Luis describes his life as part of the gang, saying that he and his friends are in a vacant lot they had claimed as their own, furnished with old sofas and covered by plastic to keep off at least some of the rain when an old car comes by. Two of the group go to the street to get a better look and one, Clavo, is shot in the face. Clavo loses an eye in the shooting. Luis and Rano do many jobs, ranging from cleaning houses, lawns, pools and garages to paper routes. They give all the money to their mother and Luis notes that there is always a need to for more. As a teenager and after Clavo leaves the neighborhood, Luis becomes friends with a young man named Claudio Ponce, known as Yuk Yuk because of his distinctive laugh. It’s Yuk Yuk who introduces Luis to stealing. With Yuk Yuk leading, meet a man named Jandro Mares, who has the teens steal specific cars on order, drive them back to Jandro’s garage and strip them down.
They also steal bikes, jewelry, electronics and other items for a man named Shed Cowager who pays cash for almost anything they can steal. They soon graduate to residential burglary and robbing convenience stores. There is race trouble at the beginning of every school year. During one incident, the police arrive to break up a fight, the whites leave without a problem and the Mexicans arrested or expelled. Luis’s mother is finally fed up with pulling him out of jail and watching him in trouble, and kicks him out of the house. Luis suffers a hernia and has to have surgery. Luis describes, in great detail, the effects of a high from “sniffing” intoxicants including various sprays and gas. Luis begins dating Wilo’s younger sister, Payasa. Soon after he breaks up with her, she is admitted to a rehabilitation center for additions. Later, Wilo and Payasa leave the Barrior for what they hope is a better life.