The Question and Answer section for Esperanza Rising is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Tio Marco is Papa's step-brother. He is older than Papa. Marco is also the corrupt mayor of Aguascalientes.
Hortensia tells Esperanza the story in order to distract her while they are hiding in the wagon. Esperanza doesn't quite understand the danger of being discovered.
They could burn her house down like they did!