Category Archives: Dora the Multi-ethnic Master

This section discussess how Dora the Explorer fuses Latin and American Culture, by offering her Latina culture to the American Audience.

Dora’s and Politics

Americans enjoy categorizing their citizens into groups, even the large mass of Caucasians find contentment in knowing their own origins. After viewing a simple image of Dora the Explorer, most Americans would believe that they could see Dora as a Latin young women. The problem however is that Americans tend to lean on stereotypes for further information about Latinos. For instance, Harold J. Alford believes that “Latinos are still treated as illegal immigrants even though they are citizens” of the United States (Alford, 228-234). When the Arizona debate had occurred, Dora innocently awaited her quick allegations about her immigration status. Thus this topic provided ideas for many “creative” Dora spoofs.

Links to different spoofs via the topic of immigration:

Dora the Border Explorer

Bert Kreischer

Dora In the style of Promiscuous

Dora Pregnant, Smoking, and on Welfare

Dora the Explorer’s first political dismay was her intention to bring the spanish language to young preschoolers. Many parents stood against Dora at this time hoping to reinstate the English-only laws, therefore the parents would be protecting America’s cultural integrity. Their attempts to complain about Dora into Revision of her purpose had failed. The creators of Dora wanted young Latino children to feel proud of their heritage not threatened or ashamed of it. Prior to 1967, children that were caught speaking spanish in the classroom would receive corporal punishment, and Gareth Dowes believed that the parents and the english-only movement only supported this movement out of fear of the unknown. Another great author Donaldo Macedo said this:

The present overdose of monolingualism and anglocentrism that dominates the current educational debate not only contributes to a type of mind-tied America, but also is incapable of producing educators and leaders who can rethink what it means to prepare students to enter the everchanging, multilingual, and multicultural world of the 21st century (Macaedo, 246).”

Moreover, Americans need to trust Dora in preparing their children’s future. Dora will teach them both another language and self-assuredness to face the upcoming primary years of school.

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Dora the Latina/ Americana

Latin American Cultures are united by common elements, such as music, language, and environment, which are reinforced in all of the episodes of Dora  the Explorer. One of these episodes, is “Baby Winky Comes Home.” Dora is wearing her typical smile on her tan face, plain pink shirt, plain orange shorts, yellow lacey socks, white tennis shoes, and her backpack. Boots the monkey accompanies Dora on her adventure to bring Baby Winky to his parents. Along their journey, they pass aloe plants, palm trees, and flowered bushes. The first marker that they reach is a farmer’s Market. The Market has a merchant with a elongated crown, wide brimmed hat and a very large mustache. The merchant is wearing a bandana and a pair of overalls. On the way to the number bridge, Baby Winky becomes cold and asks for a striped blanket that has weaved fringes on the sides of the blanket. After the “Come on, Vaminos” travel song is finished Dora, Boots, and Baby Winky arrive at the number bridge, where Dora leads the count to ten in Spanish. Then the group is off to the Mountain top to bring Baby Winky to his parents. Keep in mind that Dora the Explorer episodes go deeper then Dora saving the day. The theme song, the travel song, and the crickets song – salsa, marimba, cha cha cha, mambo, provide the perspective that Dora is based on Latina culture . The Language of the characters also aid in supporting Dora episodes as Latino Cultures. Dora offers the audience phrases in the Spanish language or educates the preschoolers how to count or differentiate colors in this language. Next the environment plays a heavy role in identifying Dora as a Latina character. As she travels through moderate climate to tropical or to the rigid climate of Antarctica, she frequently would pass by palm trees and aloe plants. Hilgard O’Reilly Sternberg agrees that the “humid tropical lowlands…make up a large portion of Latin America(Sternberg, 182).” Dora the Explorer episodes provide enough evidence to deem the show as reflecting Latin Culture. However Dora speaks Spanish with an American accent and adds American twists to the traditional Latino music, such as the Undercover Dora song, which incorporates keyboard, guitar, and drum in the crickets song. The usual Crickets songs include musical instruments of the accordion, xylophone, and trumpets. There are also places in the United States that have palm trees, mountains and plains, therefore Dora could be a Latin American of the United States. Overall Dora benefits the United States in merging the Latin and American cultures, so that American children have awareness that Latin Culture is vibrant, as well as important to the American society.

Dora’s attire and rural type settings also impose degradation upon Latinos. This occurs because American see Dora’s plain clothing on her friends and her Abuela, the Americans also notice that the Dora’s house (within the Nick Jr. episodes) is very simple old style Spanish type of house. The simplicity of Dora allows Americans to view that all Latinos are impoverished. Even though a large amount of Latinos are working, the “22.7 percent live under the poverty limit” and “on average 33.4 percent of Latino children ar living under the poverty level (Suarez-Orozco). Therefore Americans’ stereotypes about Latinos and there social status are relatively justified. Some Americans continue to feel that Latinos are inferior to them, to help themselves feel more self-assured. Yet a quote by Herman Melville, discourages this belief. He said that

“Our Blood is as the blood of the Amazon, made up of a thousand noble currents all pouring into one. We are not a nation but a World (Fuchs, 277).”

Melville was saying that American culture is split, but they will come together at certain times.

Click Here to watch a video of Dora and Boots doing the Mambo.