A tribute to

Roberto Gómez Bolaños

What I feel when I see Chespirito playing any of his characters is warmth in my heart.


Growing up with my grandparents, Chespirito was always present in my life. Never a week went by without one of his shows bringing us priceless moments as a family.


My grandparents had adopted the famous phrases of these characters in their daily lives, and in my house phrases such as “es que no me tienen paciencia” or “que no panda el cúnico” were heard with normal regularity.


My husband, who is Portuguese and had never heard of Chespirito, now knows perfectly who El Chavo is, and every time one of us stumbles or is in a situation where balance is essential, the other always yells: “no te caigas, Chavo” (“don’t fall, Chavo”) Or if one of us has to leave and the other is sad about it, we always say “don’t go, Chavo” (“don’t go, Chavo”).


I write this and I can’t help but smile.


Sometimes I feel nostalgic thinking of my childhood, or because I miss my grandparents dearly, or because I feel the urge to feel like a Latina living in an European world. When this nostalgia hits, I watch episodes of Chespirito and I just feel better.


Roberto Gómez Bolaños was a genius. Although some critics think differently, the reality is that his creations have crossed language and geographic barriers.


His talents with the pen and production meant that, despite repeating and predictable episodes, millions of people faithfully tuned in to appreciate his ingenuity.


The name “Chespirito”, which was not self-assigned, is a Spanish variation of the name “Shakespeare”, describing Roberto Gómez’s genius for writing and creating.


Like so many of the characters in my portraits, his life was not without scandals. But it would be quite mean and selfish not to recognize the immense and, above all, eternal legacy of this man who accompanied us in the privacy of our homes for so many years.


I acknowledge Chespirito for his genius, and I thank him for the impact of his art on my life. Although many critics say that his art today would be unacceptable, I think that everything depends on the eye with which the work is appreciated. While many condemn the daily bullying in the Chavo neighborhood, I learned thanks to these scenes that money does not define the quality of you as a person, that solidarity is not always linked to material giving, and that although we all have our intimate problems, the support of our neighbors helps us to overcome them. Empathy, is the key word.


Infinite thanks Chespirito. For me, you were and will always be a Latin American hero.