POV Project: Barrio Boy

Written by: Mia Aguirre

The Adobe Houses

All of the houses in Jalcocotán are built to look like one another. They all had the same corral color along the back wall of the house and they all had similar herbs in various potted jars that gave off that distinct oregano, thyme and mint scent. Every house had thatch leaves that "protected the sprays of bright green and red and pink.." from the sun and rain. There were no set standards on how to build the homes. The book states "There were no building codes in the pueblo..." yet every cottage seemed built to look like all the others. Similar to the houses, the citizens of Jalcocotán's lifestyles are very alike in the aspect of uniform. Everyone lived identical lifestyles and Ernesto and his family have brought that over with them to America.

The Street

The only street in Jalcocotán served as the citizen's "second home". Many different events happened on the street; events such as fights and funerals. The book states "Whatever happened in Jalcocotán had to happen on our street because there was no other place for it to happen." Having one street where everything happens is a big contrast to America where most neighborhoods have multiple streets. One street keeps you more in contact with the people around you and most everyone in Jalco knew everything that was going on. The Jalcocotecanos spent most of their time and events on this street making it a very significant spot.

The Arroyo

The arroyo served many purposes in Jalcocotán. It brought driftwood downstream where Jalcocotecanos could retrieve it, then chop it into kindling. It also offered "cold, transparent, and greenish blue" water; the Jalcocotecanos called it agua zarca. They used it for drinking, fishing and washing. The arroyo not only brought goods to the village but also dangerous ocean seepage that carried large boulders, which rammed into tree trunks on the lower side of the village. These dangerous summer freshets(floods) were called avenidas. The arroyo was considered common property and served a great importance to the village of Jalcocotán.