If you’re a Latino/a, and you have no notion of who “Don Francisco” is, then my guess is that you’re not truly from Latin American/Caribbean ancestry.
I grew up watching English-language programs, and even I know who he is. Don Francisco is a legend. He has been the host of the T.V. show “Sábado Gigante”since God-knows-when (or, more accurately, according to Wikipedia, since 1962).
A television buff from his youth, Don Francisco (who is Chilean Jewish of German descent, and whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger), brought to his variety show techniques from both the Spanish-language programs and the English-language programs.
In 1978, inspired by the awareness and fundraising efforts of Jerry Lewis for muscular dystrophy, Don Francisco established his own 27-hour-long telethon for handicapped children in Latin American countries, after being horrified by the living conditions of and the treatment of some of these kids.
This past June, Don Francisco signed an agreement with the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (Luis Alberto Moreno) to continue collaborating on the telethon. Their partnership began in 2001, but under this declaration, the bank (IDB) approved a $500,000 grant, plus $100,000 in matching funds, all to support the rehabilitation of individuals with physical challenges in the Latin American region.
In case I haven’t already told you, I am leaving for sunny, sticky, sweltery Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and I expect to return next year. Ha ha. No, seriously, I come back on the first of January. I don’t anticipate that this will have any negative impact on my blogging activities, although I may fall farther behind on my letters. (I plan to play some catch-up tomorrow!) At any rate, it will be interesting for me to share the flavors of my Puerto Rican life with you, as I spend time with my family, eat, sing, eat, dance, and eat some more.
Please keep sharing the link to this Web site with all whom you should encounter, and make sure to check out the following video if you haven’t already:
Telemundo “Triunfadores” video on YouTube:
Also, if you’d like to share your story with us, please do! I love to hear/read about people who are trying to make a difference in their community in support of a cause, or about people who are rising to the challenge to overcome obstacles.
You can E-mail me at: email@example.com
Currently, I am blogging at my aunt’s house on my cousin’s girlfriend’s computer (Gracias, Carolina!), while my aunt does Mom’s hair. (Did I mention we are Puerto Rican?)
Meanwhile, I have been soaking up as much “cold weather” (for us!) as I can muster, as I know I am going to the tropics soon. I’m looking forward to it, for sure, but I’m going to miss the biting Christmas spirit that only a Florida cold front can offer. I’m not quite yet ready to trade in my hot cocoa for a piña colada. Bug spray, anyone?
Peace & Love to all,