Barrio Roots


Andrés Ávila had a difficult start; growing up in Tucson’s barrio, it seemed all Mexicans were poor.

His earliest years told him where he stood in the pecking order, until he took a trip to Mexico City. There he stood at the center of a busy metropolis, looking up at towering buildings with professional offices — doctors, architects, dentists, and attorneys — all with Hispanic surnames. It was an epiphany for a young man, realizing Mexicans could also be educated professionals.

Andrés Ávila studied at Universidad La Salle in Mexico City, graduated from the University of Arizona, and was appointed chairperson of the Barrio Historico Advisory Board to the City of Tucson Mayor and Council; all of which he attributes to the awakening of his Hispanic roots.

SKU: 9781627876759 Categories: ,


In the vein of Alex Haley’s Roots, author Andrés Ávila tells a multigenerational story of strife and ultimate success.

Originating on the Mediterranean coast of Andalusia, migrating to Mexico City, and evolving in Arizona’s Barrio Viejo, Barrio Roots tells the story of the author’s family in a fictionalized version based on his true history. Spanning two centuries and three countries, the family’s storyline traverses Spain, Mexico, and the United States.

Beginning in 1814, readers are drawn into a family complete with accomplishments and failures. Dive into running a profitable sugar cane business and see the subsequent in-family corruption and disillusion of the business. Experience the trauma of the unfortunate deaths of the husbands in the family lineage. Embrace real-life historical events, such as the US expansion into the West and the Great Depression, anti-Semitism, a rigid caste system, anti-Mexican sentiment, and social mobility — all of which the author’s family experienced.

At the heart of the story are the women. Their stories are of virtue, courage, and commitment in the face of overwhelming odds. Experience how they learn to establish and run a business while raising children without the help of a husband. At a time when women were considered simple, they achieved their ambitious goals, marking a rewarding conclusion to generations of family strife.


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