If you grew up with a Latino family, it is very likely that you are familiar with “El Chavo del Ocho,” a Mexican television sitcon that reached enormous popularity in Latin America for more than 30 years.
“El Chavo del Ocho” centers on the adventures of a poor orphan child and his friends living in a low income housing complex and explores with humor many of the challenges that children usually face due to poverty. The show is is considered one of the most aired shows in the television history and its characters are very beloved in the Latino culture.
Yesterday when I noticed that El Chavo was on Netflix, I thought it was a great opportunity to share it for first time with my seven-year-old daughter. I felt that sharing “El Chavo del Ocho” with my oldest daughter was like sharing my childhood with her.
Surprisingly, the sitcom raised more questions and concerns than enjoyment. She repeatedly asked:
“Why is that grown-up hitting the little boy?”
“Why is the woman hitting the man all the time?”
“Why they call mean names to each other?”
That seven-year-old was not impressed! She didn’t like El Chavo at all. Although it made me kind of sad that she didn’t like it, I was so proud of her reasoning and her courage to be her own person. In fact, I hope all my kids feel the same way.
I wonder how many of the Latino children that were born outside Latin America would “get” this Latino classic. I don’t know. The only thing I am sure is that “El Chavo del Ocho” didn’t get a new fan yesterday.