barrio sésamo: monstruos supersanos

Welcome to Sesame Street’s press room for our newest international program in Spain, Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos. This Spanish-language program targets preschool-aged children in Spain and their families, to help encourage and educate families about heart-healthy habits and lifestyles. This program and related PSA’s will air in Spain through broadcaster, Antena 3.

Major support for Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos provided by Fundación SHE, Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, and Antena 3.

press release

New Children’s Series Promoting Heart Health and Sponsored by SHE Foundation, to Air on Antena 3 TV

(Barcelona, Spain, and New York, NY, July 2, 2012)  Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos, a new children’s TV series featuring the Sesame Street Muppets, will debut this summer on Antena 3 TV.  With the rise of childhood obesity and cardiovascular risk, Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos was developed to meet the educational needs of heart health in Spain, starting at an early age.  The series will present engaging educational messages about heart healthy foods, physical activities, knowledge about the body and its signals, and healthy habits through humor, local live action films, and segments featuring the colourful Muppet™ friends Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Bert, Ernie, Rosita, and a newly created character named Dr. Ruster.  Viewers will see the diversity of Spain though foods, activities, and cultures depicted on the series.

Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos consists of 26 original 7-minute episodes targeting audiences ages 3 to 6 years.  The series is produced by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, and funded by the SHE Foundation with the support of Daniel et Nina Carasso Foundation.  SHE Foundation’s youth-oriented program Programa SÍ!, which is dedicated to promoting “Total Health” amongst children ages 3 to 16, informed the heart-healthy-habits curriculum initiative of Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos.

The new addition to Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos is Dr. Ruster, who was inspired by real-life world renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and founder of the International SHE Foundation, Dr. Valentin Fuster.  As Dr. Ruster educates the residents of Barrio Sésamo about their hearts and bodies, he will also inspire young viewers in Spain to take care of their own hearts and bodies through fun and easily adaptable life-style choices aimed to reduce cardiovascular risks later in adulthood.  In game-show style segments, Dr. Ruster teaches Cookie Monster about healthy “anytime foods” and less-nutritious “sometimes foods” to be enjoyed in moderation.  Dr. Ruster and all his furry friends explore together healthy foods such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, daily exercises and activities such as jogging and dancing, and other ways to keep their hearts beating to a healthy rhythm.

A range of local voices and faces from Barcelona, Madrid and la Rioja will be showcased in the live action films, while the Muppets have fun on Barrio Sésamo.  Bert and Ernie demonstrate many ways to exercise through dances like the Salsa, Cha-cha-cha, and Conga. The Barrio Sésamo friends even prompt viewers to try new foods local to Spain. In an episode about apples and papayas, Ernie encourages Bert to taste a chirimoya (custard apple), which is then followed by a live action film showing locally grown apples and papayas in a market.  Celebrity guests will also be part of Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos through public service announcements (PSAs) inviting viewers to incorporate the health messages they’ve learned from the television program into their daily lives.

“Sesame Workshop is proud to work with dedicated partners like the SHE Foundation and Antena 3 to make a positive impact for families in Spain,” said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “The SHE Foundation has been combating health issues in both Spain and Latin America through their successful localized SÍ! Programs, and we are thrilled to have our beloved characters reinforce those messages through engaging educational content featured on such a strong media platform. The images we share and the stories we tell have the potential to extend far beyond the television screen to become a valuable resource for children growing up in Spain today.”

The Sesame Street brand has had a presence in Spain since 1973 with various programs including Barrio Sésamoand Juega Conmigo Sésamo.

Press Contacts:

Samantha Wong
Sesame Workshop

Download the Press Release

curriculum summary

Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos, the Spanish adaptation of Sesame Street, has an educational curriculum designed to reflect the current needs of 3- to 6- year-olds in Spain.  As the project evolves during a time when Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s leading cause of death, Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanosfocuses on direct messages about Heart Health, with multi-media initiatives to encourage young children and their caregivers to learn simple, fun ways to take care of their bodies and minds.  In response to the high prevalence of overweight children and CVD risk-inducing lifestyle factors, including unhealthy diet and tobacco use in Spain, there is a particular emphasis on children’s physical well-being and the importance of eating healthy foods, exercising, modeling safe and healthy behaviors, and encouraging a balanced lifestyle.

Continuing Sesame Workshop’s and the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation ‘s commitment to mind and body education for children, and the “total health” philosophy of Programa SÍ! (Salud Integral), the lovable characters ofBarrio Sésamo will also help children progress in their socioemotional development by teaching management of emotions and social responsibility.

Educational Goals

Children are naturally curious and excited to learn.  They learn about themselves and the world through thinking, feeling, using their bodies, and interacting with others.  By encouraging children to develop the confidence and skills to take control of their health, Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos fosters a lifelong love of learning and heart-healthy living. The educational objectives of Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos were identified by local experts from a variety of fields (nutrition and anthropology, physical education for early childhood, early childhood, medical, and media) at a content seminar held in October 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. These objectives were used to guide the development of a curriculum that focuses on three primary educational goals:

Healthy Habits

Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos encourages children to learn to be proactive about their health, by:

  • Understanding how the body and the heart work
  • Acquiring healthy eating habits
  • Becoming physically active


Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos encourages children to learn about feelings and how to deal with them by:

  • Identifying, labeling, and expressing feelings such as love, anger, happiness, and sadness.
  • Modeling how people constructively cope with their feelings and challenges, and empathize with others.


Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos encourages children to learn about people near and far by:

  • Modeling relationships in which people respect each other, cooperate, and resolve conflicts as they play and work together.
  • Showing people who differ in appearance, action, or point of view playing together, working together, and making friends.

Download the Curriculum Summary

introducing... Dr. Ruster!

Dr Rooster Barrio Sesamo

Dr. Ruster

Basic Information:
Name: Dr. Valentin Ruster
Hometown: Barrio Sésamo

Personal Information:
Activities: Hosting Health Themed game shows and teaching furry friends all about the heart and body
Pet Peeves: When Cookie Monster tries to eat my tie or stethoscope!
Favorite Quotations: “Hello, and a Happy Healthy Day!”

About Me: I’m a world-renowned doctor who has dedicated himself to that miraculous, beautiful organ… the heart! My heart jumps at the chance to spend time with my furry friends in Barrio Sésamo. We love to exercise and eat scrumptious fruits and veggies together. But most of all, I just love to talk to my friends helping them get to the heart of any matter!  My heart beats with excitement to know that we all have a happy healthy heart. My feathered hair is a surefire way to tell how excited I am.


The Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos Muppets were built by The Jim Henson Company, which has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson is the recipient of over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards.  With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot complete with soundstage and post-production facilities.

Barrio Sesamo Group Exercise

Download all Muppet Bios

puppeteer bios

Kevin Clash

whose characters include Elmo, Hoots the Owl and Baby Natasha, is Sesame Street’s Senior Puppet Coordinator and Muppet™ Captain as well as Sesame Workshop’s Senior Creative Consultant. He began building puppets at the age of 10 and performed on Baltimore’s Harbor Front and local television as a teenager. Clash’s first television work was for the CBS affiliate in Baltimore. He came to Sesame Street after attracting the attention of Muppet™ designer Kermit Love. Clash’s film credits include Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy film LabyrinthTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I and IIMuppet Treasure IslandMuppets from Space and Elmo in Grouchland.

Recently, Clash performed at the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, honoring cellist Yo Yo Ma, and appeared in and directed Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families Grieve. He also directed the Muppet™ segments of the PBS primetime special, Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times. Clash won the 2012 Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series for his work as Elmo on Sesame Street and also won the award for Seasons 21, 35-37, and 39-41. In 2001-2008, and 2010-2012, he won for his work as co-executive producer for Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series.

Eric Jacobson

began his career with The Jim Henson Company in 1994 as a puppeteer on Sesame Street.  Since then he has become known as the man who performs Bert and Grover in the absence of legendary puppeteer and acclaimed director, Frank Oz.  Besides these Sesame Street characters, Jacobson now also performs other characters Oz made famous, including the Muppets™ Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear.  Jacobson’s list of film and television credits includes Bear in the Big Blue HouseThe Puzzle PlaceOnce Upon A TreeJack’s Big Music ShowBunnytown,The Book of Pooh, and the recent 2011 big-screen comeback, The Muppets.  In addition, Jacobson has also appeared live on stages from the Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall, performing with the likes of Basil Twist, The Puppet Company, The Cosmic Bicycle Theater, and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater of Central Park.  Eric holds the distinction of being the first puppeteer to work on multiple film and television productions cited for excellence by UNIMA (the international organization dedicated to the art of puppetry) in the same year.

Carmen Osbahr

originally from Mexico City, performs Rosita, Ovejita and other characters. She began her relationship withSesame Street in 1987 when she met Jim Henson. She appeared on various television shows for Televisa (Mexico City), including The Treasure of KnowledgeXe-Tu and The Songs of Cri-Cri, a special starring Placido Domingo.  Osbahr was also part of the Plaza Sésamo team before moving to New York.

In 1988, Osbahr officially became a Jim Henson Muppet™ performer, working for Sesame StreetCity KidsDog CityAliens in the FamilyBetween the Lions and Bear in the Big Blue House…  Osbahr’s other credits include Kiki in The Puzzle Place, a role in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and Lily in Johnny and the Sprites for the Disney Channel.  Her most recent work is Sesame Workshop’s “Talk Listen Connect” outreach programs with Military Families. She recently traveled with the USO to different Military Bases around the world visiting children and Families. In 2010, Osbahr became an American citizen, largely because of her relationship with the Military Families and the respect and love that she has for them and the country. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

David Rudman

has been a Sesame Street performer since 1985, bringing to life Baby Bear, Cookie Monster and Two-Headed Monster. Rudman has received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series for his work on Sesame Street. He has performed in numerous television shows and specials from Saturday Night Liveto the Colbert Report.   His film credits include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppets Take Manhattan, Labyrinth, Elmo in Grouchland and the upcoming The Muppets (2011).  In addition to his work onSesame Street, Rudman is also co-owner of Spiffy Pictures where he is co-creator, co-executive producer and director of Jack’s Big Music Show and Curious Buddies on Nick Jr. and Bunnytown on Playhouse Disney.  Rudman recently co-produced and directed several web videos for Sesame Workshop including Cookie Monster Auditions for Saturday Night Live and Conversations with Bert.

Matt Vogel

who plays Dr. Ruster, has been performing various pigs, chickens, monsters and a range of other characters onSesame Street since 1996.  He is part of the Emmy Award-winning directing team for Sesame Street and is the Assistant Muppet™ Captain on the show.  Matt is the understudy for Big Bird. He is one of the performers in the recent film The Muppets (2011)and puppeteered in the Columbia Pictures film The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, and on television and video on 30 Rock, The Muppets: Letters to SantaJack’s Big Music ShowOobi,Blue’s Room, Bear in the Big Blue HouseBetween the Lions, The Puzzle Place, Big Bag, Oz and GORILLAZ Live at The Apollo.  Matt’s production company, Pratfall Productions (with Joseph Mazzarino), produced the award-winning short film Murder, He Squeaked, as well as short films for Sesame Street, Sesame Street Home Video and Nick Jr.’s Curious Buddies.  He has a BFA in Theatre and appeared in the Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors as a member of the puppeteering team for Audrey II.  He is lead singer of the band, The Mighty Weaklings, featured on Nick Jr.’s Jack’s Big Music Show with the song “Rocket Ship” from The Mighty Weaklings’ CD, “You Can’t Rock Sittin’ Down.”  He lives in Connecticut with his wife and their four children.

Steve Whitmire

became interested in being a puppeteer while watching the Muppet™ on Sesame Street as a teenager.  He began working as a puppeteer at an Atlanta theme park, which led to invaluable experience on local television.  After meeting Caroll Spinney at a puppetry festival, he auditioned for Jim Henson and began his Muppet™ career in London working on The Muppet Show.  Whitmire has been a principal Muppet™ performer since 1978 and has since worked on every major project.  He has performed Ernie and Kermit the Frog since Jim Henson’s death in 1990 as well as Beaker and Statler who were originally performed by Richard Hunt.  Whitmire’s other notable characters include Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Wembley Fraggle and Sprocket the Dog.

Download Puppeteer Bios

production bios

Jorge Baxter

Director of Global Education and Outreach, Sesame Workshop

As Project Director for Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos, Jorge Baxter is responsible for overseeing all aspects for the new and refocused television series for Spain, and other related outreach initiatives.  Baxter first began as Director of Global Education and Outreach for Sesame Workshop in 2009, where he continues to oversee education activities in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Western Europe, including several high-profile projects focused on promoting health through the use of media. With specialized experience in health related projects, Baxter also serves as primary coordinator on all international outreach efforts for the Workshop, notably in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Spain. He has worked for over 15 years in the education, arts, and media fields.

In addition to his work for Sesame Workshop, Baxter co-founded MobilizArte, an organization focused on film and education for social change, and previously worked as an education specialist at the Organization of American States (OAS). He previously taught at George Washington University the Technological Institute of Superior Studies of Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico, and is currently a PHD candidate in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland.

Lorenzo Dunoyer

Senior Producer, Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos and Plaza Sésamo

As Senior Producer of Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos Lorenzo Dunoyer leads all content and production aspects of the Spanish series with his specialized knowhow of International Markets and U.S. Hispanic. Dunoyer first joined Sesame Workshop in 2010 as Senior Producer of Plaza Sésamo, and continues to spearhead production of the Latin American adaptation of Sesame Street, as well as related development and production of specials in various countries.

With extensive experience in the writing, production and direction of documentaries and television series in both the U.S. and Latin America, Dunoyer boasts previous work with major local affiliates such as ABC, NBC, PBS, and networks like Discovery Channel Latin America/Iberia division, and the Univision Television Network. He has worked internationally with RTVC/Senal Colombia, Punch Productions SA, WYF TV, Explora Films, AFI Filmworks, and Zeal TV among others. His awards include Gold and Bronze medals at the New York film festival, two Pantalla de Cristal awards for best documentaries in Mexico, TV and Novelas award in Colombia and various Emmy nominations.

Dunoyer studied Radio-Television and Film at the University of Texas at Austin and holds a Masters Degree in Television Broadcasting Management from Ohio University.

Salvador Perez

Producer, Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos and Plaza Sésamo

Salvador Perez recently became Producer of Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos, bringing with him expertise from his continuing work with the award winning Plaza Sésamo series for Latin America. Perez first joined Sesame Workshop in 2006 as Production Coordinator for Plaza Sésamo, where he has since assumed greater leadership as Associate Producer, Line Producer, and currently, Producer. In addition to supervising developments in both business and content for the series, he also leads associated outreach projects and initiatives such as the Colombia Healthy Heart Initiative, bringing Plaza Sésamo to new creative and philanthropic heights. Currently producing and managing partners in over 10 countries, Perez continues to establish a high standard of multilingual and multicultural children’s programming for Sesame Workshop.

Perez gained prior production experience from New Line Cinema, and holds a BFA in Film & Television Production from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.

Magaly Villacorta-Faria

Associate Producer, Barrio Sésamo: Monstruos Supersanos and Plaza Sésamo

Magaly Villacorta-Faria naturally became Associate Producer of Barrio Sesamo: Monstruos Supersanos, having gained many years of experience in international Sesame Street co-productions for Sesame Workshop, includingPlaza Sésamo, where she currently serves as Associate Producer for the Latin American series, as well as other related projects like “3, 2, 1 Vamos,” and “Putumayo Sesame Street Playground.” Villacorta-Faria runs the day-to-day operations of both Barrio Sésamo and Plaza Sésamo. She first joined the Workshop in 2001, creating and reviewing content for various Outreach projects. After discovering a passion and talent for international projects, she joined International Creative productions, starting as a Production Assistant. She has since grown to be Production Coordinator, and now Associate producer. Her international production experience stems from a diverse background in Sesame Street international projects in Europe and Asia, including Sesamstrasse,Sesamstraat5 Rue Sésame and Jalan Sesama. Prior to joining the Plaza Sésamo team Villacorta-Faria worked as a media buyer for Time Inc. in New York.

Villacorta-Faria was born in Lima, Peru, before moving to the United States. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Television Production from Brooklyn College and currently resides in New York with her loving family.

Download Production Bios


Antena 3

Antena 3 is the first free TV and commercial radio communications group, listed on the Spanish Exchange Market. The Company operates in different sectors of activity through Antena 3 (TV), Onda Cero and Europa FM (radio), and Movierecord (advertising in commercial theatres), among other companies. Antena 3 was incorporated as a company in 1988, and was awarded one of the three Private TV licenses tendered in Spain. The channel became the first private TV offer available to Spanish viewers. Regular broadcasts started on 25th January 1990 and soon Antena 3 started its development as a significant reference for the audio-visual Spanish market. Grupo Antena 3 has since cultivated its companies to be present in all the most important communications media for Spain: television, radio, cinema, internet and digital terrestrial television.

Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation

The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation was established in 2009 in memory of Daniel Carasso, founder of Danone in France, and his wife Nina, with an objective to fund projects in nutrition and art, to nourish both the body and mind. The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation seeks both to support completed projects, and to foster nascent projects. With focus chiefly on Europe, particularly France and Spain, the Foundation also takes action in other countries in response to emergency situations, particularly environmental crises, such as emergency and development projects in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake in January 2010. The Foundation also backs a nationwide educational campaign in Spain, aimed to raise awareness of cardiovascular risks among school-age Spanish children and promote the importance of a balanced diet and physical exercise. In the arts, the Foundation has worked with the World Monuments Fund to fund projects to restore and preserve heritage sites in France and Spain. The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation operates under the aegis of an umbrella organization, Fondation de France.

Fundación SHE

The international non-profit Fundación SHE, or the SHE Foundation (Science, Health and Education), was initiated by Dr. Valentin Fuster. Based on the science of general and clinical research, the foundation promotes health through communication and education of the public, withholding values of leading and serving the health needs of future generations through innovation. Convinced that children have the capacity to act positively in respect to their health, Fundación SHE educates the young about adapting healthy habits through an educational program for Comprehensive Health for Children from 3 up to 16 years of age: Programa SÍ.

Programa SÍ!

Programa SÍ! (Salud Integral), or Program YES (Total Health), is a subsidiary of Fundación SHE, with an educative goal of promoting healthy habits for children between 3 and 16 years of age. Dr. Valentin Fuster initiated the program out of a growing concern for the evolution of healthy habits in children, which contributes to cardiovascular health and quality of life into adulthood. More than prevention and obesity control, the program promotes an objective of Total Health (SI), which concerns addiction to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs: behaviors which are also risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. With the knowledge that learning habits at an early age influence the whole life of the individual, Programa SÍ! shares healthy habits with the children through its objectives: the acquisition of healthy food habits, physical activities, knowledge of how the body and heart work, preventive habits of addictions, and social consumerism responsibilities. Presently, the most important cardiovascular risk in adults as well as in children is obesity due to unhealthy food and low physical activities.

Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health, and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at

Download Partner Fact Sheet