The family in
encounter many problems but a glimmer of hope is always evident. The love they have for each other is seen in the high hopes they have for each other.
The eldest son, Luis, decides to move the family to San Juan after hurricanes destroy most of their farm and all but three acres is taken over by the government. In San Juan he hopes to work in a factory and support the family. Unfortunately things do not work out and they ended up in a small shack with no land.
Now Luis experiences a great deal of guilt and inadequacy. He feels responsible for the unhappiness of the family and decides that a move to America will solve their problems totally. Luis has not lost hope and believes that a new life in a new place with new opportunities is the next step they need to take.
Luis is the dominant figure. In this culture the eldest male usually is. Although the grandfather, Dr. Chago, is a symbol of strength and traditional values, does not leave the home land. He loves his family but Puerto Rico is a part of him. It is Luis who makes all final decisions.
Da Gabriela loves her children very much. Luis has her support as most men in this culture would be supported by the women. She never lets him know how unhappy she is but reminds him that he is doing the best he can for the family.
Hope for a better future lies ahead in the children. There is hope that Luis does not lose his zealous spirit. The family has hopes of Chaquito, the youngest son, becoming educated. It is hoped that Juanita will find a good husband, which is an accomplishment in that culture.
The play comes to a fatal end for Luis. He has been working long hours in a factory to maintain the needs of the family, and is killed in an accident while working. Because of this Juanita decides to return to Puerto Rico with Da. Gabriela and begin again in their own land with Chaquito.