NewsU.S. and the WorldScripps News

Actions

Venezuelan author and artist bridges gap for bilingual children

Susie Jaramillo co-founded Encantos Media, becoming the first Latina CEO of a children's entertainment company in the U.S.
Venezuelan author and artist bridges gap for bilingual children
Posted at 4:15 PM, Mar 15, 2024

Venezuelan author and artist Susie Jaramillo longed for her U.S. born children to experience her culture. Soon, she discovered a big gap in bilingual content for children.

"My business hat went on and was like, oh my goodness, there's a huge opportunity here," she said. 

So, she created "Canticos" Spanish for "little songs."

It's an Emmy-nominated collection of children's bilingual books, showcasing traditional Latino nursery rhymes.

"I really wanted to make it easy for Latino parents to sing the songs and share their culture with their kids," she said. 

Jaramillo co-founded Encantos Media, becoming the first Latina CEO of a children's entertainment company in the U.S. There aren't many women in top roles in media — let alone Hispanic women.

A report by the Government Accountability Office says Hispanics make up an estimated 12% of workers in the media industry, which includes film, TV, news and publishing. Only 3% are Latina.

SCRIPPS NEWS' AXEL TURCIOS: Why do you think there are not more women in top leadership roles?

SUSIE JARAMILLO: We still are in a world where there's this preconceived notion that, you know, a woman's strengths are in the way she comforts, in the way she cooks, in the way she looks. Women are collaborative leaders. We listen. We build consensus. I think it's incredibly important to have women in top roles, especially in government, where decisions are being made around access to reproductive health, around access to prenatal care, around access to early childhood and education decisions.

Jaramillo also takes time to help others who are less fortunate with initiatives that benefit newly arrived asylum-seekers in New York City. She collects clothes and donates her books to bring joy to children in shelters. 

"These people have just as much of a right to seek happiness, the pursuit of happiness in this country," said Jaramillo. 

Jaramillo's influence on kids is also available through other media. Her business now helps children learn Spanish through videos, games and apps. Her collection "Canticos" was made into a Nickelodeon series, and her books have sold more than 350,000 copies.

TURCIOS: What advice could you give to a young entrepreneur, to a young woman right now that has an idea and wants to make it a reality?

JARAMILLO: Be the woman that you wanted as a kid. Be your own Yoda. Be your own mentor. Learn from everybody.


Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com