Pioneer Museum

Esperanza’s World – Arizona Flora, Fauna and Cattle Ranching Center

Esperanza’s World – Arizona Flora, Fauna and Cattle Ranching Center




Activities / Teacher Resources

The author of Esperanza Means Hope paints a vivid picture of Arizona’s landscape mentioning both plants and animals throughout the story. Read one of the author’s picturesque descriptions from Part II, On the Ranch, page 96. (See below.)

Rancho Escondido meant Hidden Ranch in English.It was located at the foot of the Rincon Mountains, surrounded by hills studded with boulders and tall saguaro cactuses. On the north side of the house, down a steep slope, a line of green cottonwoods showed where the wash ran. Their bright green leaves rattled and fluttered in the faint breeze, sounding like rain. The cottonwoods revealed why the ranch was built in that spot: water. Cottonwoods were thirsty trees. They sank their roots into the wash, creating pools that attracted wildlife, including deer, javelinas, and bobcats. Growing in the pools were tall reeds that hid ducks and fish. This lush oasis had been Esperanza’s favorite place to play when she was younger.Esperanza looked toward the stark mountains. It was so quiet at the ranch. The only sounds were rustling cottonwood leaves, softly cooing doves and a distant cow bawling for her calf.