The Mysterious Legend of the Dog with Red Eyes


What kind of legends do you know about? These might be little stories that your grandma has told you, or perhaps a tradition that has been repeated for generations based on some sort of landmark or place nearby. El Salvador has many leyendas, or legends, that are connected to the culture of the indigenous people who used to live on this land before it was taken over by the Spaniards.

I’m going to tell you about one particularly famous legend, which is about the Cadejo, which is said to be a creature that appears in the form of a really big dog with big feet, long, skinny legs, fangs and red eyes. Let’s read on to learn more about the Cadejo!

What tradition did I learn about?:

Here’s how the legend of this creature goes according to the Maya-Quiché history, which is one of the pre-Columbian cultures that existed in El Salvador.

Most every person in the Maya-Quiché culture had their own Cadejo blanco (white dog), which people saw as a "guardian dog" (like today’s "guardian angels"). This dog represented everything good in the world. However, everything good usually has a bad or evil counterpart. In this time, the counterpart to the Cadejo blanco was the Cadejo negro, or the "black dog".