A Deal With the Devil

I collected this piece of folklore from my dad while he was visiting. We ended up just sitting in the car in a parking lot while he shared some more Chilean folklore with me.

Original script 

“Un pacto con el Diablo”


” a deal with the devil”


You use this whenever you see someone in Chile doing very well. Especially someone young and very successful with lots of wealth. They think that people can sell their soul to the devil, and make a trade. If you’re poor and not doing well, you can ask the devil for help, and he will offer you whatever you want , but it will only be temporary, and in the end, the price to pay is often an early death.

My dad was raised in Rancagua, Chile, which is a city outside of Santiago in the 1950s and early 1960s. Back then and still today, religion has a very strong presence in Chile.

This saying can be seen as rooted in jealousy over what you don’t have, and in a way, is kind of like cursing someone for being  successful when you aren’t. This saying is well-known and used a lot in Chile.