Trash

Trash

by

Andy Mulligan

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A 14-year-old “trash boy” who is Raphael’s best friend and who also lives on the Behala landfill. Gardo is more serious than Raphael (who’s a little more naïve) and he looks after Raphael as they work together to sort trash, seeking plastic, paper, and rags that they can sell by the kilogram for food. Gardo is concerned when Raphael finds clues to a stolen fortune and he subsequently gets mixed up with the police, but Gardo sticks by his friend and he often thinks strategically to ensure the boys stay one step ahead of the police as they hunt for the money. With the coerced help of Olivia, who works at Behala’s Mission School, Gardo seeks out a political prisoner named Gabriel Olondriz at a squalid prison and he bravely retrieves a coded Bible from a corrupt guard named Marco, despite fearing the consequences of being caught. After discovering the stolen fortune and distributing it among the poor, Gardo escapes to a better life with Raphael, Rat (another boy from the dumpsite), and Pia Dante, the orphaned daughter of José Angelico (the man who stole and hid the fortune from the corrupt Senator Zapanta).

Gardo Quotes in Trash

The Trash quotes below are all either spoken by Gardo or refer to Gardo. 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:
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ember edition of Trash published in 2011.
Part 1: Chapter 1 Quotes

Gardo’s my partner, and we always work together. He looks after me.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo
Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

We get the fast food too, and that’s a little business in itself. It doesn’t come out near me and Gardo, it goes down the far end, and about a hundred kids sort out the straws, the cups, and the chicken bones. Everything turned, cleaned and bagged up – cycled down to the weighers, weighed and sold.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo
Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Chapter 4 Quotes

Trash is often wet, and the juices are always running. Maybe the ground here was a bit lower, I don’t know—but it was always muddy […] I got down low with the candle, trying not to breathe too deep because of the stink […] It might seem crazy asking a kid if you can come into his hole, but this hole was about the only thing Rat had, apart from what he wore. I would not have lived there – anywhere would have been better.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

When Smoky Mountain went down, there were nearly a hundred killed, and everyone knows some of those poor souls are still down there, down with the trash, turned into trash, rotting with the trash.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Chapter 5 Quotes

On the other hand, I did not want Raphael hiding and drawing attention that way, so that’s why I kept him right in the middle of it.

Related Characters: Gardo (speaker), Raphael Fernández, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:

In our little neighborhood there were more cooking fires than usual, and a few cases of beer. There was music and singing, and everyone was happy.

Related Characters: Gardo (speaker)
Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

Ten thousand is a lot of money!

Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Chapter 6 Quotes

I was told once about runaways, and it made me sick. How if a new kid shows up with nowhere to go, and the police get him—they wait till night, break his legs and put him on the tracks.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Chapter 2 Quotes

It sounds crazy, but there was some part of me sure I’d never found it, and some other part of me begging me not to give up—maybe for José Angelico, because we knew more about him now.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 3 Quotes

Behala also makes you want to weep, because it looks like an awful punishment that will never end – and if you have any imagination, you can see the child and what he is doomed to do for the rest of his life. When you see the old man, too weak to work, propped in a chair outside his shack, you think, That is Raphael in forty years. What could possibly change? These children are doomed to breathe the stink all day, all night, sifting the effluent of the city. Rats and children, children and rats, and you sometimes think they have pretty much the same life.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 4 Quotes

They’re poor. They do many things.

Related Characters: Gardo (speaker), Olivia Weston (Sister Olivia) , Gabriel Olondriz
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 5 Quotes

What matters is that forty years ago I came upon information that Senator Zapanta had spirited away thirty million dollars of international aid money […] But no schools or hospitals were ever built, and the city stayed poor.

Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 7 Quotes

I had so much evidence. Unfortunately for me, I was naïve. My office was raided. The same night there was a terrible fire at my house. I was away but both my maid and my driver were killed in it. And every scrap of evidence went up in smoke.

Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 10 Quotes

I learned perhaps more than any university could ever teach me.

Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 4 Quotes

Once again, the trash boys were ahead of the trash police.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 6 Quotes

Rat had been chased so often, and grabbed at so often, that he must have had extra senses.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 7 Quotes

What was ten million dollars doing in your house, sir?

Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 5: Chapter 1 Quotes

We were amongst wealthy people in very fancy clothes, and we felt even greyer and dirtier, but there was nothing for it, and still nobody was worrying about us – no one seemed to see us, like we were ghosts.

Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

And that is when we saw the brightest light.

Related Symbols: Brightest Light, Trash
Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 5: Chapter 5 Quotes

I wanted to hang back and see what happened when the first trash boy of the morning hooked up—not a stupp, but a hundred dollar bill.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Trash LitChart as a printable PDF.
Trash PDF

Gardo Character Timeline in Trash

The timeline below shows where the character Gardo appears in Trash. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
...crawl and sort through mountain-sized piles of trash all day long. Raphael and his friend Gardo usually never find anything interesting—only stupp. But one day, Raphael does find something. (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...50. A trash boy lives by his “hook,” which he uses to sort through trash. Gardo and Raphael work together, rapidly sorting through the stupp and gathering plastic.  (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 2
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Raphael recounts the day everything changed: he is working with Gardo by the crane belts that offload trash. Even though this location dangerous and trash rains... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...astonishing 1,100 pesos—enough for countless chickens, beers, and hours in the video hall. Raphael gives Gardo 500 pesos and he notices an identification card for a José Angelico in the wallet.... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 3
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
That evening, Raphael and Gardo are kicking a ball around while Raphael’s auntie boils rice over a communal cooking fire... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...Raphael sleep in a box the size of a sheet with his cousins (and sometimes Gardo). Raphael keeps his most precious finds from the dumpsite in a beer crate back on... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 4
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...Rat because he lives in a trash hole full of rats. After dinner, Raphael and Gardo weave their way through a part of the dumpsite that disgusts them, knee-deep in watery... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...Rat cheerfully agrees to stash it in his walls, though he warns the Raphael and Gardo that the rats will eat it soon. The boys strategize that they will pretend to... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 5
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Gardo explains that Raphael forgot to mention he was so excited that he wanted to go... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...other kids are excited because McKinley residents have toilets, meaning the trash had no stupp. Gardo and Raphael start to realize how important this bag is to the police and they... (full context)
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
The line of trucks waiting to get in is getting longer. Gardo knows the dumpsite is a longshot, as somebody could have grabbed the bag before it... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...nothing to worry about. Raphael’s auntie frets about how much money 10,000 pesos is, and Gardo has to remind her that there is no chance the police will actually pay up.... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 6
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
The next day, Raphael and Rat convince Gardo to lead them to the station. Gardo insists they go early to avoid any police.... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...jump off the train right before it arrives in order to avoid the station guards. Gardo nearly falls on Raphael, whereas Raphael notices that Rat is agile and fast. The three... (full context)
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Rat knows exactly what he’s doing: he ducks behind some customers while Raphael and Gardo walk right past as if nothing happened. The lockers aren’t smashed, which meant the police... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...tale. One Thursday, a thin and ashy Jun offers to pay if he, Raphael, and Gardo can use the school’s aging computer to research some information for a newspaper quiz. Father... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 2
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Raphael says that the story gets serious now. As Gardo predicted, four vans of police come to Behala that night; the officers search everyone’s homes... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...Raphael up to the chair by his hair as he screams that he was with Gardo. The police slap Raphael’s bleeding, snotty face and they ask what the money was in.... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...tired man fires repeated questions at Raphael: he asks how “trash like you” can read (Gardo and Raphael’s auntie taught him), how much money he found (1,100 pesos), and where the... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 3
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...imagine that sort of money, which is even more in pesos. On the computer, Raphael, Gardo, and Rat learned that José Angelico was an orphan who’d been adopted by the son... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...at the Mission School, says she also has a part in this story; Raphael, Rat, Gardo, and Father Juilliard asked her to “write it down carefully.” Originally, she traveled to the... (full context)
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
The day after Raphael returns from the police station, Jun brings him and Gardo to visit Olivia. When Raphael arrived at Behala, bloody and beaten, the whole neighborhood came... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Olivia says that her vanity allowed the boys to manipulate her. She takes Gardo alone with her, stopping on the way to get him some new clothes since even... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 2
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...survival tactic. The boys had a special plan for Father Juilliard. He thinks Raphael and Gardo were “smart” but what Jun did really shocked him.   (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 3
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
The taxi drives Olivia and Gardo to a “squalid” part of the city, even more so than Behala. Still, Behala is... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
...immediately and he thanks her for volunteering in their poor city. Mr. Oliva suggests that Gardo go in alone because the prison conditions are rough, but Olivia insists on accompanying him.... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 4
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
...of hands stretches out toward Olivia, clamoring for water or pesos, amid cries for help. Gardo takes Olivia’s hand to steady her, but she is paralyzed by shock. They pass through... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 5
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
...brink of death—greets Olivia, happy for the company. Olivia is confused that he doesn’t greet Gardo, who freezes and goes quiet. Gabriel Olondriz and Gardo talk softly in “their own language”... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 6
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
In the present day, Gardo says that he’s sorry about tricking Olivia. Rat wanted to confide in Olivia, but Gardo... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 7
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Gardo wipes Gabriel Olondriz’s forehead and he asks Olondriz who Dante Jerome was and what the... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 8
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...her again and to thank her in person. Meanwhile, Raphael and Rat are restless while Gardo are at the prison. They pore over the letter, which they’ve almost memorized (even the... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...fisherman and live on the beach, clean and free of Behala. He thinks Raphael and Gardo should come too, knowing that the police will never leave Raphael alone. Raphael thinks about... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 10
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...must have gotten tired of waiting for life to pan out for him. Turning to Gardo, Olondriz says that they’d better talk about the letter. To Olondriz’s amazement, Gardo has memorized... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
...sing” if he could go to Senator Zapanta’s house. Olondriz goes pale and he asks Gardo (in his language) if there is also a slip of paper containing numbers and slashes.... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Gabriel Olondriz calls Gardo an “angel” and he’s glad Gardo didn’t bring the letter. Olondriz quietly explains that the... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Right after Gardo comes back to Behala, the police blaze in with sirens blaring, and the boys know... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
The boys know they need Olondriz’s Bible, so Gardo bravely walks to the prison and he watches the building for three days. Eventually, Gardo... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 2
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...agree to return it if they can decode the Bible and find the stolen money. Gardo  meets Marco in a tea-house, worrying about the police grabbing him and beating him to... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 3
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
During the commotion, Raphael saw Rat running toward Gardo. Raphael takes off in the other direction, running into traffic and he thinks that the... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 4
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Raphael sits down with Gardo to try to decode the Bible by candlelight. They flip to the crucifixion passage that... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 6
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...Everyone cheers and they all run out as a noisy, chaotic crowd, confusing the police. Gardo—thinking quickly—holds out their remaining cash in front of a taxi when they hit the main... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
...get directions. They search until dark, feeling grey, dirty, and invisible among the wealthy crowd. Gardo climbs up a marble angel to get a better view. Then the boys see “the... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 2
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...the guards break the boxes and dump the bodies aside in a rotting pile. Finally, Gardo finds the Angelico grave. Underneath the words “Maria Angelico, wife of José Angelico,” “the brightest... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 4
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...to do: he feeds Pia water and a chopped-up banana, like baby food. Raphael and Gardo still think Rat saved her life. It turns out that Pia was brought to the... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Gardo buys some brandy because the boys need courage to break open a grave after midnight... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 5
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...around. At the bottom of the sack, Raphael finds another letter from José Angelico, which Gardo holds onto. They change into the school uniforms, wash their faces, and leave (with Pia... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 6
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Raphael, Gardo, Jun, and Pia Dante get on the train, looking just like all the other school... (full context)