Coyotito is Kino and Juana’s infant son. At the beginning of the novella, Coyotito is stung by a scorpion, and Kino doesn’t have the money to pay for the town doctor to treat the wound. This prompts Kino to search for a pearl that will give him the money he needs to help Coyotito. However, when Kino finds the enormous pearl of the world, Coyotito’s wounds are already healed by Juana having sucked out the poison and dressed the wound with natural medicines. The reason that Kino needed the pearl in the first place becomes moot, and this is the first sign of how the pearl will not end up helping Coyotito. But Kino is entranced by the promise that the pearl holds. If he’s able to sell it for a good price, it will allow him to send Coyotito to the best school, where Coyotito will receive an education far beyond the imaginations of the rest of their indigenous community. The natives of La Paz are exploited by their colonial rulers – those who run the town, like the doctor, the priest, and the pearl buyers, are white Westerners who each play a part in keeping the indigenous people poor and servile. Although the natives know without a doubt that they are oppressed and cheated, they don’t have the resources or education to better their situation. But if Coyotito were to go to school, he would become literate. He would study the same subjects that the colonizers study, and learn their politics, their philosophies, and their strategies. He could bring that information back to his people in La Paz, and through Coyotito they would find the knowledge and tools they need to liberate themselves.

Coyotito represents the possibility of freedom from oppression and a better life for the native community as a whole. He is less an individual child than he is a greater symbol of potential, a key that might unlock the chains that hold back the indigenous people of La Paz. It is completely understandable that Kino would fight hard for the future the pearl promises for Coyotito. Without the pearl, Coyotito would grow up illiterate and in poverty, and his only option in life would be to continue the laborious pearl diving work of his father and grandfather before him. With the pearl, endless opportunities open for Coyotito, including the possibility of being the savior of his community. Sadly, the pearl not only cannot fulfill these possibilities but also takes Coyotito’s life from him. When Coyotito is killed by the tracker, his death is tragic in more than one sense. His potential as an individual human being has been destroyed, and, on a symbolic level, so has his native community’s hope to escape their oppression and colonization.