Proverb – El Salvador

“Machete estate en tu vaina y que nadie te desenvaine”

“Machete stay in your sheath and that nobody draws you out”

“Machete stay in you sheath and don’t let anyone provoke you out”

My mom told me that she learned this proverb when she was about 9 years old, while she was living in Cuscatancingo, El Salvador. She says that this proverb is mostly used to tell someone that they should relax, stay put and not intervene in someone else’s situation because they could end up making the situation worst. She told me that she probably first heard the proverb when one of her cousins was having relationship problems and her parents did not wanted her to intervene. The cousin was a lot older and my mom’s parents thought that any of her comments could make my cousin feel worst as the situation was very stressful. She believes that it means that sometimes it is better to not intervene, because that when one does, they might do more damage. My mom told me that some usual situations to use the proverb is when a married couple is having issues or when people are at a very fragile state with their feeling, others should try to stay away as bad comments could damage the other person.

I agree with my mom with the meaning of this proverb. The fact that is comparing a person to a machete indicates that the person could do a lot of damage if it is let loose. A machete is a common tool in the country side of El Salvador, and it is usually maintain really sharp so it can cut through anything. In order to maintain the surrounding safe from accidents, the machete should be kept inside its sheath; and that is exactly what the proverb is saying. In order to not make any damages to anybody who is weak, others should keep their blade (bad comments) away. This proverb is great advices to people that do not know what do to in some stressful situations. Ands this is true, many times I have been ready to comment on someone that is dealing through a lot of problem, but I have been stopped by a friend because they know that sometimes is better to stay put and just let the person know that you are there for them if they need you.