Cariboo Cafe in Our World

The Cariboo Cafe by Helena Maria Viramontes is very relevant to modern immigration trends and brings attention to the hardships that are often faced by immigrants. Sonya’s family is faced with unexpected adversity that stalls their desires of living the American Dream. The overarching theme of distrust is highlighted by the rules that her Papa sets for her to ensure her safety. He says, “never talk to strangers” and encourages her to avoid the police at all costs. This perceived lack of safety is increased when Sonya is attacked at school. Unfortunately, this phenomenon of foreigners feeling unwelcome and very out of place is common in the United States. There is a somewhat common belief that immigrants have no place here and this leads them to feel scared. Our modern stance on the southern border and especially non white immigrants are targeted and seen as the enemy. Sonya’s family fights these realistic obstacles in hopes of attaining what may be a fallacy, a less difficult pursuit to happiness and the American dream.

2 thoughts on “Cariboo Cafe in Our World

  1. Toby K

    I agree that there are parallels between the story and real-life situations for immigrants. “The Cariboo Cafe” is a darker story but shows some of the harshest situations that some have to face. The little things the characters do to maintain safety is something people in real-life have to do and most people don’t realize it.


  2. Isabelle M

    I completely agree with your comparison. Sonya’s family and the immigrant woman both experienced the same kind of fear and hardship that immigrants face in America today, especially when it comes to their relationship with the police. The fact that Sonya and her brother were only seen by the woman because they were afraid of the police just shows how detrimental that fear can be.


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