Asher Colton Spence as the voice of Boots, Kathleen Herles as the voice of Mami, Diana Zermeno as th...
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The Original Dora The Explorer Voice Actor Is Back To Voice Dora’s Mami In The Reboot

She’s the voice of Dora’s Mami.

Kathleen Herles first started reminding Swiper that there was “no swiping” when she was just 7 years old. The original voice behind Dora the Explorer, the intrepid Latina girl who went on adventures with her backpack, her talking map, and that silly old Swiper following in her footsteps, Herles spent most of her young life working on the bilingual Nickelodeon series. And now that Paramount+ has released a new reboot of Dora the Explorer, Herles is back. But this time, she voices Dora’s mother.

After voicing young Dora in Dora the Explorer from 1997 to 2009, Herles has returned to voice Mami, Dora’s mom in the Paramount+ reboot Dora, which premiered on April 12. Fans of the original series will remember that Dora’s parents (Mami and Papi) existed but did not feature heavily on the show, which was centered on Dora’s adventures without them. This time around, Mami and Papi are fixtures on the series along with Dora’s twin baby siblings, and Herles told The Washington Post that it took her a minute to decide if she wanted to return for the reboot.

“Once I got this opportunity and this door opened — which they don’t open often in this industry — I really did have to think to myself, ‘Is this something that I want?’” Herles told the publication, going on to add, “When I said yes, and I got the part, all those memories came flooding back. I remember stepping into the booth for the first time [when I was 7] to record for the show, and I never felt so safe.”

Herles told HuffPost that she was excited about this new version of Dora the Explorer for another reason. This time around Dora (who is now voiced by Diana Zermeño) is no longer identified as pan-Latina and now has a clear ethnic origin. Dora’s Mami is Peruvian (much like Herles herself, whose parents emigrated from Lima in 1982) and her Papi is Mexican-Cuban. It’s an important distinction that brings an extra element of inclusivity to Dora, and Herles is proud to be a part of a show that has been making a difference to kids for generations. “I’ve heard so many times people saying [they] had no one to connect to until Dora,” she told HuffPost. “I think that’s where you can see the importance of representation as a whole.”

As Paramount+ recently announced that Dora has already been renewed for a second season, we can all look forward to more of Dora and Mami in our lives.