Culture

These Terrifying ‘Cucuy’ Sketches Will Remind You How Your Parents Were Mad Geniuses

Growing up, “El Cuco” (or El Cucuy, Coco) was the go-to “boogieman” used by adults to keep kids in line. I was a troublemaker, so my grandma always used El Cuco as a threat to try to get me to sleep. “Si no te duermes, viene El Cuco a llevarte,” my grandma would say, turning out my light. She was a single parent using every tool in her belt to keep me in line. Sometimes it was a belt, sometimes it was El Cuco.

However, she never truly explained to me exactly what this mysterious “Cuco” looked like. By asking around, I found that everyone had a pretty unique, even if sometimes similar, idea of what El Cuco looked like to them. And that’s probably the point. If you tell a kid something is coming to get them and give no description their mind will auto-fill with literally the most terrifying thing they can come up with. And for parents struggling to find something more threatening than themselves, the imagination of a child can do wonders. No chancla necessary.

We had our in-house police sketch artist draw up the suspects, so that you too can be on the lookout for these creatures. These are some of the terrors that the mitú staff dreamt up as kids.

Alex Zaragoza (Editor) envisioned El Cucuy as a tall, Slender Man-like figure.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Alex said, “For me, El Cucuy was a creepy demonic figure. Tall and dark, with a creepy robe. Its face was pale with big dark eyes, shallow cheeks, and thin lips. Very big and looming, but lanky.” She revealed that her creature appeared in two separate instances for her:

“I was most scared right when I got in bed. If I misbehaved or messed around with ghost stuff, my mom would say ‘Vas a ver, cabrona. Te van a jalar las patas en la noche.’ So I would sleep curled up into a ball and with my whole body covered except for a little space over my nose and mouth so I could breathe. I was petrified of having my feet pulled and dragged under the bed. The other instance, which still freaks me out, is any time I was in a bathroom in front of the mirror. I was (and still am) terrified of looking up from washing my face to find El Cucuy or some other scary figure standing behind me.”

Jorge Rodriguez (Writer) had a werewolf-like creature follow him in the dark.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Jorge revealed that to him, El Cucuy was tall and slender with large, knobby elbows and knees. “He is covered in hair like a werewolf but has the face of a demon with large, sharp teeth and he has big claws on his hands and feet.” What he feared most was getting caught by El Cucuy in the dark, saying, “Didn’t matter if I was outside or inside, when it got dark, I assumed El Cucuy was lurking in the shadows all the time.”

Katherine Mendoza (Video Producer) had a mini-Cucuy waiting for her in the hallways.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

To Katherine, El Cuco looked like a short, husky creature. “He had a square hat and wore all black. He had no face and a long robe but I’m sure if I needed to explain what he physically looked like it would be very much like Warwick Davis in the 1993 Leprechaun.” Like many parents, Katherine’s mom used it as a threat.

“My mom always threatened to call El Cuco on me but I was wise enough to know she didn’t have that type of pull. For the most part, I was terrified of seeing him on my way to the bathroom when all the lights were off. I had a really long hallway, the kind that required two light switches, so I would turn one on but still had the take the quick journey to the next light to make sure that he wouldn’t appear. It felt like he was always waiting for me before I had a chance to handle my business. I swore I would spend my final days as ‘The niña who pee’d on herself,’ or worse, ‘The niña that caca’d her panties.'”

Lucy Flores (VP of Public Affairs) had a Cucuy that couldn’t get through customs.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Lucy was very clear with her descriptions:

I would describe El Cucuy as a muscular, male, black or dark grey figure that looks similar to a demon as portrayed in biblical propaganda but has features like a chupacabra. So the Cucuy is slightly hunched over with a slightly rounded back (like a werewolf) but has a human demon face with horns (like the devil) and has smallish legs (like the chupacabra). He is fast. And strong, and has terrifying sharp teeth. And will rip you to shreds with his clawed hands if you don’t eat all your food. (The punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime, but Latino parents tend to exaggerate your trespasses).

But what’s most interesting about her Cucuy was that he grew stronger when he was home in Mexico. She told me:

I was most scared during my trips to Mexico. For some reason I always felt like El Cucuy spent far more time in Mexico then he did in the U.S. I was scared of every single dark situation anywhere in Mexico. But when I was home in the U.S., El Cucuy was only frightening when your family reminded you he would come for something you did or were doing. But in Mexico, it didn’t matter if you did anything bad or not – that was his home so you better watch your back.

Jessica Garcia’s (Writer) Cucuy was made extra scary by the way her mom said it.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Jessica explained to me how her mother turned El Cucuy from scary to terrifying by the way she said it. “I imagined the Cucuy to be an evil entity. The way my mom pronounced it, “Cucuuuuuyyyyy,” made me think he was an evil ghost. Like one of those scary dementors from Harry Potter. All in black, you cant see his face.”

Like many of us, Jessica was most scared of El Cucuy when it became dark. “I was mostly scared of him at night. I hated going outside at night in the dark to throw out the trash. I would run back super fast because I swore he was gonna creep up on me. Pretty much any time it was dark and I was alone, that was when I was most scared of him.”

Gina Apestegui (Brand Producer) found herself not just scared of El Cucuy, but where he’d take her and what he’d do to her.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Gina’s boogieman sounded a lot like Jessica’s: “El Cucuy was a floating ghost with a black mantle. He or she had big yellow eyes. Imagine Harry Potter’s dementor with large cartoonish yellow eyes.”

She was most scared of what El Cucuy would do to her. And it seems like she let her imagination run wild:

“I always had to have the door closed. Since I didn’t have a closet in my room, I thought El Cucuy would come from dark parts of my room, the shadowy part of the curtain or the from the pool of black cast by my stuffed animal. After watching “Child’s Play,” I couldn’t go to the bathroom to pee in the middle of the night because I thought Chuckie would grab me by the butt and suck me into the toilet forever taking me into the sewers of NYC… and maybe turning me into a Ninja Turtle.”

Because I didn’t believe in monsters, my mind picked the scariest thing it knew to fill the terrifying void in my mind.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

For me, it was Lou Ferrigno’s version of “The Hulk.” Green skin, hair, mushroom cut, bulging muscles, angry expression, yellow teeth, white eyes and just always waiting to grab me. It felt scarier that a tall, muscle-bound creature could do more damage than a ghost. Like, this guy could punch my face in and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it — that’s real fear.

He was always just coming out from under my bed. For some reason, it was always just his torso, almost as if he’d jumped through the floor from below and half of him was still underneath. I’d make deals with him in my mind. If I could make it to my bed in three seconds after switching off my bedroom light, he’d have to leave me alone. On the days that I lost that race, the deal was that I had to sleep completely covered by my sheet from head to toe. I’d fall asleep covered up and eventually, unable to breathe, would take the blanket off in my sleep.

What did your “Cuco” or “Cucuy” look like to you? Describe it and tag your sibling to see if you had the same monsters lurking!


READ: These Hispanic Authors Will Make Your Halloween Extra Spooky


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Studies Say Women Are Struggling To Breastfeed For As Long As They Should, Fortunately, Latinas Are Sharing Their Best Tips

Fierce

Studies Say Women Are Struggling To Breastfeed For As Long As They Should, Fortunately, Latinas Are Sharing Their Best Tips

Jeff Topping / Getty

If there’s one thing mothers know to be true it’s that the difficulty of motherhood doesn’t end with childbirth. When it comes to motherhood, breastfeeding in particular often proves to be one of the most difficult early steps. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 57 percent of women who breastfeed continue to do so six months after giving birth. It’s a surprising number considering the fact that the CDC also recommends that women pursue the act of breastfeeding for six months at least and that the benefits of breastfeeding are extensive. Breastfeeding has long proven to aid in the prevention of diabetes in both mothers and children, as well as the prevention of childhood obesity, allergies, SIDS, and serious infections.

Still, the process can be trying and hard.

Fortunately, Latinas are sharing their tips and techniques for keeping up with breastfeeding.

If you’re at the start of your early breastfeeding days, check out some of the tips to help you make it through below.

“Don’t give up! It gets better! Seek out help from a lactation consultant at your OB/GYN’s office or hospital — some insurance plans cover the visit at no cost. Or contact your local La Leche League for free support from other nursing moms.” –mami.guevara

“Breastfed 5 babies…best advice is relax…and every baby is different…it’s okay to ask for help…” –mommy_dee55

“Breastfed for 2 1/2 years; first 5 months were the hardest! Take your time and be patient but MOST OF ALL do what’s best for you and your baby!!” –vida_de_maddrre

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, you are a great mom. No matter how your breastfeeding journey goes, your child will be loved. That is the best you can do for your child.” –noramia1

“I say just relax it takes time for some babies to latch on. But do what’s best for you, if you can’t breastfeed DON’T be ashamed, (and others need to stop the Mommy shaming!) you can use formula, it’s not the end of the world. I have two daughters the first one breastfeed til 19 months and my 9 month old is still breastfeeding. It’s not easy but all you new mom’s out there, just know you are great.” –angie17_lo

“Keep pumping and try milkmakers lactation cookies. They are delicious and helped me so much along with fenugreek vitamins. Be patient use formula when you need to. Do what works for you mama you know best for your baby, if it’s boob great if it’s formula great. Good luck.” –rosebuds00

“One👏🏽Day👏🏽At👏🏽A👏🏽Time… Breastfeeding is NOT easy! Do what best works for you.. Even if you can only pump….but don’t give up!”nursesandy_83

“Bruh yes I’m barely on 3 WEEKS and wondering how I’m going to make it to atleast my birthday (May).” –gabrielagnunez

“Don’t hesitate to switch to formula. I was unable to produce enough to feed my baby. Formula is a safe and nutritious alternative.” –partunicorn

“If you and your baby are not thriving, switch feeding tactics. You’re not a bad mom if breastfeeding doesn’t work for you.” –alexandriatrece

“Pump when needed. The bottle and formula are fine too. As long as your baby is getting nourishment. My kid was too lazy to take the boob. I ended up pumping and giving her a bottle. She got breast milk and I had so much milk for back up. It all works out. She ended up being weened of the bottle quickly. Sipping cups were her fave. She’s 28 and very healthy!” –mrsclny

“Patience is everything. If you plan on breastfeeding you must know it won’t be easy (or it will) but every baby is different. You’ll be nursing around the clock sometimes for hours on the couch or bed. But it’s doable and for me the best decision for my kids. Sometimes I wanted to stop, but I saw their little faces and bodies growing. It was empowering that I was nourishing them. Hang in their moms, again every journey is different. Some have to go back to work, pump.. other are at home. Whatever you decided is your choice. I nursed both my kids until 3 1/2.” –glendamurakami

“Hang in there mamis! It is so worth it. The pain, scabs, and unexpected let downs go away over a few weeks/months. It’s will be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.” –chicadel77

“this is why i pumped for a year, instead of direct nursing. there was a lot going on in my life and latching a baby to the breast at all hours of the day just seemed like too much. i’m still super happy that i was able to provide breastmilk for a year.” –damarysocana

“Every mom & every baby is different. Do what works for you & your baby. Ignore any & all negativity that goes your way. You brought a little human to this world; that’s your priority. Focus on your precious baby & enjoy your time with him/her, the time goes by so fast!” –glass.of.oj

“It’s hard. I tried and tried. My baby wouldn’t latch on and would not stop crying. Eventually I tried pumping but my supply gave out. My son is now 17 and he is a healthy, strong, kind young man. I’ll say this, try as hard as you can but if it doesn’t work, you know you did your best. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Normalize trying but finding a solution that works.” –adris_world220

“Value your own mental health too and switch to formula if you want to. It’s a safe, nutritious alternative.” –vivrami

“Seek a lactation consultant! Also, keep at it! More challenging than giving birth, according to my SO.” –sints.slrzno

“One day at a time. I breastfed all of my three children so I know how difficult and anxiety provoking it can sometimes be. No shame in fórmula at all. Do what works for you and be good to yourself.” –belkise.elena

“Just don’t give up! Keep offering it to baby and pump so you don’t get clogs. It takes a while to get into a rhythm but it will happen just have faith!5d1 likeReply

“Do whatever works for you. If it isn’t working that’s fine. No shame in formula and no shame in whipping your tittys out in public. Do whatever the fuck is best for you and your baby.” – stuffonstuff

“If you have the resources, seeing a lactation consultant is helpful. Pumping so you don’t become engorged if the baby is skipping feedings. I would say it took about three months to get a rhythm with my babies. Good luck.”- clarissava


“Nipple shield! Turns boob into bottle! Also pump the milk if they don’t latch and just bottle feed the breast milk. But mostly… Don’t sweat it! Sometimes babies just ween themselves off the booby, it’s natural!”- queen_of_my_castle_xx

“Keep pumping and try milkmakers lactation cookies. They are delicious and helped me so much along with fenugreek vitamins. Be patient use formula when you need to. Do what works for you mama you know best for your baby, if it’s boob great if it’s formula great. Good luck.”-rosebuds00

“Be patient and enjoy the moment. It seems like a long time but, time flies and you’ll miss it.” –galvanizestem


“Nursed each of my 4 kids for 2 years. Patience and perseverance are key. Listen to your body and your baby. There is no right or wing way to do it, only your way. What works for your family is it. Be open minded and flexible. Best of luck.” –dianapatricia_66


“I’ve breastfed 4 babies. One Set of Twins, one baby exclusively breastfed until 2yo and my last baby until 3.5yo. Each baby is different. They latch differently and your body will respond differently to each one. Best advice is to relax. I know it’s hard to hear, especially if you have so many other things to tend to. They feel it when you are tense. and find their favorite nursing position …try them all. You’ll find a sweet spot eventually. And feel free to allow yourself the option to supplement when needed.”-crdguzman

“I breastfeed exclusively for 2 years (no bottle, no formula, no pacifier)! Breastfeeding is the best you can do for yourself and your baby! There are so many resources out there and honestly misinformation is what causes a lot of women to never breastfeed or give up. If anyone needs help let me know!”- niraarin

“Yes, as many moms have said before don’t give up. I am currently breastfeeding exclusively to my 10month old son. I have breastfed my 2 children prior. He has definitely been the hardest! The first 5 months was filled with feelings of self doubt, guilt and pain. Now that he is 10 months, I can say i am more than glad to still be breastfeeding. It is so much easier to not worry about formula, bottles or anything. All I do is whip out my breast and that’s it. He is a happy happy baby! First few months you do have to be next to baby all day because of constant feedings and keep in mind your baby has been used to being in your womb for 9 months, it takes time lose that attachment. But keep going and you won’t regret it! Take time for yourself every once in a while and remember you created a little human who you have the ability to nourish. Our bodies have been blessed with that ability.”- vivalayumyums

“Pump when needed. The bottle and formula are fine too. As long as your baby is getting nourishment. My kid was too lazy to take the boob. I ended up pumping and giving her a bottle. She got breast milk and I had so much milk for back up. It all works out. She ended up being weened of the bottle quickly. Sipping cups were her fave. She’s 28 and very healthy!”- mrsclny



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Vanessa Bryant And Her Daughters Win Halloween With These Incredible Costumes

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant And Her Daughters Win Halloween With These Incredible Costumes

VanessaBryant / Instagram

Life goes on.

Over nine months have passed since basketball great Kobe Bryant lost his life alongside his daughter Gigi and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

In the months since his death, fans have paid tribute to the former shooting guard who left behind three other daughters and his wife Vanessa and watched as his family has slowly attempted to pick up the pieces of their lives without them. Since then, they’ve celebrated holidays and their own birthdays. But holidays like Halloween present unique challenges, since they’re so focused on family.

However, leave it to Vanessa Bryant to show us what true resilience looks like. Over the weekend, she and her family celebrated Halloween in the best way possible and we’re living for their joy.

It’s official: they win Halloween!

Although it’s been a turbulent year – to say the least – for the Bryant family, Vanessa once again showed us all just how powerful and resilient she is by putting together an adorable family photoshoot to celebrate Halloween. Even though it’s the first Halloween without Kobe and Gianna Bryant, the family were all smiles.

Together as a family, they did a double photoshoot for Halloween this year that featured two sets of matching costumes between Vanessa and the three girls – the themes being Madeline (the beloved and popular children’s book series) and a Halloween classic, Star Wars.

The get-together seemed like a pretty joyous event, but of course the shadow of Kobe and Gigi still loom large, which makes the shoot pretty heart-breaking at the same time. Like we mentioned, this marks the first Halloween without them around — and yet, the Bryants carried on with the family tradition of dressing up like champs.

For their Matilda photoshoot, the family pulled out all the stops.

Credit: @Phil_Lewis_ / Twitter

So many of us grew up reading and watching Matilda, so this is an awesome idea for a Halloween costume. For their adorable photoshoot, Mama Bryant dressed up as the boarding school teacher, Miss Clavel, while Natalia and her baby sisters, Bianka and Capri, donned the traditional uniform of Madeline and her classmates, from the house in Paris covered in vines.

Needless to say, they look incredible, almost like they were torn right out of the page. It’s crazy, because this is actually more realistic and faithful to the illustrations than the live action movie from the ’90s.

Their Star Wars shoot was a total blast to the past.

Credit: nataliabryant / Instagram

For their take on Star Wars, the family channeled some of the film’s most popular characters. Vanessa was a shorter version of Darth Vader, Natalia was a much taller version of BB8 — and the two little ones were a Storm Trooper and an Ewok, respectively. These outfits were like the family-friendly ones you might find at a Target or something, which played well for the camera.

Of course, their Halloween celebrations were not the only touching and heartwarming firsts that they have had since the death of Kobe and Gianna.

Credit: vanessabryant / Instagram

On May 5, Vanessa celebrated her first birthday since the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter. She turned 38 years old.

In June, the family celebrated their youngest member, Capri’s first birthday. Vanessa penned a touching heartfelt tribute to celebrate the special day, which came five months after their loss. 

Vanessa has also tried to keep the memory of her loved ones alive with a heartfelt tattoo. In a post to her Instagram page, Bryant shared another video of herself. This time the video revealed that she was actively receiving a shoulder tattoo that is meant to honor her husband. 

“I wanted my boo boo’s @kobebryant sweet message transferred on me,” Bryant explained in the caption of the photo.

The year has been a turbulent one for the Bryants, and fans are delighted to see that they are healing and finding their own ways to be happy together.

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