Author Archives: garc531

Santo Nino de Atoche- Mexican Legend

Legend- Mexico


Nationality- Mexico

Primary Language- Spanish

Occupation- Construction Worker

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 3/17/16

Santo Nino de Atoche

When i was a child, my dad was in a Mexican jail and our whole family was devastated. One day, I could not help myself, I had to be by myself and pray that my dad would be okay. I decided to go to a river and just think. I did not know when he was going to come out because my mother did not know either. As time passed, a kid walked by me. He looked younger than me and told me, your dad is going to be fine and is waiting for you home. The kid then walked away and fled to the village. I have never met him or seen him. I rushed back home wishing the kid was right and started to tear up as my father was home. I hugged him and told my mother that a boy told me my dad would be okay. She showed me a picture of a saint that looked just like him. I then realized that a saint had blessed us and guaranteed his safety.  She told me the that the saint’s name was Santo Nino de Atoche.

The person who performed this legend was my uncle. He is from Mexico and had lived in Zacatecas for most of his life until he came to the United States. In his city, there are many legends, myths, and stories people share. This legend came directly from his own personal experience but Santo Nino de Atoche has been around for hundreds of years. Francisco had learned this story from his mother who had told him that Santo Nino de Atoche was a holy saint that was the child of Jesus. My uncle believes that he appears when people need miracles and pray to God. God is the one who hears their prayers and sends the saint to assist them in their time of need. His whole family has portraits and other objects that worship the saint but he never truly believed or submitted his entire faith until he saw him when his dad was in jail. Seeing him there made him believe that he was real and that if he ever needed his help again, all he would have to do was pray and a miracle would be possible.

When Francisco told me this story, you can easily determine that his feelings for the saint are strong. We were at the dining table eating some traditional Mexican pastelitos. He told me the story with a smile on his face and excitement of reliving one his beloved childhood memories. He even had a glass case which held the saint. He has owned it ever since he left Mexico and everywhere he has gone in the United States. His faith in the saint is undeniably real and immense. The passion he shows when telling the stories lingers on the listener and makes them feel that maybe what he is saying is totally real.

The legend of Santo Nino de Atoche is very interesting and highlights the fact that a lot of the Mexican people love miracles and works of jesus. Their faith to the saints is tremendous and they use this hope to keep moving and pushing forward. A lot of the Mexican people use this hope to get out of the country to have a better life like in California. The hope received by saints such as Santo Nino de Atoche propels them to take the risks believing he will protect them and make sure they make it. The story of the Nino de Atoche had originated in Spain during the 15th century and has traveled all the way to Mexico. Many of the people do not know its origin but they do know that the Saint had helped religiously devoted men escape prison when imprisoned for the wrong reasons. They have taken this story and embedded it into their culture and have their children believing it is a strong Mexican only belief. Francisco has passed on his story and belief to his son which also shares the belief that Santo Nino de Atoche can grant miracles and when in times of needs, he only has to pray for his help and all will be okay. When a faith withheld changes into a personal experience, the belief becomes stronger and can survive multiple generations.

Never Coming Back Twice



Primary Language- English

Name- Quinn Blades

Occupation- USC Student

Residence- Kansas City, Missouri

Date of Performance- 4/25/16

In my family, every time we leave the house, we never come back the same way twice. So if I leave the house, come back, leave again, there is no way in hell I can come back the same way if I forget another thing. If I ever do, it’s automatic bad luck and no one to reverse it. I saw my dad start this superstition ever since I could remember and it has stuck with me since.

Quinn is from Kansas City and his father is also born there, but the superstition was created from his own father. Quinn does not know why his father does it or why, but he does not that he will receive bad luck if he comes back the same way twice. He does not follow the tradition at USC but when ge gets home, the superstition sets in. It is also a nice way to think of his father who is many states away from him.

Once you leave your home, you can never come back the same way twice or else it is bad luck. It is very simple and serious to Quinn’s father.

I believe that the superstitions that people follow without knowing the reason are some of the most interesting. It can start a whole chain of followers simply because one person is doing it and others begin to follow due to family ties or friendship. Except some of these superstitions are followed in certain places because how else would you get into a place with one entrance. Of course some people follow the superstition no matter what such as Quinn’s father. He would rather just leave what he left than to go back twice.


The fallen god that came



Primary Language- English

Secondary Language- Spanish

Occupation- UC Merced Student

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 4/23/16


In UC Merced, we live a few miles away from Central Valley that has an interesting myth. The myth of the fallen god that came. The fallen god came to the people of Merced saw that their agricultural skills were not great and decided to help them. He told them where to plant raisins and how. He said that if they would listen to him, the agriculture on the land would be magnificent by years end. After the people planted the raisins and waited for them to grow, the Central Valley became a rich land known for its amazing agriculture. No one knows why or how the raisins made the ground fertile for plantation but a lot of them seem to believe it was because of the fallen god that came.

Lucy is from Los Angeles, California but currently resides in UC Merced which is still in California but different from Los Angeles because of the community. She learned this myth while living in a new community and engaging with the traditions, legends, and myths around Merced. Most freshman students have learned the myth by living on campus or through their professors. The myth is special to her because it is a significant part of UC Merced history. She herself thought the myth was silly but it is what makes her a unique bobcat, which is a mascot of UC Merced.

The story is a deep and central part to UC Merced’s history. Many professors and room advisors get the students together, sometimes in a camp fire, and reminisce on the story. It is a great way to pass time and embrace the kids with some native folklore.

These types of myths are what can bring a community together. True or not, the myth may have served as a placebo effect for the community because when they believed their agriculture was definitely going to grow with flying colors, they worked harder and planted more than usual. This may have been the actual reason their agriculture improved. A promising community could have been laid through folklore. The belief created has been passed down for many years and fermented communities and students even today. Myths, the supposed reason for the start of the universe or planet, whether it is believed or not, there have been many instances such as the fallen god that are responsible for some communities we have today.


Ears Ringing



Primary Language- English

Occupation- USC Student

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 4/16/16

If your ears begin to ring, that means that someone is thinking about you. My mother once told me a story about how her ears kept constantly ringing one day, she did not know why but at the end of the day her friend had came to her house saying that she was trying to get in contact with her because she found an amazing job opportunity for her. Ever since then, she believes that when her ear rings, it is because someone is thinking about you.

Justin’s parents were born in America as well as him. He learned this story from his mother when Justin’s ear kept ringing one day. He does not believe it but he knows it well because his mother firmly has faith that when her earn rings, it is because someone is thinking of her. To Justin, it is just a way to remember his mother when he is in college so he like to tell or smile whenever he hears someone’s ears ring.

This short folklore is quite simple, does not matter when or where you are but when your ear rings, someone is thinking about you. Telling someone else about it is just like passing down information because those who believe in it have had personal experience with the ringing.

This folklore piece is interesting due to the fact that I have had my ear ring, but I never knew why or bothered to find out. So to hear a friend whose mother supposedly knows the reason is intriguing. Ear ringing meaning something more has been around for quite a long time. The common superstition is based on which ear rings. If the left ear rings, it means somebody is thinking positive thought about you, and if it rings on your right ear, then it means that somebody. This is the most common belief but there are multiple alterations such as when your left ear rings, a loved one is thinking about you. They are similar but slightly different.


Bad comes in 3’s



Primary Language- English

Occupation- USC Student

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 4/16/16

Everytime my family hears bad news, they believe it comes in three’s. The side of the family that usually believes that are the females like my sister, mom, and aunt. Say if somebody gets in a car crash that we know, my family then believes that three other bad things are going to happen. So after the crash, something like losing money, or even stubbing someone’s toe can happen and my family will believe it’s because three bad things was meant to happen. I don’t know why they stick to that superstition but it makes them feel at ease when they think they are ready for it.

Justin has heard about this piece of superstition from his family. They have always warned him about the dangers of the threes. After on bad news arrives, he has to be ready for two others. He does not really believe in that superstition but his family really does. The superstition is still interesting to him because he thinks it is funny how strong their belief is.

Whenever you experience something bad, you should always be cautious of the two other bad things that will happen to you, at least according to Justin’s family. When Justin told the superstition, he thought it sounded ridiculous that his family believed it in so he laughed while telling it. Real or not, his family becomes very cautious once they hear or are stricken with bad news.

The mystical three’s have struck again. Bad news in three sounds like a lot of other folklore that so happens to also come in threes yet most people do not know why. It is believed that it is an ancient superstition and originated from the men’s genitalia for some reason. But the theory behind the three cycles brings up the idea that the cycle will end eventually. It just so happens that it will be after the third bad news. In other cultures, things come in fours and fives but many in America have been buried with the idea that everything comes in threes.