Meet Mando!

New Latino character joins cast of Sesame Street

Oct 02, 2013 | By Melanie Kletter
GIL VAKNIN—SESAME WORKSHOP

Ismael Cruz Córdova plays the new Latino character Mando on Sesame Street. He is pictured here with the Muppet Rosita.

The long-running Sesame Street is welcoming its newest neighbor, Armando. The character, a writer from Puerto Rico, made his debut on the show last month, and is part of the show’s efforts to focus on Hispanic heritage.

Armando, known on the show as Mando, is a human character, not a Muppet, who lives in Brooklyn. The character is played by Ismael Cruz Córdova, a 26-year-old actor who is also from Puerto Rico. He was chosen for the part after a nationwide search. On the show, Mando speaks and sings in both Spanish and English.

“Working on Sesame Street has been a great experience so far,” Córdova told TFK. “I am having so much fun being part of this family.”

In Mando’s first episode, there is a Latin American festival on Sesame Street, and the neighborhood is filled with people from many Latin American countries.  Mando and the Muppet character Rosita learn that all of the people at the festival speak Spanish, even though they are from different places. “We want to show that there is a range of diversity among people from Latin America,” Córdova says.  

This is the 44th season of Sesame Street. There have long been Latino characters on the show, including humans like Maria and Luis, along with Rosita, who hails from Mexico.