latin america | sésamo

A Spanish-speaking street that carries learning and laughter across Latin America

Children’s Education Initiatives in Mexico | Letters, numbers, and healthy habits

Our Sésamo  program began in Mexico in 1972 and has since spread across Latin America, bringing essential children’s education to millions of preschoolers.

The locally-produced show imparts a full range of preschool learning skills, along with lessons about diversity, gender equality, and health. Its unique characters, such as Abelardo, a giant multi-colored bird, have become children’s favorites in Mexico and the dozens of other countries throughout the region where the show airs.

To reinforce Sésamo’s health-related messages for Mexican families, Sesame Workshop launched a bold health initiative in 2007. The idea: put the popular Sésamo Muppets on milk containers, along with fun messages about nutrition and exercise, and provide them to Mexican schools, an idea which our partner Tetra Pak helped bring to life. According to independent research, it works. When asked to choose from among images of food options that included both healthy and unhealthy alternatives, children indicated that they would choose more healthy foods when the foods were next to a Sésamo character. Additionally, 68 percent of families exposed to Sesamo’s healthy habits messages report positive changes in their children’s nutrition and hygiene habits.1

With our milk messages and other educational outreach efforts, such as television broadcasts to schools and hospitals, we’ve reached more than 8 million Mexican children with important health messages.2 In 2009, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) presented Sesame Workshop with the “Champion of Health” award for this initiative.

Major support for Sésamo is provided by Tetra Pak and MetLife Foundation.

1Consultores en Investigación y Comunicación (CINCO). (2009). “Hábitos saludables para toda la vida”, Summary of Findings from Impact Assessment, Yucatán, Mexico: CINCO.
2Project records, 2010-2011.