Bakersfield, CA – 30th January, 2018 – Life is difficult for most, but for those born to poverty and daunting challenges, the efforts to surmount obstacles may seem unattainable. The story of Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, from birth to last breath, is a story that is meant to inspire those who may feel that there is no hope for their future. This book was written especially for youngsters, their teachers, and parents, with the goal of inspiring them to believe that nothing is impossible and that sometimes our greatest challenges become the impetus for our greatest success.
This incredible book tells us about a man named Alfonso Cruz Espinosa whose life was not an easy one but one supported by the rich cultural values of his Mexican ancestry. ‘Fonso was born into the loving arms of his parents in 1927, in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora, La Reina de Los Cielos y Los Angeles – Los Angeles, California – where his parents had settled after immigrating from Mexico.
Following their own American dream, he and his family migrated from Los Angeles to the San Joaquin Valley of California. There they moved from labor camp to labor camp, following the crops and opportunities for work. Alfonso and his family faced the hardships many Depression-era workers encountered, multiplied by the fact that discrimination against non-white workers was blatant and widespread.
Faced with leaving school at an early age to help support his family, Alfonso found it more and more difficult to work alongside his father in the sulfur-laden agricultural fields of the “Great Valley.” Not only would he face a crisis that would mean the end to all his dreams, he would be in a battle for his very survival.
A tale lovingly told by Espinosa’s daughter, El Caracol is a beautiful testament to the strength and tenacity of the human spirit. A story of both tragedy and triumph, Alfonso’s story is that of an everyday hero, simply standing up to be heard in the world. Full of the rich details of a loving family in harsh times, the result is both as simple, and as complex, as the spiral shell which shares its name.
In 2012, El Caracol, The Story of Alfonso, garnered first place in the International Latino Book Awards, sponsored by Latino Literacy Now in the category of biography. In 2013 the book received first place in biography for Latino Books into Movies.
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About the author
Yolanda Espinosa Espinoza graduated from San Jose State University with a master’s degree in Art History/Cultural Anthropology. During her teaching career, she taught art history and social studies. She is now retired and lives in Baja California, Mexico, with her husband.
TITLE: El Caracol: The Story of Alfonso – Labor Camp Child
AUTHOR’s NAME: YOLANDA ESPINOSA ESPINOZA
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Contact Person: YOLANDA ESPINOSA ESPINOZA
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