Legend – La Llorona


“This is the legend of La Llorona, who is a woman that roams the towns in Mexico searching for her dead children. This story [is set in] old-time Mexico. There lived a family: a husband, a wife, and their two children. The family was happy; the dad worked and the mom stayed home to watch over the children. Somewhere along the way though, there started to be financial difficulties, so when the husband encounters a young and beautiful woman from the next town over and he starts having an affair with her. Unbeknown to his surprise, the mother finds out and rage fills her and ends up clouding her mind. She wants a way to get back at him, but she can’t think of anything. She wants to kill him but she wants to hurt him deeply and that’s when she notices her children. She’s like my children, that’s the one way that will hurt him. She guides them to a river on the pretense that they’re going to go play by the river. While they’re playing in the river, the mother slowly goes into the river and starts telling her children to come with her. The children don’t know that it’s too deep for them and that the current of the river would end up taking the children and drowning them. The children follow their mom since they love her, and they start to realize that they can’t touch the floor. They’re screaming out for their mom like ‘Mom help me.’ She goes over and starts drowning them both. Now that she has drowned them, she starts to realize what she’s done. She realizes she ended up killing both her children and she went crazy, but she still seeks revenge. She goes over to her husband and ends up murdering him. From that moment on, the agony of losing her children has taken over her. It is said that near the rivers in Mexico, there will be a woman who you’ll hear screaming and crying for her children.” 


This story was told by one of my roommates. She heard this story from multiple members of her family. She said that this story is passed down from generation to generation. It is a very well-known legend in Mexico, and she said that not a single Latino would not know who La Llorona is.


This legend is similar to the concept of the boogie man. It’s kind of a way for parents to scare their children into doing something. In America, I think the boogie man is more well-known than La Llorona, but the idea behind the legend is the same. Parents will often say something along the lines of “go to sleep or the boogie man will get you.”  This is similar to La Llorona; parents in Mexico would use this legend as a way to make sure their children would come home before sundown. In a way, this was also a way for parents to keep their children safe from wandering the streets at night.