Joaquin and los cadejos
Joaquin and los cadejos

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central America, Costa Rica attracts a lot of travelers who like to cut loose and have a good time. While my siblings and I have been known to have some fun ourselves, we're always careful not to overdo things. That's because we know that partygoers who go overboard will have to deal with los cadejos. What's that? You haven't heard of los cadejos? Well sit back and let me tell you why most Ticos know how to have a good time responsibly.

It all starts with a boy…

The legend begins with a young man from the city of Cartago named Joaquin. Joaquin was what you might call a party animal – kind of like me on my birthday! Except Joaquin liked to go overboard and drink way too much. His hard partying lifestyle began to affect those around him - especially his parents.

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A father's wrath…

Over the years, Joaquin's lifestyle would be the cause of much frustration for his father, who often begged his son to settle down and straighten his life out. For months he begged and pleaded with the wild boy to lead a saner life, but Joaquin continued to party day in and day out. Eventually, the man stopped being so nice to his son, leading to loud arguments with the boy about his lifestyle - all of which seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Until one day…

One day Joaquin went out on the bender to end all benders, hitting every bar in the city, visiting several sketchy places and having a wild time doing so. For seven days, the boy drank and partied to excess, paying no heed to the protests of his father and living with reckless abandon. When Joaquin eventually returned to his family home, his father was beyond furious.

If looks could kill…

As his son attempted to explain where he had been, the man simply stared at his son. His rage changed his eyes to a crimson color, and as he began to speak to his son, the boy's eyes took on a similar shade. The man launched into an irate tirade at the boy, yelling and cursing at him for hours. Over time, the curses began to change the boy, turning him into a large black dog known as cadejos

The beast now wonders across the country, following partiers who have had a bit too much to drink and scaring them back onto the right path. I don't know what he eats, but just in case it's tree frogs, I always party responsibly!