In chapter nine, after being locked up in the house for so long, Elena decided to Colonia La Joya where kids were dying. She thought she could possibly figure out what was going on. She explored the slums to find a community of people living in terrible conditions. Back home, Elena and Antonio argued, Antonio was very frustrated by their current life style, hiding from danger and barely making enough money for the family. Elena was very worried about her husband, she did not wish to see him so exhausted and frustrated. She took a walk with the baby Carlos, and encounters Mrs. Gomez and was forced to gossip with her for a moment. She started to think about the recent deaths of the infants and couldn’t help but think that her kid is alive but some of the others are gone. She realized after a brief agreement with Antonio that she couldn’t leave even if she wanted to. She realizes the sewage is what’s causing the death of the infants and sends a letter to the president of the departmental government in Totonicapán fix it. The mayor in response accuses Elena of being a part of the war to intimidate the family.
The main themes of the chapter are poverty and domestic issues between couples. Majority of the chapter is around La Joya, the slums where babies are dying, and the isusses Elena has with the baby and her husband. (p.121) “Her exploratory expedition to Colonia La Joya, where so many babies were dying. La Joya, it was called, absurdly. The Jewel. La Joya would bother her until she finally saw it”. (p.125)“She was the mother of a small baby now, wedded to this house and its window and the rocking chair where she sat for hours to read and sleep.” Elena is a very caring determined person, she loves her family and will do what ever she can for them. She also cares for people in the outside world. Antonio loves his family and wants top provide for them, he wants a better life but is angry for the bad conditions they are living in.