Grew Up… in Puerto Rico with her parents. Maria has only recently come to the United States, where her older brother has already established himself.
Living… under the care of her brother Bernardo. He is the leader of the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang in New York City, who also act like family to Maria. Bernardo is overprotective of his sister, whom he sees as a “precious jewel”, and she has a hard time denying his wishes.
Profession… seamstress in a bridal shop. It seems like all the Puerto Rican women work here, and Maria is no exception.
Interests… fantasizing about love and weddings, enjoying the thought of freedom and opportunity, and starting a new life in America.
Relationship Status… complicated. There’s this boy named Chino in her brother’s gang who obviously likes her, and her brother wants her to marry him. But Maria met a young American named Tony the other night, and the instant attraction sent her all aflutter.
Challenge… stopping the gang violence and being with Tony. Tony is a member of the Jets, a gang with a long-standing rivalry against the Sharks. Bernardo and the other Sharks would never approve of Maria’s relationship with one of the enemy. Now Maria’s caught between the two gangs. She doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, but she doesn’t have any power to make them listen. She’s determined to try, but can these hordes of angry boys understand her message of love?
Personality… innocent, romantic, hopeful, and passionate. Maria dreams of a rosy future with Tony. Though don’t mistake her romantic ideals as a sign that she is meek. She clearly sees the injustices of the world, and she’s got quite a temper when provoked.
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