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The Legends and Myths of Mexico

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Colorful ceramic skulls
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The telling of the legends and myths of Mexico always begin by saying, “In Mexico, the legend says…” Are there any mysterious Mexican legends or myths? Yes, there are many and the tale we tell of La Llorona is just one.

But first, you should know that in Spanish we begin a myth or a legend with the phrase, “Cuenta la leyenda,” or we use another common phrase, “Hace mucho tiempo,” which means a long time ago. Either phrase gives us the idea that the story we are about to tell happened at least a couple of centuries ago and there is something scary about it, which keeps it going from generation to generation.

Joseph Campbell, a well-known American mythologist, says myths are clues about the spiritual potential of human life. The very powers that animate our lives, encouraging life in this world.

These kinds of stories give shape to a nation´s behavior. By knowing them, it brings us closer to the country´s people because some of these stories are the same in different countries, with a few changes. It is magical to share these kinds of scary stories that were told to us when we were kids. Believe it or not, it creates a special bond among the people.

From all of the Mexican myths and legends, some stand out from the rest. And the one that is on the top of our list is the one we are about to tell you.

The legend we remember the most is La Llorona, or The Weeping Woman. We can go back in time almost instantly to the moment we heard this story for the first time.

Legend says there was a beautiful indigenous lady. One day she met a rich man and they fell in love. They knew they couldn´t be together because of society, which at that time would not let them share their love. In spite of that, they started dating secretly. The time passed by and they had three children, but they couldn´t get married because of the people in their town. Knowing this, the rich man married a lady of his social status. When the young woman became aware of this, she suffered so much that in revenge she drowned her own kids in the river before committing suicide.

From that day, she became the scary Llorona, a lost spirit crying and moaning, “hay mis hijos” (oh my children) because she lost her kids. Her wailing could be heard in the distance and who knows, she could visit you in a second to see if you are one of her kids and maybe make you disappear forever.

As we are telling you this legend, we get goose bumps and we’ll probably have some trouble getting to sleep tonight. Just imagine a woman floating in the air in a white dress, with long black hair that partially covers her face and a horrible look, desperate to find her kids for centuries, moaning, “hay mis hijos” in a creepy voice.

Could you believe this legend? Believe it or not, there are many stories that tip the scale toward believing it. For example, there´s a true story that a friend told us one day: He was staying at his grandmother´s house in an old neighborhood in Mexico City. One night, he woke up in the middle of the night without any apparent reason. He heard moaning and started walking around the house to find where those sounds were coming from. While the rest of his family was sleeping, he went into the bathroom and looked through the little window. He saw La Llorona in the distance. He panicked and got really scared. He blinked and when he opened his eyes, guess what? La Llorona was just outside the little window. He froze, looked into La Llorona’s eyes, blinked again and she was gone. The moment he could move, he ran to his parent´s room and stayed there the rest of the night, and probably the rest of their stay.

Fortunately, we haven’t encountered La Llorona…so far.

Hasta la próxima.

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