Children in Puerto Vallarta, like all of Mexico are often kept in line by parents with a tale of the legendary dreaded Chupacabra. Translating directly to goat sucker, Chupacabra is an evil character that dwells in several Latin American countries, as well as some states in the lower Forty-eight. He might bear resemblance to a serpent of sorts that is also part wild dog, coyote or wolf. Spikes up and down his back have been described by those who claimed to have seen him and he reportedly hops like a kangaroo.
But of course, Chupacabra is not real. Animals have been captured after destroying fowl, goats, sheep, dogs or cats and have turned out to be coyotes, wild dogs and raccoons, many with severe cases of sarcoptic mange, a highly contagious infection caused by mite bites. Necropsies have yet to prove the existence of the Chupacabra. This hideous creature hasn’t been around for long; the first claims of his blood-sucking capabilities being reported only in the late 20th Century. Many ranchers, farmers and curiosity seekers have tried, in vain, to capture him or get a good shot of him on film but he has been elusive to date. Chupacabra joins the ranks of Yeti in Nepal and Sasquatch in the US northwest.
Though there have been no verified sightings in Puerto Vallarta, the legend has provided parents with a tool to frighten children to obey. Threats accomplish everything from completed homework to diminished truancy. Children are told to go to bed and stay there or Chupacabra will get you. Do you chores; don’t be late; be kind to your siblings; don’t talk back to mama and papi. Apparently one of his attributes is that he eats children.
We hadn’t lived but a short period in Puerto Vallarta before our cheeky brother asked had we had any run-ins with the Chupacabra yet. The whole idea was completely lost on us and we had to wait to get back to Puerto Vallarta to even ask for some kind of reference. We were met with peals of laughter and have found that most Mexicans over the age of about fifteen have nothing but chuckles and head-shakes for us. Chupacabra
is a thing of fantasy, UFO reports and wild tale-telling. And, of course, a unique and convenient form of disciplinary action when it comes to disruptive and disobedient children.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article! (opionons expressed are his own)
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