LATINO VOICES
05/10/2013 01:11 pm ET | Updated May 10, 2013

Sesame Street Announces New Latino Character 'Mando' Played By Ismael Cruz Córdova (PHOTOS)

Move over Elmo, there’s a new character on the block.

"Sesame Street" has announced they are introducing a new Latino character and his name is Armando. As it heads into its 44th season the classic kids show will focus on Hispanic heritage.

Armando or ‘Mando’ as he will be known on the show is a writer from Puerto Rico. He will not be the first bilingual character on the cast, "Sesame Street" already has Muppets Rosita and Ovejita, as well as Luis and Maria, according to a press release from Sesame Workshop.

The search for the newest Latino addition began in August 2012 and many hopefuls passed through the auditions that tested their Spanish fluency, vocal abilities and comedic timing.

The lucky winner was Ismael Cruz Córdova a Puerto Rico native with a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

“I am honestly still in shock,” said Ismael. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of a show that acknowledges and celebrates diversity so whole-heartedly and am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to represent Latino-Americans on 'Sesame Street.'”

"Sesame Street" has always been known for aiming to represent a diverse community, and its focus on Hispanics comes as no surprise since the growth of the Latino community in the U.S. has been substantial.

“Like his character ‘Mando,’ Ismael represents a culturally fluid and deeply layered new generation of Hispanic-Americans. He has a passion for creative expression and a warmth that comes right through the camera” said Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer of "Sesame Street."

Congratulations to ‘Mando,’ and we look forward to seeing what this Puerto Rican writer will bring to the Sesame Street community!

New Latino Character In Sesame Street

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the actor's name was Ismael García, his name is Ismael Cruz Córdova

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