Showing Orgullo on Sesame Street, Again

BY: 
Sofia Jones
 | September 26, 2023

Credit: Sesame Street/ Illustration by Nuestro Stories

Fans of Mexican-born Actor Cristo Fernandez and the popular children’s show Sesame Street have another reason to celebrate this Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM). The two came together on the first day of HHM, September 15, to teach children of all ages the meaning of pride, in Spanglish!

“Elmo’s here with his friend Cristo Fernandez,” the lovable red puppet said to introduce young viewers to Fernandez, who is best known by millions for playing athlete Dani Rojas on the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso.

“We’re here to tell you about my favorite letter. The letter “O,” Fernandez continued. “ … and ‘O’ is the first letter in ‘orgulloso,’ which means proud in Spanish.”

The Spanish on the English-language show continued: “I am orguloso of being Latino. Orgulloso of being from Mexico and orgulloso of being me,” Fernandez said, with a smile.

“And Elmo is orgulloso to be your friend, Mr. Cristo,” the puppet chimed in.

“Let’s celebrate our heritage and always be orgulloso of who we are,” Fernandez said, still smiling.

@sesamestreet

Today’s Word of the Day is “Orgulloso,” which means “proud” in Spanish! What makes you orgulloso to be you? 💛🎉 Happy National Latin American Heritage Month! #LatinAmericanHeritageMonth #CasaTikTok

♬ original sound – Sesame Street

And that’s all it took for this 32-second clip to resonate with almost half a million viewers in a week since it aired and debuted on social media. On TikTok, where the clip has gotten over 444 thousand views, and nearly 70 thousand likes, viewers had a lot to say. 

“That’s a big word for Elmo! Love to see this kind of stuff on kids shows,” one comment read.

“Dani Rojas made his way to the greatest show ever,” Silvio, another viewer, wrote, referring to Fernandez’s character on the show Ted Lasso..

“This is adorable 💖. I love Cristo’s little giggle at the end 🥰🥰🥰” a TikToker named Edith wrote. 

But Fernandez’s surprise visit to one of the most famous streets in television history isn’t the first time the PBS show has celebrated Hispanic culture and heritage. The show was actually created for moments like this. 

Latino Orgullo Since 1969

Since it first premiered on November 10, 1969, Sesame Street became known for its diverse cast of characters and its commitment to promoting educational content for young viewers.

“They wanted it to look like the streets in our country,” Sonia Manzano, the actress who played Sesame Street’s Maria, tells us.

It was created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett as a groundbreaking educational television program for children – designed to provide early childhood education and entertainment. The series has also always had a focus on helping children develop important skills and knowledge in a fun and engaging way. 

Besides a variety of Latino guest hosts – including Gloria Estefan, Sofia Vergara, and Juanes – Sesame Street has featured several Hispanic characters and actors, like Manzano’s Maria, throughout its long history. 

Fernandez’s recent HHM appearance reminds older and newer generations of the show’s commitment to diversity and its ongoing orgullo for all things Latino. 

Top 6 Latino Sesame Street Stars

Here we list our top 6 Latino Sesame Street characters in its 52-season run:

       1.Maria (played by Sonia Manzano): Maria was one of the original human characters on Sesame Street and appeared on the show for many years.

      2.Luis (played by Emilio Delgado): Luis was another original human character on the show and appeared alongside Maria.

      3.Rosita (performed by Carmen Osbahr): Rosita is a blue, bilingual monster who speaks both English and Spanish.

      4.Gabi (played by Desiree Casado): Gabi is the daughter of Maria and Luis and grew up on Sesame Street.

      5.Isabella (played by Gabriella Nieves): Isabella is another bilingual character on Sesame Street who speaks both English and Spanish.

      6.Mando (played by Ismael Cruz Córdova): Mando is a more recent character who joined the cast in 2013. He is a writer and a musician.

Since Sesame Street is continually evolving and introducing new characters, Nuestro Stories editorial staff is certain additional Hispanic characters will join the show during its next 52 seasons. 

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Featured image is from the image Hoja Suelta, by José Guadalupe Posada, 1901.
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