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La Llorona

I was born in Mexico in 1984 and was raised there for the first six years of my life. During that small amount of time in that beautiful country, I remember my mom telling me the story of “La Llorona.” I must have been about 4 or five years old when I first heard the story. I remember hearing my aunt tell my mom that she had heard wailing late at night at her house. That sparked my interest, and I asked who they were talking about. My mom turned to me and told me the story of La Llorona. La Llorona was a woman who had made many bad choices in her life that led her to have kids out of wedlock. The woman, unable to provide for them, decides to drown her children in the river. Throughout the woman’s life, she continues to do this horrific thing until one day, she passes away and is met with her maker. God tells the woman that because of her horrendous acts of sin, she will forever walk in purgatory, looking for her children that she drowned in the rivers. My mom continued to say that many have heard her wailing along any body of water, yelling, “Where are my kids? Give me back my kids!”. During that time living in Mexico, I knew to stay away from the river at night because if I was anywhere near the river, the white-cloaked, wailing woman would appear.

According to the article “La Llorona: The Real Legend and Origins” by Erik Rowton, there are many origin stories to this legend. For example, one of these origin stories began during the time of the “Spanish dominion of the Americas,” where Luisa was a beautiful woman who caught the eye of Don Muno de Montes Clares. He promised to marry her, and they had three children as a result of their love, but soon, Don Montes Clares fell in love with someone else and left Luisa. Luisa became angry and destroyed everything they built together, including their children. She was then put on trial for her crimes and executed soon after. Another origin story that Rowton wrote about was the story of Maria, who also fell for a nobleman and soon found out about his cheating, she then drowned her children in the river. Stories of Maria rooming the river and kidnapping children surfaced. And finally, in the article “La Llorona-Weeping Woman of the Southeast,” Kathy Alexander wrote that La Llorona was a beautiful woman who had two children with a man who later ignored her, but gave their sons much attention, and became jealous of her kids and ended their lives. She regretted her decision but was too late and was left with agonizing regret to the point she stopped eating. She cried and walked the riverbanks endlessly until she died. Soon after, she was seen by many people in the riverbanks, wearing her torn white gown. La Llorona story has been passed down through many Hispanic generations. I grew up knowing about this story since I was 4 years old. This story impacted me so much that I still remember the first day I heard about her.

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