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Fictional Librarian of the Month: Mateo in “Elena of Avalor”

One of my favorite librarians, if you could call him that, Mateo in Elena of Avalor.

Hello everyone! This continues from the “Fictional Librarian of the Month” entries for November and December, with this series focusing on fictional librarian every month, prioritizing those in currently shows, but also covering older shows, using entries from the “List of fictional libraries” from time to time. This month, I’d like to highlight Mateo from Elena of Avalor, who is also a wizard!

About the librarian

Mateo, whose full name is Mateo de Alva, is one of the closest friends of Princess Elena, whose namesake is in the series. He is a defacto librarian and is Latine, with his voice actor, Joseph Haro, a Miami-born gay actor with Cuban parents.

Role in the story

Mateo is a supporting character in Elena of Avalor who first appears in flashbacks in the film Elena and the Secret of Avalor and debuts in the show’s first episode, “First Day of Rule.” He helps Elena by serving as her advisor in royal matters and as a friend, as she faces off against villains and attempts to protect her kingdom.

Does the librarian buck stereotypes?

In some ways, Mateo does because he is a Latine man who does not shush people, like many librarians have in animated series covered on this blog, he also bucks stereotypes of Latine people. He is not a cholo (a criminal / gang member), a immigrant, a person a homogeneous origin, a hard labor worker, shows any sort of machismo, or uneducated/lackadaisical, is all of the stereotypes of Latine men. [1]

Any similarity with librarians in other shows?

Not necessarily. I can’t think of any Latine men in any series I have watched who are librarians. So, that makes him a unique character in many ways, many more than one. That is part of the reason I put together this post, so as to highlight not only one of my favorite characters but a character who is unlike other librarians on this blog.

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] Latine women have, according to scholars summarized by the “Stereotypes of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States” Wikipedia page, been depicted in popular media as passive, dependent on men, sexy, promiscuous, tempestuous, hot-tempered, virginal, less intelligent, passive, and aggressive, leading them to be eroticized, especially in the marketing industry.

By histhermann

Marylander with MLIS who loves archives, libraries, genealogy, reviewing pop culture, and writing fictional stories. UMD '19 & SMCM '16 grad. I've been running various WordPress blogs for a while now, about genealogy, libraries, archives, and more.

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