High in the rugged Andes of Ecuador, ten-year-old Chico works hard and lives happily with his grandfather and his pet bear, Chan. By firelight, Grandfather tells Chico amazing stories about the Inca and the other ancient people who once inhabited their land. Chico has always felt a close connection to the mountains, his tierra—that is, until he discovers he is an orphan, found out on the moors, and that his grandfather is merely a kind stranger who took Chico in as a baby. Shocked and confused, Chico determines to travel to the city, leaving behind his beloved mountains, to track down his lost family and discover who he truly is.
Chico of the Andes is integrated into the Language Arts Level 5 course.