essay helper

Being Latino on Google Plus

Sesame Street says “Hola” to new Latino muppet

I was in the first generation of kids who grew up with Sesame Street. Even at a young age, I recognized how rare it was to see fellow Latinos on television, much less a happily married, well-adjusted couple like Maria and Luis.

I wasn’t even traumatized when Grover would get all quiet, lean in to whisper to a little Hispanic child, and then start shouting and waving his spindly arms around. Seriously, he did that a lot.

So I am happy that Sesame Street continues to take its mission seriously and reflects the evolving culture of America. Recently, the show announced that it will be adding a new Latino character and would focus on Hispanic heritage for its upcoming 44th season.

The show is also seeking a bilingual actor or actress between the ages of 18 and 25 who is “capable of singing and improvising in both English and Spanish and [has] a good sense of humor.”

One presumes that the superhuman ability to tolerate Elmo for more than 19 seconds would also be a plus. For the right actor, this could be a big break of Snuffleupagusian proportions.

As we know, the creators of Sesame Street were always way ahead of the cultural curve, bringing multiculturalism into the American home decades before the term became a laudable goal or a evil conspiracy (depending on whom you talk to).

The Jim Henson Company continues to be at the forefront of societal change, as evidenced by its decision to sever ties with Chick-Fil-A over the homophobic stance of that company’s head. Apparently, Big Bird is no fan of religious zealots.

Of course, some people will insist that Sesame Street is just being PC or trendy for adding a Latino character. This ignores the fact that acknowledging Hispanic culture — a generation before virtually any other television program did — is not trendy. It’s genius.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Very true!

  2. This is ridiculous! The Muppets are supposed to be race and ethnic free that’s why they are frogs and pigs and are the colored purple, blue and red. Did you create a German or Vietnamese muppet? NO! Thank you Jim Henson for not treating us equally.

  3. A Latino muppet? It’s about time.

  4. wait, I thought Sesame Street already HAS a Latino muppet?

  5. Lol what?

  6. Rosita :)

  7. Yeah muppets are supposed to be ethnic free besides there is another Latina muppet. Why another? PC pandering to make more products in China to sell to dumb Latinos at Toys R Us. Latinos, you are so gullible to think this is groundbreaking -I dont know whether to laugh, or cry. Ka ching, ka as your wallets are drained. Actually I was hoping for a gay Latino muppet – that’s coming next, watch!

  8. I actually thought Elmo was a quirky Puerto Rican kid from the barrio anyway!

Speak Your Mind