Part fable, part love story, part comi-tragedy, Poor Man´s Wealth is narrated, somewhat unreliably, by El Gordo--the Fat One. He is the mayor of Higot, a dusty village in an unnamed Spanish-speaking country under military rule. He and the secret Marisol Committee, a group of local councillors, dream up a plan to save the village from economic death and the exodus of its young people, especially now that tobacco, their one source of income, is a suspect crop. They start a hoax. El Gordo, whose charming English comes via a library bequeathed to him, argues that the hoax which so changes the life of Higot is no more a deception than, say, the Loch Ness Monster, Ireland´s Blarney Stone, the Colossus of Rhodes.