I have waited so long for you. But not long enough! What are you doing here?

—Carmen Sánchez

Carmen Sánchez (née Rivera) is the deceased mother of Manolo Sánchez and the wife of Carlos Sánchez.

Physical Appearance

A portrait of her can be seen in her shrine in the house dedicated to her memory. It shows her with light tan skin and brown hair with three streaks of white that curls at the end. She has brown eyes and appears to have been a very attractive young woman. She wears a simple black dress with a floral pattern on the bottom half and a red ribbon an sash tied around her waist. This dress comes from the state of Chiapas in Mexico.

Her appearance has not changed since she died, except that her flesh has gone, leaving her as a white calavera skeleton with black scleras and a glowing yellow pupils like all of the residents in The Land of the Remembered.


Carmen is very spirited, yet stubborn woman who loves and cares deeply for her family. She is also shown to be quite feisty, stating that she would "get" Carlos once he arrives in the Land of the Remembered for persuading Manolo to become a Sánchez bullfighter against her wishes.

She acts politely and respectful to those she holds in high regard, such as La Muerte, and she is also very courageous. This is shown when she accompanied her son Manolo on his journey to the Cave of Souls and the Land of the Forgotten despite the potential danger and risk as she wanted to be with him to help and protect him.

She can and will stand up to those who have wronged her family, going so far as to slap Xibalba despite him being known to be extremely powerful.

In The Book of Life

Carmen first appears in photographs during the beginning of the film, when Manolo and Carlos visit her grave. Manolo misses her very much, as does his father who also built a shrine to her inside their house. Though Manolo is more interested in singing and playing guitar, Carlos tells him that Carmen would have wanted him to be a bullfighter, like the rest of the Sánchez men.

Carmen appears several years later when Manolo reunites with her in the Land of The Remembered. Carmen reveals that she never liked bullfighting, motioning to the many other Sánchez men who died in the ring. Though dead, Carmen travels with her son to the edge of the Land of the Remembered, accompanying him on his journey to find Xibalba and return to the living world.


Carlos Sánchez

Carlos was the former living husband of Carmen and father of their son, Manolo. Even after her death, her husband has never forgotten her or remarried, staying true to her and her memory. He visits her grave every year with Manolo on Dia de Los Muertos or The Day of the Dead. He even has a shrine of her in his house and talks to it, advising Manolo that his mother would want him to be a Sánchez bullfighter as a way to persuade him. When Carmen learns what Carlos said to Manolo, she says "He will get it when he comes down to the [Land of the Remembered]." This revealed that Carlos more or less used Manolo's love for his mother's memory to make him continue the Sánchez family tradition. When he is killed by Chakal and joins the Sánchez family ancestors as they watch Manolo bullfight against all of the bulls the family bullfighters have ever killed, she immediately hugs him, happy and full of joy to see him again after many years of separation.

Manolo Sánchez

Manolo is the only child of Carmen and Carlos Sánchez. Manolo loves her despite the fact she died when he was an infant. The main reason he suppressed his desire to be a guitarrista and become a Sánchez bullfighter instead was because he believed it was what his mother would have wanted. However, she stated that she didn't want him to be one because of how very dangerous it is. The two immediately reconnected when they met again after many years of separation and she tagged along with Manolo during his journey as she did not want him to be alone or get injured. The two have a very positive, loving, caring relationship and care greatly for one another, refusing to let the other get harmed and only wanting what was best for each other.

Luis Sánchez

Luis is the deceased father of Carlos, the deceased father in law of Carmen and the deceased grandfather of Manolo. The two get along quite well, and she often carried his skull after it was separated from its skeleton. The two do not interact much but it can be assumed that given their relation to one another and how they behave around one another that they have a positive relationship.

Maria Posada

While she never spoke to or had direct contact with Maria, Manolo told his mom he had someone he wanted her to meet and told her she was going to love Maria. She attended their wedding and when she saw Maria's aggressive personality, she said Maria would make a great Sánchez, demonstrating that she approved of her. It is also interesting to note the two have very similar personalities, and it is hinted that this may be part of the reason Manolo is so attracted to Maria.

The Sánchez Family

She gets along well with all of the Sánchez family members and animator and director Jorge R. Gutierrez has stated she was created with a personality and strength of will that made her equal to the mortal men of the Sánchez family.

Family Tree

Anita Sánchez
Luis Sánchez
Carlos Sánchez
Carmen Sánchez
Manolo Sánchez
Maria Posada
Unnamed twin girl one[1]Unnamed twin girl two[2]Unnamed baby boy[3]


  • She died protecting Manolo during the Mexican Revolution.[4]
  • Carmen was a cabaret singer and dancer in Mexico City when she met Carlos.[5]
  • Carmen is one of four daughters; all of her sisters became nurses.
  • Carmen's maiden name was Rivera (later confirmed to be the same Riveras from El Tigre).
    • Continuing on with this, Carmen was Justice Jaguar's sister. [6]
  • Carlos built a shrine of her in the Sánchez household.


Concept art