And no pantheon of women, or girl, explorers could be complete without her.
Dora Marquez, whose name was inspired by the Spanish feminine word for explorer—exploradora—and the renowned Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Márquez, was an animated TV star. Her show, Dora The Explorer, first aired on the Nickelodeon network in 2000 and ended its run on June 5, 2014, after 8 seasons and 172 episodes.
Making Dora a bilingual Latina was Nickelodeon’s response to the lack of positive Latino roles in the media. Dora, however, was never about teaching Spanish, although it’s likely many children who watched regularly did learn Spanish words. The show was simply about a little girl who goes on a different adventure in each show, and happens to speak both English and Spanish.
And having adventures is a pretty inspiring idea.
In Dora’s world, for Dora’s fans, daily curiosity and a sense of adventure transform the ordinary and the everyday with a sense of mission—there were challenges, problems to be solved, places to go and people to meet. And wackiness. Dora hung out with wild animals (who talked) and inanimate objects (who also talked).
Who doesn’t explore out of the desire, on some level, for that?
In the years since Dora the Explorer first aired, the phrase “Dora The Explorer” has firmly entered the lexicon, as a self-designation, or a nickname for girls and women who like to toss on a backpack (or a hand bag) and go.
A live action Dora the Explorer film is slated for release in August 2019.
Whether a human actress will top animated Dora or bomb at the box office remains to be seen.
Today, we celebrate the eternally 7-year old Dora for her exploradora spirit!
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