This is such a fantastical story. I think it is amazing that these little tales that have kicked around this village in New Mexico that his cousins are from have now made it all the way to Los Angeles with my informant. It is mainly his cousins’ story as he is not entirely sold it nor has he actually seen this cave that the man has been to, the supposed El Dorado.
That said, just like any good legend, his cousins have shown him picture of some of the stuff they have found, my informant has done a little research, and now he is not necessarily denying that this is El Dorado. Of course this says a lot about the people there, this need to have this famous place there in their community which ties into the past and their identity. It is absurd. But like my informant says, “I kinda want to believe it.”
When you go into a restaurant, usually a New Mexican restaurant, but they do it at McDonalds too now. They ask “red or green?” which means red or green chilis. You can also say Christmas which means both of them, and they add it to your meal.
The informant learned this from her uncle when she was about to move to Albuquerque. He warned her saying, “They are going to ask you… It’s that big of a deal.” The informant is a green chili person, and she says that it’s a huge battle. “Are you a red person or a green person? It’s like are you a Democrat or a Republican?” The custom of adding chilis to food is very widespread in her area because of the influence of Mexican cuisine, though New Mexican cuisine is not quite the same. The custom is also a way of weeding out the visitors from the natives, and learning it from her uncle essentially initiated her into the culture of New Mexico.