Monday, Nov. 09, 2009

Bridging Borders

When Sesame Street introduced its first Latina Muppet in 1993 — a juncture at which the U.S was experiencing an influx of Mexican immigrants — the show cemented its reputation for a willingness to tackle the pressing cultural issues of the day. Rosita, la Monstrua de las Cuevas (Monster of the Caves), joined Big Bird and the gang as a permanent character. The first bilingual Muppet, she often jumps back and forth between English and Spanish in midspeech. The fluffy turquoise creature comes from a big family in Mexico, loves to play the guitar and shows her affection by touching and hugging people and teaching her friends simple Spanish words and phrases like "Yes" and "I love you." To celebrate the show's 33rd anniversary in 2001, Sesame Street introduced a new segment in which Rosita presented a Spanish word of the day to educate children about Latin American language and culture.