Very few women have become such a powerful institution in Spanish-language media as María Celeste Arrarás. But behind every great journalist is a great story, of course.
Arrarás competed internationally as a swimmer. She had hoped to compete in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal, but a bout of mono kept her from fulfilling that dream.
No worries, though! The Puerto Rican beauty went on to compete in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant, where she placed 1st runner up.
Fast-forward more than twenty years. Previously having co-anchored on “Primer Impacto” on Univision, Arrarás is now the well-loved, well-respected producer and host of “Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste,” a news program on the Spanish-language network Telemundo.
She’s also a remarkable trend-setter. Arrarás was “one of the first Latina celebrities to adopt a child from an orphanage in Eastern Europe,” having adopted a one-year-old boy from Russia in 2000.
In 2006, María Celeste became the “first Telemundo hostess to co-host the ‘Today Show’ on NBC.”
Tonight, Arrarás had a show of support when she engaged in a TwitCam “conversation” with some 500 fans. From the living room of her (beautiful!) Miami home, she answered questions about her favorite foods, the countries she has visited, and what celebrities she enjoyed interviewing the most.
But also present in her responses were a restlessness. She expressed a desire to help others and to “make a difference.” She wants to give back.
Which is precisely why, on the other end of her TwitCam monologue-of-sorts, I sat with an increasingly grim expression on my face. I wanted to yell, “Why are people asking her about whether she likes arepas or not? Why aren’t they asking her about the areas in which she hopes to effect positive change?”
But no, indeed, the heated controversy of the evening was why she chose not to list Puerto Rican food among her favorites. (She eats it at home all the time, she countered, so she takes it for granted.)
I guess that, save for the information gleaned on her multicultural eating habits and her friendships with co-workers, I’ll need to take matters into my own hands and contact her directly. (But, believe me…she had at least 10 Tweets that were never read about spina bifida awareness!)
Hey, nobody ever said this advocacy stuff would be easy!