Clues in the air

How do these people know about their Jewish origin? After all, so many years have passed, and there is no documentation.”
There is no unequivocal answer. The Christian environment related to “Marranos” – a pejorative term meaning “pigs,” or [used by Jews] apostates – with suspicion.
Some of them were forced to undergo interrogation and torture at the hands of Inquisition, and some were burnt at the stake.
They were called “New Christians”; their blood could never be as pure as that of the “Old Christians.” Most continued living in the same neighborhoods as before (generally in the Jewish quarters), engaged in the same trades, and of course, preferred to marry among themselves.
An extreme example are the Chuetas in Palma de Mallorca [who have recently been granted a special status and can return to Judaism without conversion]. In the privacy of their homes, in everything connected with Christianity, the descendants of the Marranos grew up in an atmosphere in which the communication was not verbal: The adults were unable to deliver a clear message concerning their attitude toward religion.
Nonetheless, there were clues in the air. Among the children of the Marranos, there were those who took the dropped hints to heart, while others did not understand them or did not want to understand them. Some of these descendants categorically declare that they are descendants of Jews; others experience feelings they are unable to explain to themselves. There are also those who live in denial and those who really know nothing about their past.
Other examples come from different countries in Latin America. There were descendants of Marranos who went barefoot all year, so that on Yom Kippur they would not have to wear shoes with leather soles. They were also accustomed to eating a kind of bread without yeast, so that on Passover they would not have to explain why they ate unleavened bread.