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MACHO details seventeen-year-old Roberto Garcia's journey from
the state of Michoacán, Mexico, to his illegal entry into
the United States. His backbreaking work in the vegetable fields
of California and the workers' divided sentiments over César
Chavez's efforts to unionize the workers are chronicled in a style
that many critics have compared to John Steinbeck. MACHO is a novel
of the conflict of spiritual, social and economic values during
the coming of age of a young Mexican.
Victor Villaseñor was born on May 11, 1940 in the barrio
of Carlsbad, California. He was raised on a ranch four miles north,
in Oceanside. Both of his parents were born in Mexico, so until
the age of five - when he entered the public school system - he
spoke only Spanish. Faced with not only the language barrier but
also heavy discrimination and a reading problem that was later diagnosed
as dyslexia, Victors frustration continued growing to the
point that he dropped out of high school in his junior year.
A visiting relative from Mexico urged Victors parents to
send him to Mexico at the age of nineteen. While there, he discovered
a wealth of Mexican art; literature and music that helped him recapture
and understand the dignity and richness of his heritage. Excited
by his Mexican experiences, Victor wanted to stay in Mexico and
never return to the United States. His parents convinced him in
a very powerful way that he must not run away but return and
make something of yourself..
Villaseñor returned to the U.S. at the age of 20. He begain
to feel the old frustration and rage return. He describes himself
as a bombshell, ready to explode as he witnessed again
the disregard toward poor and uneducated people and especially toward
the Mexicans. More...