Read the text and do the activity below.
Have you ever heard scary old Mexican stories called “leyendas”?
Do you think “leyendas” are the same everywhere?
“Leyendas” are famous because they came from “real stories”.
Well, let me tell you that Mexico is not famous only for its delicious food and wonderful beaches, it is famous for those little towns called “pueblitos mágicos”. Most of these towns are well known for their food, landscapes, crafts, and traditions, but there is something else: their creepy stories. In this section, you will learn about three famous Mexican legends.
La llorona or The Weeping woman
When I was a child, adults in my family used to tell some of these legends and all kids were amazed and frightened. One of the most famous is “La Llorona” or the Weeping woman, there are two main versions. It all started in prehispanic times, before Spaniards came to Mexico. There was a woman, her name was Chocacíhuatl, she was the first woman who died while she was giving birth to her only child, both died. It is said that their bodies lay in the Texcoco lake. Some people said that if you came across her in the middle of the night or if you heard her scream, you would be cursed or die. A modern version of “La Llorona” says that she was a beautiful indigenous woman who was in love with a rich Spaniard, they had three children, but in the end that terrible man left her and married another woman. So, she became crazy and killed her children in the river and after that killed herself.
Nowadays, some people say that you can hear her scream everywhere, her spirit is looking for her babies. My grandmother says that if you hear her scream near, it means she is far away. On the other hand, if you hear her far away, it is because she is behind you.
El Charro negro or The Black Charro
Another creepy story is about a Mexican rider, “El Charro negro”, he is supposed to be a spirit of a man who used to be greedy and evil, he is damned because he gave his soul to the devil to get whatever he wanted. It is very common to hear about this spirit in those “pueblitos mágicos”. People say he is the one in charge of persecuting all those evil people who are damned for killing and injuring others to get what they want, like him. Another version says that he is looking for somebody who can do his job and take his place so he can rest in peace. My advice now is: if you are visiting those towns alone in the middle of the night and suddenly see a man wearing a gorgeous black “charro” suit on a black horse with red-fired eyes, you’d better run away!
Finally, let me tell you about “The Nagual”. It is very known that most Mexicans believe in witches and prehispanic magic. People say that there are some male and female witches who can turn into animals because they were born with this power. Unfortunately, they use their ability to hurt people and drink babies’ blood. There is a town in Puebla where the members of a family have this power, some of them can turn their whole body into cats or buzzards and some others can change only their faces or eyes when they are very young. So, if you can visit these magic towns, ask locals about one of these legends, you will be amazed by different versions.
Which of the 3 legends is your favorite?
Are you scared when you listen to those stories?
Do you believe they are real?
Do you know any legend?
Try to talk to a classmate or a friend about those questions.
Read the text again and complete the sentences. Use and, or, but, also, and because.