A Tiny Shadow Still Swings from the Tree
A narrow and cobble stoned alleyway, its width is just shy of 14 feet. It’s also the legendary site of demonic manifestations.
The Barrio of Santa Catarina is a colonial neighborhood which retains some of its best features from the 1600s: the Callejón del Aguacate (Avocado Alley) is among the most noteworthy.
17th-century architecture and a scale that barely admits modern vehicles define the alley as both nostalgic and somewhat macabre. It’s a combination that’s made this alley the setting of many a legend.
The most famous is one of a child and the soldier who resented the overt attention the boy paid to the soldier’s uniform and regalia. It is claimed that the soldier simply struck the boy, unaware of the child’s delicacy. The boy is said to have fallen dead at the blow.
In his combined derangement and penitence, the soldier is said to have hung the corpse from the Avocado tree for which this particular alley got its name. Locals report having heard cries in the night, and especially among the creaking branches of which many seem to crowd in upon the alley. Some others promise they’ve seen the passage of a tiny shadow.
A niche at the corner of the alley still bears a figure of the Virgin Mary. The same legend claims the the child’s murderer placed it here, to expiate his sin and to beg for pardon.
Open to the public, it’s a public street. As a residential area, some discretion is advised especially when visiting at night, which is generally discouraged. Having never received affirmation of any divine forgiveness, it’s said the soldier may still be seen, desolate, devastated, staking out the alley’s shadows, redemption forever receding yet further into the deepest blue shade running between the stones.