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The Colorful World of Latino Folktales

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What I learned throughout this folktale process:

As I perused through library after library looking for Mexican folktales, I realized this was not as simple as I thought.  I discovered that there were only so many real "Mexican" folktales out there, but there were a lot of other "Mexican" folktales from the Aztec and Mayan cultures. 
Once I delved into those folktales, I realized they were more Indian than Mexican.  I knew then that I had to broaden my horizons to include all of Mexico's folktales, Indian or Mexican, and then branch out to Central America and South America.  With the exception of a few, most of the Central and South America folktales were also of Indian origin. 
During my research of the Mexican culture, I finally understood how the Mexican culture came about.  It started with a mixture of Spanish culture with Indian culture.  Since this discovery, I decided that I could not just take in the "Mexican" culture, I had to take the Indian as well. 
All of the "Indian" folktales, whether from Mexico, Central or South America, were pourquoi tales that explain how or why something is the way it is.  I also discovered that they have more greens, blues, and turquoise colors in their illustrations. 
Almost all of the "Mexican" folktales were considered realistic tales because they could have happened in any time period, any place, and with any one.  The time and date were not important in these tales.  The focus was more on the heart of the characters.  Also, the colors were more vibrant, lots of reds, pinks, and yellows.
Another element I realized was that some folktales seemed to be called "Mexican Folklore" just because some Hispanic words were used.  There were several stories, like "Love and Roast Chicken" and "The Bossy  Gallito" that never really connected with the Latino culture, they just used a mixture of English and Spanish.
What I would have done different with this collection is search even more to find truly "hispanic" folktales that represent the culture of the students I teach.  None of my students could relate to the Indian culture.  It is just too different from their culture as "Mexicans" or "Mexican-Americans".  I would probably have included more folktales from the United States that dealt with Hispanics or Mexicans.
In the end, I am walking away from this collection understanding a little more about the Mexican culture.  Family is the number one priority, along with faith and pride in their culture.

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