Although no specific date is given, it is clear that this story occurs in modern times, and probably the latter half of the 20th century because of the various references to technology and cars that are present. However, what is interesting about this story is the way in which the author uses history and in patricular the history of Mexicans as displaced people to explore the identity struggles experienced by Cleofilas and the kind of limited life she is forced to live.
The central event in the life of Cleofilas is her crossing of the border from Mexico into the United States. However, she, like so many others both before and after her, discovers that this geographical repositioning actually brings a social change as she is left isolated and alone in a country where she is an alien and unable to communicate with anybody else. Given the huge numbers of Latino immigrants who are desperate to find their way into the United States, clearly this short story remains relevant for our times as it paints a kind of warning of the various challenges such immigrants may experience when they reach the United States.