Saturday, August 16, 2014

La Vuelta Podcast: East Los High

Let’s just get this out of the way from the get-go: East Los High is addictive.  The Hulu-based series has enough sex, drama, intrigue and double-dealing to make it a worthy heir to the rich tradition of Latin American telenovelas.  But to see the show simply as a U.S. Latino version of the nightly fare on Univision or Telemundo is to miss the its larger point of highlighting the very real health issues facing many Latino teens in the United States.  East Los High, which is a project of the Population Media Center, is the latest successful example of the Sabido Method, an entertainment-education strategy that uses television and radio serials to raise awareness of issues related to health, especially reproductive health.  The program has enjoyed wide success in the developing world but East Los High is the first  attempt to reach Latinos in the United States.  As Kathleen Bedoya, the show’s co-creator and co-Executive Producer, tells us in this interview, the show, which launched its second season on Hulu in July, has not only attracted a large audience because of its story-lines but has been able to change young Latinos’ attitudes about sex, health, and nutrition.  In short, East Los High isn’t your abuela’s telenovela.  (Although she’d probably watch it anyway).   

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