Esperanza is a quiet, humble woman. And she worked right along side her father and her husband to make the life, first of her siblings, and then of her children, one worth celebrating. They learned from her their ethics, as did the rest of us who've known her and her always well-manicured, home next to a park in the middle of town. Esperanza speaks of her children with pride, they finished high school, and the boys even went on to college, she reveals without false pride or pretense. She worked since the age of 4. The concept of college was as foreign to her, as the place of her grandmother's birth, which is still an enigma to her.
Like the rest of the women in this series, María Cárdenas is a woman of faith, a woman of God, in fact the church is likely the one place that unified these women and for some, what kept them and their families from drowning, at least socially. María takes her role quite seriously as informal advisor and comadrona to younger Latinas in Umatilla County. Her daughters no longer live in the county that witnessed their lives through young adulthood before moving on to their next chapter - college, married life, families of their own, and the stability that their parents sought all along. Marías eldest son did not have the same fate. He died a detestably early death, succumbing to the many social ills faced by youth who perhaps feel they don't fit in their environment. His mother's dedication to the community was perhaps her own way to guide his spirit. She speaks about her life and legacy in Hermiston in her segments in this section, just as Esperanza humbly approaches and shares hers.