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Hispanic Heritage
A Home for El Gaucho, Part 2

Hispanic Heritage
Hispanic Heritage

A Home for El Gaucho, Part 2
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.93

     challenging words:    several, hopefully, laughing, longer, schools, picking, smirk, tears, working, broad, nickname, anymore, hollow, jobs, okay, camp
     content words:    Aw BWAY, Abuelo Tito, Abuela Maria, Rio Bravo, With Gaucho, Tia Lilia, El Gaucho

A Home for El Gaucho, Part 2
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     Several years ago, Papá had taken Luis to visit his grandfather. Abuelo (Aw BWAY low) Tito was old now. He no longer worked picking fruit in the U.S. He lived in Mexico. Luis and Papá crossed the border to visit him. Policemen had looked at their papers and asked Papá questions. Finally, the border guards had waved them on.
2     They'd traveled to a big city. They stopped at a tiny house that looked like it was ready to fall in on itself. Abuelo Tito seemed happy to see them. Later, though, he and Papá argued. They shouted at each other. Luis covered his ears and hid in a corner.
3     "¿Por qué usted no vendrá vivo con nosotros?¡Esta casa está cayendo abajo encima de usted! [Why won't you come live with us? This house is falling down on top of you!]" Papá said.
4     "¡No le necesito tomar el cuidado de mí! [I don't need you to take care of me!]" Abuelo shouted.
5     Papá sighed. "Come on, 'Wees," he said. "Adiós, Papá." He and Abuelo Tito nodded at each other. Their faces were frowning and unhappy. Luis followed Papá back to the car. As they drove through the dark, Papá stared straight ahead. Finally, he began to talk. He spoke of his boyhood years, of long days of picking fruit. He told about falling out of an apple tree and breaking his arm.
6     He talked about Abuelo Tito and Abuela Maria, who was gone now. Abuelo Tito had come to the U.S. as a young man. He'd come the way many others had, crossing the border secretly. Many people who came to pick crops had no papers. It was against the law to cross without them. The guards at the border wouldn't let workers with no papers into the U.S. But the people needed the jobs. So they crossed in secret, trying to stay out of sight of the police.
7     The secret ways were difficult. They were so dangerous that many people died in the crossing. Abuelo Tito crossed by swimming the Rio Bravo. It was the way many came into the U.S. from Mexico. Because of this, Mexican people were called "wetbacks" in the U.S. It wasn't a friendly nickname.
8     Papá told Luis how his family and others lived in fear of the police. Because they were in the U.S. illegally, there was always a danger. They could be arrested. Then they were deported, or sent away, back to Mexico. Abuelo Tito had been seized and deported three times. Once he was beaten. Still, he had made his way back each time. He was determined to take care of his family. Abuelo was a tough one, Papá said, shaking his head. Tough and obstinado [stubborn].

Paragraphs 9 to 21:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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