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"Mando," Sesame Street's New Bilingual Neighbor, Debuts

“I even get fan mail from parents telling me how important my character is, representing the Latino community.”

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Mando, a new bilingual Sesame Street character debuted Thursday morning, giving kids across the U.S. a bit of added diversity on the seminal children's show.

AP

The actor playing Mando is Ismael Cruz Córdova, 26, who came to New York City from Puerto Rico seven years ago, according to NBC Latino.

AP

“I even get fan mail from parents telling me how important my character is, representing the Latino community,” Cruz Córdova said.

AP

Tony-winning composer and actor in Broadway’s critically acclaimed In the Heights, Lin Manuel, wrote the music for the new season featuring Mando.

Hey Sesame Street fans: I wrote the music for this tune for the new season: http://t.co/Jugedu1Qyl

Lin-Manuel Miranda

@Lin_Manuel

Hey Sesame Street fans: I wrote the music for this tune for the new season: http://t.co/Jugedu1Qyl

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Cordova won the role in a high-profile search by Sesame Street that began in August 2012 when hundreds of hopefuls came out to the show’s first-ever open casting call for a new, diverse character.

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