PP is a teacher who currently resides in Bothell Washington. She is originally from Yakima, WA but her family descends from Guadalajara in Mexico. Much of her family spoke Spanish as their first language and her grandma was the first to immigrate to America. Much of her influences and culture come from that region and her upbringing in a single-mother low income household.
Are there any pieces of folklore or tradition that you felt taught you a lesson you will never forget?
PP: Well I feel like every person of Mexican descent has heard of La Llorona, the ghost woman. She was meant to warn kids not to play near rivers or leave home alone at night.
What is the story and how is it significant to your history?
PP: The story of La Llorona is about a widow who her children are killed by their husband I think? Or maybe the husband dies from being sick and so do the kids, I don’t really remember it as well but, then she kills herself out of grief and is doomed to haunt the river she lived near as a weeping ghost. Many people have had stories of seeing her when next to a river in Mexico, because you can hear her wailing and crying out for her children. I had a cousin who always said he saw her when he was around ten years old. He said he was walking on a road which was next to a river during the day and heard someone yelling and wailing and then saw her ghost. Many other relatives of mine has claimed to have seen her as well so it is common in the culture to actually believe in her ghost.
So what is the lesson that you will never forget?
PP: The main lesson of it all for me was not to walk outside alone when I was younger or anywhere near a river where I could get hurt or drown I think. It was mostly a warning to all younger kids not to wander off alone or be disobedient because then something bad could happen to you and you would be scared.
La Llorona is one of the most universally known ghost stories among Mexican culture. This piece of folklore has been around for a very long time and can vary. Some people say they see her and some people say they just heard her and ran. There is no real documented proof the ghost exists but the legend has existed for so long that many people believe in its truth. Although it is possible this legend was invented to teach kids a lesson it is entirely possible the ghost does exist. Right now, it exists through the belief of the people.