Sergio was never the same after he tied those sticks together in the form of a cross and put it in the ground next to his younger brother. Whatever hopes he had for a new world, or bright future were narrowed into a singular vision to see his brothers, and the future family he would have, be safe.
As soon as he arrived in California at 17, he picked up two jobs, working over 80 hours a week, and stopped talking. After a couple years of incredible toil, he found some comfort in the bottle and became an alcoholic. He hid this addiction from his brothers for years until he met Dolores.
Dolores knew a drunk when she saw one. After all, as a second generation immigrant, she saw the toll such a life took on a person. Her father was deported after being pulled over for drunk driving. Her family never heard from him again. A dishwasher, she worked nights at the restaurant where she met Sergio who at the time was doing janitorial services. She saw her father in him, and wanted to stop him from taking the path that she knew led her family into so much pain. Sergio had no time for a relationship, but working together so often, he found himself in love. Dolores' love for Sergio became a medicine to ease the guilt he felt for the loss of his brother and a release from the bottle. When he announced to his brothers he was going to marry Dolores, it was the first time they had seen him smile this side of the border.
Selena just started high school. She's already learned to navigate the complexities of the teenage social environment. For example, she tells her friends that her Dad is a chef, and her Mom is a environmental specialist.
Selena has no accent, lightens her hair, and likes Taylor Swift. She also pronounces her last name as "Ray-ez."
She loves her parents, but isn't sure others will understand her family's situation. She's seen too often how the other kids get treated in her situation, and she doesn't want that. At all.
Alex was the redemptive son of his father, who named him after his brother Alejandro.
Alex loves soccer, and is especially fond of his uncle "Carl" who he sees as a good role model for his family, because he's "cool."
Just starting middle school, Alex is a smart kid who likes to listen in on adult conversations, and often tries to sip their beer at parties. Recently uncle Carl got him to read the poetry of Oscar Wilde, and listen to Rage Against the Machine. Alex liked the drums in the music.