Bilingual is Better
Wilmer Valderrama & Carolina Lightcap Disney Junior

DISNEY CHANNEL CORPORATE - KaBoom! Playground Build - Star of Disney Junior's "Handy Manny," Wilmer Valderrama, joins Carolina Lightcap, President, Disney Channels Worldwide ©(DISNEY CHANNEL/RICK ROWELL)

{Scroll down for video interview with Wilmer Valderrama}

Last week we were invited to interview “Handy Manny” star Wilmer Valderrama and Carolina Lightcap, President, Disney Channels Worldwide, to celebrate the “Magic of Healthy Living” as they helped build a KaBOOM! Disney Junior community-based play space in Inglewood’s Queen Park in California. Joining Valderrama and Lightcap were over 200 local volunteers and Disney VoluntEARS, who together helped make the play space a reality, ensuring that every child in the community has a place to play. The new playground’s design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in January.  I wished my local park was as cool as this new one in Inglewood!

Disney is contributing over $1 million in 2011 to help KaBOOM! build playgrounds and learning gardens in 12 communities across the U.S. These playgrounds are part of Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a multimedia initiative designed to partner with parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids by reinforcing their work and inspiring kids to make healthy lifestyles fun. Additionally, the new Disney Junior programming block incorporates themes of healthy living for kids age 2-7.

I got the chance to interview Wilmer Valderrama, who was at the park to be part of the inauguration ceremony. I could not miss my chance to find out more about his bilingual/bi-cultural upbringing and get it on video for all of you.  (Plus, it´s fun to hear that he doesn´t really change his voice for Handy Manny!)

Wilmer grew up in Venezuela and moved with his parents to Los Angeles when he was 13 years old.  By that time, he was speaking Spanish as his native tongue. He tells us that when the moved to the States his father made a point to make sure he was fluent in English, but never lost his Spanish.  Watch the short video above and you´ll find out more…

Stay tuned (make sure you subscribe to get our post sent to you via email) because later this week we´ll be sharing an interview with one of the most influential Latina women in media. If you didn´t know, the big boss over at Disney Channel Worldwide is a woman, and a proud Latina from Argentina–Carolina Lightcap.  She chatted with us about the launch of Disney Junior and how she manages to raise a bilingual 4 year-old niña and run one of the biggest media conglomerates of the world at the same time! How’s that for inspiration?

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