top of page

Living Life Powered by Dichos

A mal tiempo buena cara. In bad times put on a happy face.

Let’s face it, life is tough. The world we live in is a mess. There is always turmoil, sorrow and suffering. There are also those moments, hours, days, weeks and years, of incredible joy and blessings. We always have a choice to see the glass have empty or half full. I come from a long line of powerful women, with a wealth of wisdom who saw the glass half full. How these women got through tough times was by saying dichos, wise expressions, to themselves and to others.

My mother, who just recently passed away, wrote in her journal about these women and about how they got through life. Here is an excerpt from her journal from February 15, 2009: Dichos are words of wisdom that provide messages of hope, direction, and guidance. Each has a particular meaning that is generally universal and crosses over all cultures.Those philosophical proverbs have woven themselves throughout Latino culture for centuries, while being blind to educational, economic, and class systems. I remember my mother using dichos in her daily life. As a child, I did not understand why she would constantly throw one dicho after another whenever she wanted to clarify a message.

Dichos are history translated to words from one generation to another.

Words passed from Ginesia Lopez Cruz Sierra to Olga Cruz Sierra to Ana Maria Figueroa. I loved this excerpt from my mother’s journal. I never knew the Spanish name for words of wisdom. Missing my mother like I do, this journal excerpt was a gift from my mother giving me another tool to get through tough times. Thank you mom.

Here are some of my mother’s and grandmothers favorite dichos: Entre mas amistad, mas claridad. The more friends you try to have, the clearer the meaning of friendship becomes. El que no sabe es come el que no ve. One who has no knowledge is like one who does not see. El que todos lo quieted, todo la pierde. The one who wants it all loses it all. Su quieres, acepta las pulgas. If you want the dog you must accept the fleas. A palabras necias, oidos sordos. To foolish words, deaf ears. Mas vale malo conocido, que bueno conocer. Knowing what is bad is better than not knowing at all. La familia es lo unico que tenemos con todo certeza. With all certainty, family is the only thing we have. I will certainly carry on the tradition of saying dichos. I always loved words of wisdom and now I have a treasure trove.

What are your favorite dichos?

bottom of page