“My grandmother says either of these two things each time a visitor, family member, or friend leaves her house- “Dios que nos ayude” Or “Dios te lleve por buen camino” She says these as a blessing, and it translates to “may God help us” or “may God take you on the right path”. When I was young I didn’t really understand why she had to say that final send off to every single person who came over, but now as an adult I do.”
Background: told by 30 year old Mexican immigrant to the United States, who moved here when she was a girl with her family.
Context: The dominant religion in Mexico is Catholicism, and it filters into many aspects of daily life.
Analysis: This is a form of folk speech, a brief prayer and invocation that has become casual enough to be used simply whenever anyone leaves the house. It implies that the house is a safe haven, and every time you leave you are entering a world of the unknown and danger. Taking someone on the right path signifies that there is a correct moral path to take, and it is easy to get lost both physically and morally in the outside world. That a woman said this might signify that she was a housewife or someone who spent a lot of time out there: it is probable that she would worry every time someone she loved left the house into the unknown. Mexican culture often sticks to traditional conceptions of family life, where the woman stays at home and the man works outside. This saying might not be as popular in its usage only when people leave the house in a more urban and egalitarian work community.