To grow up as a Mexican-American Methodist in a small town in south central Texas in the 1940s and 1950s was to be a minority within a minority. This account of a boyhood in Seguin, Texas, broadens our understanding of Latino culture by evoking a time when Catholics and Protestants had nothing to do with each other and the word Chicano was not yet in use. But in spite of ethnic and religious segregation, the Maldonado family and their neighbors flourished in the rich Mejicano culture of their barrio west of Guadalupe Street, a world totally separate from the Anglo world. The language spoken in schools, churches, restaurants, bars, and beauty parlors was predominantly Spanish. The sounds and smells were Mexican. School teachers were the most successful and respected members of the community.
Guadalupe Street separated Protestant families like the Maldonados from the Anglo and Catholic communities. But it did not keep them from attaining success in the Anglo world. David Maldonado's memoir of how he crossed Guadalupe Street is the story of a man who became bilingual, bicultural, and successful, but it is also a tribute to the traditions in which he grew up.