Papa died and Tio Luis ask Mama to marry him. Tio Luis got mad because Mama did not accept his marriage proposal. So he set their house on fire and threatens to burn down all of the workers houses if she does not agree to marry him.
Esperanza and her mom have to get on a train to go to America, or they have to stay with Tio Luis and be separated. All of the richer people got to sit in nicer cars with nicer seats and get food. While the poor people had to sit on hard benches.
When Esperanza was little she would lie down on the ground with her dad and feel the earths heartbeat, but years later in California she can no longer hear it, so she had an emotional break down.