Entertainment

How Sesame Street’s Maria Schooled Us on Dreaming Big

Sonia Manzano Sesame Street
PBS

Sonia Manzano’s Maria on Sesame Street taught us about healthy eating, coping with loss and most importantly how to be a great friend. We wish you only sunny days in your retirement, friend. Thank you for the life lessons.

Maria taught us girls are badass.

Maria Sesame Street
Credit: PBS

It’s never too late.  Maria’s ultimate dream was to go back to school and become an astronaut.

And that motherhood is not shameful.

Maria Sesame Street
Credit: PBS

Call her the #FreeTheNipple pioneer.  After marrying Luis, Maria embraced motherhood and made it socially acceptable to talk about breastfeeding.

Though they’re addictive, we need to chill on eating cookies.

Maria Sesame Street Health Revised

Credit: PBS

Ya, we all love ’em, but Maria helped us, and Cookie Monster, realize sometimes we can skip a cookie or five.

Maria was real, even if it was tough.

DealwithLoss-w-text
Credit: PBS

When Mr. Hooper passed away in 1983, Maria was bravely honest with Big Bird and all of us.

She taught us how to be the best BFF ever.

Maria Sesame Street
Credit: PBS

Whether it was fixing someone’s toaster or door knob or kissing a booboo better, Maria was someone people could always count.

And that speaking Spanish was cool.

Credit: jonnytbirdzback/Youtube

Gracias por todas enseñanzas, Maria.

What are some of your favorite Sesame Street memories with Maria? mitú wants to know. Leave a comment below.

All This Time Sesame Street’s Big Bird And Plaza Sésamo’s Abelardo Were Primos, How Did I Not Know This?

Entertainment

All This Time Sesame Street’s Big Bird And Plaza Sésamo’s Abelardo Were Primos, How Did I Not Know This?

@bigbird / Twitter

Everybody’s favorite big birds, Big Bird and Abelardo, came together in a really sweet way this past weekend, melting the hearts of fans on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

Abelardo, the beloved giant parrot from Plaza Sésamo, visited his primo BIg Bird in Los Angeles and the two shared their time together all over social media and people, present company included, are freaking out. Seriously, it was so cute and we are so happy they got to spend time together. Family is everything.

I mean it all makes sense now. Looking back I don’t know how I didn’t connect the dots…

This cuteness overload all started when Abelardo announced that he’d be traveling to LA to visit his cousin Big Bird.

Abelardo took to his new Twitter account to announce his trip and seek some advice on what he should bring his cousin back in LA. Too freakin cute!

Albergado documented his trip as part of a publicity campaign in partnership with Mexican airline Aeromexico.

The cuteness factor leveled up times 10 once the primos were reunited in LA.

For real though. These cousins know how to have a good time together and we’re so happy for them. Once Abelardo and Big Bird hit the road, the real fun began.

Big Bird showed Abelardo all the top LA spots: they took photos in front of the Hollywood Sign, visited Big Bird’s star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, went on a search for the best birdseed milkshakes in all of LA, and even braved traffic to hit the beach.

Like it literally started with a happy dance!

I mean who knows how long it had been since the primos were together so we can totally understand just how happy the two must of been to see each other.

It was beautiful to see this positive message about family and unity in the times we’re living in.

These primos were full of excitement and love for another and we can’t think of a better message to share with kids, especially Latino ones, at a time when hatred towards Latinos is a threat to our lives.

Sure they’re just fictional characters but don’t underestimate the power of representation on TV. I mean just remember back to when you watched these programs as a kid and try and tell me they didn’t have an impact on you.

For many of us who grew up watching both Sesame Street and Plaza Sésamo, it was awesome to see the two come together.

Sesame Street aired on PBS while Univision was home to Plaza Sésamo in the US – which means many of us grew up watching both versions of the show. That, for many, made this reunion so much more special.

Though it turns out that this family road trip wasn’t the first time the two had met.

Back in 1997, Abelardo traveled from Mexico City to visit Big Bird for Cinco de Mayo. The two have to find each other after Oscar the Grouch, of course, picks Abelardo up from the airport without telling anyone. OMG…drama.

For many fans of the shows, the realization that the two were cousins made all the sense in the world.

And also…when can I go on an amazing trip like this with my primos?!

And for Abelardo, it was the best viaje of his life!

Big Bird shared a tender message: “See who came to visit me, my cousin Abelardo! We are going to look for milkshakes with birdseed milk”, “We live in different places, but families will always be together in our hearts, I had a lot of fun this weekend with my cousin. “

How The Daughter Of ‘The Muppets’ Creator Produced ‘Yo Soy Taíno’ A Film About Boricua Strength

Entertainment

How The Daughter Of ‘The Muppets’ Creator Produced ‘Yo Soy Taíno’ A Film About Boricua Strength

yo-soy-taino-puerto-rican-film

The devastation that Hurricane Maria left in her wake in Puerto Rico continues to affect the lives of the residents, many still recovering from the lack of access to basic necessities. The death toll was estimated to be more than 4,000 and the island remains vulnerable since the 2017 ravaging but the lack of assistance from the U.S. led director and animator Alba García to work on a project to elevate Puerto Ricans and Taíno culture.

She’d been approached about the project by Heather Henson, owner of IBEX Puppetry which showcases the art of puppetry, and daughter of famed puppeteer and creator of The Muppets, Jim Henson. 

After Hurricane Maria and seeing the devastation while visiting her family, she knew she needed to take the project on and Yo Soy Taino (I Am Taíno or Dak’toká Taíno) was born.

“I was devastated for my Puerto Rico, the land where I grew up,  and the land I love Suddenly, it dawned on me that Puerto Rico wasn’t getting enough attention, that food and other necessities weren’t arriving to remote areas. I knew then that something was very wrong. I saw that most of the help we weren’t getting was due greatly because of our colonial status and old laws that keep Puerto Rico subdued,” García wrote on the Indiegogo page for the project. 

Though her previous experience is primarily in stop-motion animation, Garcia’s collaboration with Henson meant she’d be able to represent her culture in a new format through puppets.  

The 13-minute informative short film premiered on HBO Latino July 1 and features dialogue in both Spanish and Taíno. It centers around an exchange between Abuela Yaya, a Puerto Rican grandma voiced by Amneris Morales, and her 10-year-old granddaughter Marabelí, voiced by Vianez Morales after Hurricane Maria. 

Their discussion turns into a teaching moment where Abuela Yaya introduces Marabelí to the Taíno language and explains the multiracial heritage of Puerto Ricans which is a mix of Taíno, Spanish, and African. 

“Our desire is to inspire a revival of the Taíno culture and restoration of our Taíno Borikenaíki ancestral language as our ultimate goal,” García wrote. 

To prepare for the film and to ensure authenticity she worked with  Anthropologist Dr. Yarey Melendez, founder of the Naguake schools in Puerto Rico, who currently teaches a restored version of the Taíno language.

Also, Luis Ramos a Taíno Community leader, a Bohike (Taíno Healer) and Activist of Naguake community.

To ease the young girl’s fears after Hurricane Maria, the abuela recounts how their Taíno ancestors survived colonization and the problematic relationship with the U.S., with sentiments strongly in favor of independence. 

Though Puerto Rico is recognized as a U.S. territory, it was an independent nation in 1897 when Spain approved the Constitución Autonómica. But by mid-1898 the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico after declaring war on Spain and it marked the transference of dominion. 

The U.S. failed to properly assist the island after the hurricane, leaving many areas without power for months despite Puerto Rico’s governor’s request for federal assistance.

“Our story needs to be told especially now because our people are dying and some remote areas still don’t have water or power,” she writes. 

“We Boricuas won’t go away. We will rise,” Yaya says in the film. 

Check out the video below!