The informant speaks on a superstition they practiced whenever they left their house. His parents always said that whenever they went to a party or event or if there were a lot of people, they must carry a garlic clove in their pocket. The informant stated that his mom told him it was meant to prevent mal ojo, the evil eye, or bad juju. His mom would state that by the time they came back home, the garlic would be dry and shriveled. The dryer it was, the more it had protected you from evil and bad that was wished upon you. He also stated that el mal ojo was explained to him as someone envying you and wishing bad upon you. Garlic keeps vampires away so it is probably something similar to that notion like religion or just good at keeping bad energy.
The informant comes from Veracruz, Mexico and believes that it is practiced a lot there. Veracruz is believed to be the place where there are the most witches, so lots of superstitions and white magic, black magic come from there. The informant mentioned a similar thing is putting a whole lime in your bag, letting it absorb all the negative energy, then at the end of the week you throw it away.
This seems to be similar to other rituals and folk beliefs that people use for protection. They are rooted in protection from stuff that hasn’t happened or doesn’t necessarily exist. The protect people from stuff they can’t explain other than something they attribute to as the “evil eye”. For example, the informant stated that they would use the garlic whenever there were a lot of people so their family was expecting that they would receive the evil eye despite not knowing any of the people. This reflects a view of others in a negative light, most likely due to unexplained illnesses and mishaps in life and blaming others for these unexplained things.