Brief sketches of who’s who
Don Cuervo is the protagonist and point-of-view character of Raven and the Mango Roadtrip. Don Cuervo is Raven’s dad, and this is the origin of his name — the Spanish word for raven is cuervo (it’s also used for crow).
Having the locals call him “Raven’s Dad” emphasizes the fact that Raven is much more outgoing and engaging.
At the beginning of the novel, Don Cuervo’s main problem is that even though he’s moved from Alaska to Tulum with Raven, he is stuck in a mental rut.
He’s wrapped up in the loss of his wife and the way he did things at home and in his old job in the oilfield. He’s stubborn, sticks to “the way we do things,” and feels like he has to solve everything on his own. He’s very much acting like a stick-in-the-mud gringo.
A note on the Spanish honorific Don: Rhymes with the English word bone. Adding Don to someone’s first name (never their surname) connotes more respect than mister or señor. I used it for Don Cuervo because I couldn’t land on an English name I liked for him, and then I started using Don for other characters, as well.
Raven is much more outgoing and personable than her dad. She’s 19 years old, wise-cracking, friendly, and tech-savvy. Her early interest in Bitcoin paid off spectacularly, which is how she and Don Cuervo were able to leave the US and move to Tulum. But her interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies ends up involving her with some shady characters.
Ramón (Monchito) is from Tulum. He operates a licuado cart located on the street by Don Cuervo’s diveshop and Raven’s hostel. Like most of the boys and young men in the area, he’s got a huge crush on Raven. Ramón is Don Pedro’s son. Similar to smoothies, licuados are delicious, blended drinks made with milk, fruit, and usually ice.
Don Pedro is Don Cuervo’s most trusted friend and Ramón’s dad. He runs a wholesale produce market and several licuado carts operated by his sons. A proud family man, he helps Don Cuervo search for Raven.
Ramón’s Mom is still in development.
Originally from Spain, Pato is a friend of Don Cuervo’s in addition to being a scuba instructor and avid cenote diver. He is a bit of a loose cannon, but his goofiness masks a sharp intellect. Pato is married to Santa Sofía.
Santa Sofía is a Mayan shaman and a yoga instructor. She and Raven are very close. The two often tease Don Cuervo for his stubbornness and urge him to expand his limited outlook on life. Santa Sofía is married to Pato.
Don Hidalgo is a rich Spaniard now living in Mexico. He has many overlapping business interests, some of which are of dubious legality. An arch-conservative, he is contemptuous of both Mexicans and Americans, who he considered uppity colonial subjects unfit for self-government.
El Cangrejo is Don Hidalgo’s son. Like his father, a shady character with multiple unsavory income streams. His main occupation is working as a courier for the cartels. His nickname means the crab.