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They tell tall tales in Latin America,
just like we do.
While the characters in Latin America folklore might seem strange, they attempt to explain the unknown in the same way that every legand does. Keep that in mind as you read these myths and legands from south of the border, and consider their cultural significance. Are they social cautionary tales, or just scary stories? How do their morals compare to some of the stories you've heard?
Download Printable PDF
They tell tall tales in Latin America,
just like we do.
While the characters in Latin America folklore might seem strange, they attempt to explain the unknown in the same way that every legend does. Keep that in mind as you read these myths and legends from south of the border, and consider their cultural significance. Are they social cautionary tales, or just scary stories? How do their morals compare to some of the stories you've heard?
Download Printable PDF
EL CHUPACABRA
The blood sucking dog
Origin of legend: Mexico
Is it an alien species, or a mutant dog? First reported in 1995, farmers have blamed the disappearance and mutilation of their cattle on this hostile mythical creature. The legend has since taken root in Central and South America, extending as far as the Caribbean Islands.
EL SILBÓN
The whistling ghost
Origin of legend: Venezuela
The legend goes that El Silbón is the ghost of a young boy who murdered his father and brings the omen of death. If you hear the faint whisle of "do-re-mi" while walking at night, that means he's getting closer...
El DUENDE
The helpful gnome
Origin of legend: Belize
Stories of these childlike goblins are common throughout Latin America. It's believed they help lost travelers find their way out of the woods, though we don't recommend stopping to ask for directions if you see one.
EL COCO
The bedtime bogeyman
Origin of legend: Spain
While this particular bogeyman (there are hundreds of them throughout the world) has roots in Spain, it has become a unique legand in Latin America. In Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala, he's depcited as a large-headed monster waiting under the beds of disobedient children.
EL BASILISCO CHILOTE
The serpentine rooster
Origin of legend: Chile
This bizarre looking monster hatches from a chicken egg incubated by a rooster, and lives in a hole underneath its victims' house. It comes out only to feed on the saliva of those living above, slowly dehydrating the residents until they die.
Get the activity sheets that will have your students telling their story
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Bring the language and culture to life
on an educational tour
Bring the language and culture to life on an educational tour