SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s Johana Lopez decided to create a line of dolls – the Backpets – that would personify little girls from different countries, and through which she could teach their young owners about the culture they are growing up in and others around the world.
In an interview with EFE, Lopez said the idea of making her own line of dolls occurred to her when she went to stores with her husband’s three daughters – he is the administrator of a doll company – and observed that well-known dolls like Barbie and Brats had no cultural characteristics that would help little girls learn about their surroundings.
According to Lopez, 37, her husband’s daughters grew up in California, didn’t speak Spanish and didn’t know where Puerto Rico was, but became interested in learning about other cultures.
So in September 2016, Lopez decided to create her first doll: Marisol, who represented Puerto Rico.
This little doll comes with Paco, a coqui, which is a small Puerto Rican frog.
“Marisol is a Puerto Rican who wants to be a singer and stroll through the streets of Old San Juan,” Lopez said.
Lopez said the dolls, made in China, went on sale at Walmart stores in Puerto Rico last September.
Included in the package is a brief biography of the doll, her passport that is also a coloring book, a backpack and an animal from her country of origin.
“We want to teach little girls to respect other cultures and make them want to learn about the world, starting with our country,” the businesswoman said.
And so Lopez has added dolls representing other countries from Brazil and China to the United States, Australia and South Africa.
“What we want for the girls is to educate them, give them a spirit of adventure, make them creative and so do something more with their lives,” she said.