Carla Olivares spends a year in Mexico City trying to engage with the Chicano side of her heritage. At first she spends time only with fellow expats, starting with her trustafarian (her description) ex-boyfriend with whom she lives with for the first few months. She knows very little Spanish in the beginning of the story, but as she works at immersing herself in Mexican culture, she also learns the language.
As a side note, Abel's slang translations are funny and apt. There's a whole glossary at the end where she defines words and also places and whatever all else she thinks needs to be explained. I wish she were the translator for DVD captions. (Eric and I watch English language discs with Spanish subtitles, thinking it will help us improve our Spanish.)
fresa - Literally, "strawberry." However, in Mexico City slang it means a yuppie.
ojete - An unredeemable shithead (from a term for anus)
tarado- Literally, defective, retarded. Extra insulting way of saying "idiot."
Eventually something bad happens, and Carla has to own up to her role in the immediate situation, and I think also as an American. It's a little challenging, as you don't always know who the good guys are, or that they're not who you want them to be. In fact, no one is really all that good, I don't think. It's a complex work, especially for a graphic novel where the omniscient point of view has to be conveyed primarily through images, and not as much the characters' thoughts.