My parents are from Yaualica, north of Guadalajara. Yaualica is a beautiful town with a good economy, the best hot sauce in the world, "Porkey's", and a happy prosperous people. My great grandparents immigrated to Mexico from Spain finding their way to Yaualica, not unlike many nationalities from around the world. And it is in this picturesque town my people settled.
My Mother and her family lived in a traditional square Spanish Colonial style home with a lovely inner court garden. One's life was ordered; Church, family, and work. And so it is even today. When my mother was young she was the town "Queen" and even now in the family home near El Centro in Los Angeles her "Queen" picture hangs proudly if a bit faded from the years.
Life in Mexico was filled with many activities and a host of strange stories and a world filled with all sorts of Spirit activity, strange happenings, Indian ghosts, the dead walking about, horrible witches, and tales of many evil doers.
From time to time my mother and aunts would tell me about how the Leprechauns would steal food and disrupt the family household in Mexico. Okay, I will buy into many things but how in the hell did the Leprechauns get to Mexico from Ireland? And with a totally straight face my mom and aunts would tell their stories of "The Little People" and their constant mischief in the household and about the town. Missing items were food and beer and Tequila. Yes the Little Ones loved to drink and there were often reports in the household of missing beer and Tequila. One aunt would see the Little Ones sneaking about the household, green clothes and all with food in hand.
If you could only see their faces when they tell their stories, you would see how real the Leprechauns are to them.
As a kid I'm thinking to myself, there must have been an Irish Leprechaun invasion of Mexico some time in history. Was it in the 1850's during the Great Irish Potato Famine? Did some wayward Irish ship crash off of Tampico or Vera Cruz and unload a nasty cargo of Small Irish evil doers? Did the Green Ones populate Mexico like Avian flu infects birds in Asia? It boggles ones mind.
Of course I liked the Leprechaun story better than the childhood horror story about the old witch wondering about Mexico killing sleeping children, like the witch did with her own children. She was condemned to wonder forever seeking out the souls of her own murdered children. The witch would wake children up tugging on their foot ready to drag them off and kill them. So compared to this tasty story the Leprechaun's were friends, if a tad drunk and hungry.
There have been no Leprechaun reports that I know of in Los Angeles including the Hispanic community. I might be wrong. I don't think "El Coyotes" were willing to show them across the border, and of course Leprechauns don't like water so a trip wading across the Rio Grande was out of the question. But maybe the Little Ones are just plain broke and can't afford a Coyote.
I think the Leprechauns love Mexico as their adopted homeland and wish to stay there. And how lucky for them to find the good people of Yaualica.
EDWARDO CRUZ is a first generation Mexican-American. He grew up almost in the shadow of LA's City Hall. He writes on the Mexican-American experience in Los Angeles. He is a contributing editor to Downtown LA Life Magazine. http://DowntownLALife.com