacho groan and giggle, and Irma glares at them. At one point, Irma remarks... (full context)
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During intermission, Nayeli lounges with her friends in the aisles as a band plays. Father François tells Nayeli... (full context)
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When the movie begins, Nayeli feels more tingles. Irma and García-García engage in a shouting match over who is better,... (full context)
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Finally, Nayeli says, "The Magnificent Seven." Yolo and Vampi just stare. Nayeli declares that they have to... (full context)
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Nayeli whispers that they'll finally have boyfriends, babies, and no bandidos, and they could even find... (full context)
Chapter 8
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In the living room, Nayeli asks what harm can come to them if God is with them, and Tacho thinks... (full context)
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...for hundreds of years, then by allowing their men to escape, and finally by denying Nayeli, Vampi, and Yolo the future. She snaps her fingers at Tacho to get her coffee,... (full context)
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...are kind and have quaint customs, but you can't drink the water there. Pointing to Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi, Irma says that God himself came from Tres Camarones, and she won't... (full context)
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Later, Nayeli packs her belongings. She tucks Matt's card and the phone number from Irma into her... (full context)
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...under the bus and promises Irma that he will take care of the girls. As Nayeli boards the bus, Irma reminds her to bring home only cops or soldiers. Irma tells... (full context)
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Nayeli blurts that she's going to find her father, and Irma says simply that they'll see.... (full context)
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In the middle of the night, Nayeli jerks awake as the bus stops. She meets Chuy's eyes in the rearview, and he... (full context)
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Just before dawn, Nayeli and Tacho wake suddenly to the sound of gunshots. Nayeli creeps up the aisle and... (full context)
Chapter 9
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
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...the bus stops for a thirty-minute break and to pick up a relief driver. Tacho, Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi cross the street to a diner to freshen up and eat. However,... (full context)
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...to talk radio. The radio hosts talk about keeping Guatemalans and Salvadorans out of Mexico. Nayeli sits behind the new driver, who points out car wrecks, an Indian woman walking with... (full context)
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When the bus reaches a customs station, Chuy tells Nayeli to not say anything to the officers and if she has marijuana, to get rid... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
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...they're Mexican or not. One officer points and laughs at Tacho, whispering with his coworkers. Nayeli whispers that this man is the Jefe (boss). The Jefe approaches Tacho and accuses him... (full context)
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The Jefe looks Nayeli up and down, suggests he search her for marijuana, and leads Tacho away. A kind... (full context)
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Tacho hurries to the bus and pretends to sleep. The Jefe calls to Nayeli to come see him sometime as she leaves the building, and the officers laugh. The... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...take passengers to Tijuana if they are willing to stand the rest of the way. Nayeli, Tacho, Yolo, and Vampi board the new bus, and Nayeli is nauseated by the smell... (full context)
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Nayeli watches the landscape as the bus drives down into Tijuana. Shacks give way to small... (full context)
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When Nayeli asks a man where she can find a phone booth, he briskly tells her to... (full context)
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Tacho, Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi pile into a taxi with two other people to go downtown. Loud... (full context)
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...can tell Tacho is from the south and tells him to be careful. He directs Nayeli to a payphone but tells her not to call her "coyotes" from the restaurant. Tacho... (full context)
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Nayeli gets coins for the payphone and admires the American women in the hallway by the... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...wall, and Yolo suggests they call 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... (full context)
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Nayeli asks the men to direct her to a hotel, and one offers Nayeli, Yolo, and... (full context)
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Around three in the morning, Nayeli hears whispers outside the door. She watches as the knob turns, the latch pops, and... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...to the street. Yolo and Tacho discuss how they both loved Matt, and Tacho calls Nayeli promiscuous for kissing Matt. Nayeli leads them to a metal wall. They study the graffiti... (full context)
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A man selling ice cream approaches, and Nayeli purchases ice cream bars for everyone. Nayeli asks the vendor what the wall is, and... (full context)
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Nayeli watches a Border Patrol agent standing next to his truck. They wave at each other,... (full context)
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...a chapel, and Vampi pesters a group of American missionaries. A man stops next to Nayeli and asks if she's tired, but she just glares at him. He hands her a... (full context)
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...the fruit market to count their day's earnings and purchase potatoes and bread. Araceli notices Nayeli's group looking even more beaten down and bedraggled than she and her husband do. (full context)
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Araceli and Porfirio approach Nayeli and ask her if she's alright. Nayeli replies that they're in trouble, but they'll get... (full context)
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When they board a bus, Nayeli pays the fare for Porfirio and Araceli. When the bus begins to climb a rocky... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Nayeli watches men burning the plastic sheaths off of wires and is shocked to see the... (full context)
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...purchase eggs, and now, hours later, Porfirio dances drunkenly. Tacho primly sips his rum, and Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi just sit on a bunk bed and stare at the filth. Araceli... (full context)
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Nayeli wanders among the graves, straightening headstones and putting flowers on one. At the top of... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...staff of some sort, Atómiko's is bigger and more lethal than anyone else's. He catcalls Nayeli, and she waves a hand and walks off. (full context)
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Atómiko introduces himself, but Nayeli continues to brush him off and walk further away. The narrator explains that Atómiko is... (full context)
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The zombies put out their hands to block Nayeli, and one asks her for a kiss. Out of nowhere, Atómiko's staff comes down on... (full context)
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Atómiko follows Nayeli to a small bodega, where she calls Irma. Irma doesn't pick up, and Nayeli almost... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...that the group needs a warrior like him to accompany them over the border, and Nayeli rudely insults Atómiko's "elegant" life and the fact that he used to sneak over the... (full context)
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...Wino jumps out of the car and jokes with Atómiko and Tacho in broken English. Nayeli tries to decline Wino and Atómiko's help, but Tacho speaks over her. Wino promises to... (full context)
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Nayeli dislikes Atómiko, but Tacho, Yolo, and Vampi insist on allowing him to come. Atómiko tells... (full context)
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...try again the next day. Coyotes (crossing guides) mill around, and Christian missionaries drive through. Nayeli watches for Matt. (full context)
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...tries to hide his fear. Finally, the men strike a deal and Wino leaves. Suddenly, Nayeli notices a commotion. People are throwing rocks at a white Border Patrol truck on the... (full context)
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...the truck, and two more trucks arrive and begin firing teargas grenades. The coyote leads Nayeli and the group to a safe spot, and they wait for nightfall. (full context)
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Atómiko promises that if Nayeli and the group get caught, he'll meet them at the deportee drop off site in... (full context)
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Nayeli soon becomes frustrated with the coyote—he's a smoker and out of shape, and she feels... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Nayeli knows she has to take charge; she declares that they should travel east towards San... (full context)
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...they don't all just stay home. Tacho laughs that he wishes he stayed home, and Nayeli offers that her group isn't bad. (full context)
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...school bus and drop off their clients. Agent Anderson and Candelaria acknowledge each other, and Nayeli's group loses track of Candelaria on the bus. Nayeli is shocked to see that some... (full context)
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...agents to a San Diego city cop, usher the Mexican detainees into a holding pen. Nayeli feels a hand grab her buttocks and another touch her breast. This distracts her, and... (full context)
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When Nayeli looks at the agents on the other side, she thinks they look big and crisp.... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Arnie ushers Nayeli out of the holding pen and seats her at a desk. When he asks Nayeli... (full context)
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When Nayeli finds Yolo, Tacho, and Vampi, Yolo is incensed. She pushes Nayeli, attracting the attention of... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Nayeli leads Yolo and Vampi through the streets. She watches American men and wonders again what... (full context)
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When Nayeli wakes up, she pulls out her postcard and reads her father's message, "everything passes." Then,... (full context)
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Irma suddenly asks about Atómiko and Tacho. Nayeli sighs, ignores her, and says that they're going back across the border and will call... (full context)
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...Yolo and Vampi open the door, and they discuss the phone call to Irma with Nayeli. They decide to call Matt when they get to the US, but they agree that... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Wino drives Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi out past the Tijuana airport to a muffler shop. Yolo and Vampi... (full context)
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...a stitching company in the US. At night, his associates will open the door. When Nayeli asks what happens if the man is caught, he explains they'll blow up the tunnel,... (full context)
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...climb up. He directs them to a garage and from there, into a box truck. Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi clutch each other as the truck winds through traffic. After a while,... (full context)
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Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi look around and wander out of the lot. They come to a... (full context)
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Vampi asks the group 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... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Yolo, Vampi, and Nayeli are lucky to discover that the Jack in the Box is staffed by undocumented Mexicans... (full context)
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...and watch TV. Matt feels trapped and is shocked to receive a phone call from Nayeli. (full context)
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Matt pulls into the Jack in the Box parking lot in Ma Johnston's minivan. Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi rush to him and hug him, and Matt is delighted to see... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Once he arrives in Tijuana, Tacho calls Tía Irma. She explains that Nayeli supposedly went to Matt's house, but she doesn't know if she made it. Tacho vows... (full context)
Chapter 22
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In the morning, Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi quietly wash their clothes. They giggle at how fast asleep Atómiko and... (full context)
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Later, Matt drives the group to get pancakes. Nayeli tries to explain what a pancake is to Vampi, but Vampi declares she'll order huevos... (full context)
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...alley, but he doesn't want the girls to come see him at work. Yolo and Nayeli wonder if he was actually Irma's boyfriend, and they ask Matt to drive them to... (full context)
Chapter 23
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In the present, Matt drives Yolo, Nayeli, and Atómiko to the Hillcrest bowling alley. Nayeli takes Matt's arm as they walk in... (full context)
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Yolo and Matt bowl while Atómiko insults them, and Nayeli and Chava talk. He tells her how he betrayed Irma. Nayeli explains that Irma never... (full context)
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Nayeli convinces Chava that Tres Camarones will be thrilled to have him back, and he agrees... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...makes him realize how lonely he is. At one point during the dinner, Chava pulls Nayeli aside and explains that he knows a young man named Angel who used to be... (full context)
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Chava picks Nayeli and Tacho up at eight the next morning. As they head for the car, Atómiko... (full context)
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...a few times, and he always takes supplies. He drives to a grocery store, and Nayeli is in awe of the abundant produce and clean cuts of meat. As Nayeli and... (full context)
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...runs his cart into Sully's heels, frantically apologizes for being a "stupid Mexican," and ushers Nayeli and Tacho into the checkout line. He instructs them to not look at Sully and... (full context)
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...that run through fields of flowers. He pulls over next to a barrier, and he, Nayeli, Tacho, and Atómiko each grab a bag of groceries. Chava muses that they're in the... (full context)
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As the men distribute donuts, Don Arturo tells Nayeli how they live in the camp. They split costs and often throw out clothes that... (full context)
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Atómiko continues to taunt Sully and Jimbo in his broken English, which Nayeli struggles to understand. She stands up, Sully calls her a bitch, and the back-and-forth taunts... (full context)
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Chava drops Tacho, Nayeli, and Atómiko back at Matt's house around midnight. They find Carla in an inflatable pool... (full context)
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Carla calls for Nayeli's attention and says that Nayeli received a call. Nayeli can barely listen; she tries to... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Nayeli sinks into the water of the pool, thinking that nobody knows she's here. She feels... (full context)
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The next day, Nayeli, Tacho, Vampi, and Yolo walk into the hotel where Irma is staying. Irma greets them... (full context)
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A bit later, Nayeli knocks on Chava's door. He refuses to answer and asks if "she" is with Nayeli.... (full context)
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...a policeman if she could convince him to come to Tres Camarones. Though Irma thinks Nayeli’s trip to find her dad is foolish, Irma gives Nayeli a debit card and tells... (full context)
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Matt spreads out his road atlas and helps Tacho and Nayeli plan their route. Yolo watches and openly admires Matt, and Nayeli sneers at her. Tacho... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Tacho and Nayeli begin their road trip early in the morning. The desert between San Diego and Las... (full context)
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After an hour, Nayeli comments that the desert is harsh. Tacho, lost in thought about Rigoberto's teapot, insists that... (full context)
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...too big, and he wonders if the country's hugeness is why Americans seem so crazy. Nayeli is moody and quiet, which annoys Tacho. They slow down to gawk at an RV... (full context)
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When Tacho and Nayeli drop into a curio shop, Tacho suggests they get a wind-up penis for Yolo. Nayeli... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Tacho finds an oldies radio station, and he and Nayeli reminisce about life in Tres Camarones. Tacho discovers he loves pumping gas, as it makes... (full context)
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When they reach the town of Green River, Nayeli is nervous when nobody at the gas station laughs. She and Tacho find a Mexican... (full context)
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When the cook’s wife returns to deliver a Coke for Tacho, Nayeli asks her where she's from. The woman replies that she's from Colorado, and she and... (full context)
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All the landmarks Tacho and Nayeli encounter fail to amaze them, and they fear that every car is filled with people... (full context)
Chapter 30
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When Nayeli and Tacho reach the Rocky Mountains, they stop at a Burger King near a hot... (full context)
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They continue to climb the mountain and stop at a viewpoint. Nayeli cries again at the view, and Tacho shrieks excitedly when he sees mountain goats. When... (full context)
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As night arrives, Nayeli is thrilled and intrigued by the cold, though Tacho is less impressed. They find a... (full context)
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The next day, Tacho and Nayeli smirk at the skinny people jogging in Boulder, Colorado. They climb another mountain, and when... (full context)
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When Nayeli jumps out, she's immediately freezing. She watches the animals eat and greets a fisherman fishing... (full context)
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...the proper amount and hands him a map. When Tacho notices a bobcat and shrieks, Nayeli reminds him that it's just a robot. Later, when it starts to snow, they get... (full context)
Chapter 32
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When they reach the Great Plains, Nayeli feels as though they've stopped moving because the land is simply so vast and empty.... (full context)
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When Tacho and Nayeli reconvene at the van, he announces that everything is a cruel illusion. They stop at... (full context)
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...continues to make strange noises. Feeling queasy, Tacho declares that the trip is torture, and Nayeli apologizes and fights back tears. Tacho is almost crying too. (full context)
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...Louis to look at the Mississippi River. Tacho feels stabs in his stomach and tells Nayeli to not drink the water. They purchase Pepto-Bismol and stop for the night at a... (full context)
Chapter 33
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...at every rest stop to use the restroom. The van seems sick as well, and Nayeli speaks comfortingly to Tacho as they drive. Tacho thinks that Don Pepe probably isn't even... (full context)
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Tacho turns towards downtown, and Nayeli exclaims over a Mexican grocery store. Finally, they stop at a motel, and the van's... (full context)
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Nayeli buys soda and crackers in the lobby, and the receptionist tells her how to make... (full context)
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Nayeli tells Irma that they made it to Kankakee, and Tacho is sick. Irma tells Nayeli... (full context)
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Nayeli admits that she and Tacho broke the minivan, and Irma snaps that they'll just have... (full context)
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When Nayeli confesses she's tired, Irma insists that she changed the world. Irma orders Chava out of... (full context)
Chapter 34
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In the morning, Nayeli walks to a drive-through taco shop and asks the man if he knows her father.... (full context)
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Nayeli makes eye contact with a woman behind the counter, and the woman smiles. Nayeli goes... (full context)
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Mary-Jo leads Nayeli behind her desk and calls the police. Nayeli is alarmed, but Mary-Jo assures her that... (full context)
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Mary-Jo agrees to drop Nayeli off down the block from Don Pepe's house and sends her off with a hug.... (full context)
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A big Dodge truck passes Nayeli. It has stickers of the American and Mexican flags in the back window, and it... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Tacho and Nayeli decide to leave the dead van in Kankakee, and Mary-Jo drives them to the bus... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...way down the aisle. At the back of the bus, he stops and stares at Nayeli and Tacho. Too tired to smile, Nayeli greets Arnie and reintroduces herself. Tacho puts out... (full context)
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Arnie shows Nayeli and Tacho into the back of his truck and tells his coworker that he's taking... (full context)
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Finally, Arnie decides that Tacho and Nayeli aren't lying about their quest. He sighs, knowing that Tacho and Nayeli will never make... (full context)
Epilogue
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...yelling, which alarms the old women—they fear the bad men will shoot him. He yells "Nayeli!" and then, "Nayeli and Tacho walking with a monkey!" He says the monkey has a... (full context)