My Little Donkey

We were sitting around a bunch of tables which had been shoved together to make a giant rectangle.  Pastors, lay leaders, and a little group of three young people with their pastor from El Salvador.  It was a meeting - in the Salvadoran Lutheran Church it would be called a micro-region meeting; in our city it is called a cluster meeting.  It is just a few weeks before Christmas.  We share a warm lunch of ham, herbed rice, greens, and roasted vegetables from an unusual December harvest from our church gardens.

We go around the table doing introductions.  "Say your name and the first line of your favorite Christmas song."  A few groans emerge when we suggest we sing the first lines...but once the first strain of "Silent Night" is sung, we are all in.  This is fun.

The young man from El Salvador is 15.  He is pretty shy.  It is his turn.  Without hesitation, he busts out a lively rendition of a song we do not recognize.  "Con mi burrito sabanero voy camino de Belen."  I explain to the group that this is a song about a little donkey on its way to Bethlehem.  The Salvadorans clearly love this song, the pastor starts clapping and singing along.  We continue around the circle, "Drummer Boy" in Spanish is also a favorite.  The little donkey song is shared for a second time and all four Salvadorans are singing.  I try to learn this song to remember it.

When I get home I decide to search for the little donkey song on YouTube.  Well, clearly I have missed something in my many years of travel to El Salvador because this song appears all over YouTube.  A few days ago, my husband switched our Pandora station to Navidad Latina and "Mi Burrito Sabanero" is played every fourth song!

So, if you are in need of a new earworm this Christmas, and a very cute song to teach the children in your life, check this out this Video which has both the Spanish words and English translation.

Feliz Navidad!


  1. Hi Linda - I'm looking to get involved in the Salvadoran Lutheran Church. I live in San Salvador (near antiguo cuscatlan). Do you have any contacts here that you could connect me with? Please email me at if you would be so kind!

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