Hey kids, meet Coqui the Chef! No, don't run away in terror, Coqui is here to teach you that nutritious food can be fun! So put down that Arizona Ice Tea and pick up a "refreshing Pina Colada"! Coqui's mission is to raise awareness and spread the word about preventing obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and that's why Coqui will be marching in the Puerto Rican Day parade this summer.
The mascot is the creation of South Bronx mom Tania Lopez, who wears the costume named after the endangered Puerto Rican frog. Lopez spent some time in Puerto Rico in her 20s, learning to cook from scratch, but when she returned to NYC she found herself eating disgusting fast food again. But after losing her job a few years ago, she created Coqui, and set out on a mission to improve the eating habits of her community. "Here in New York, we Puerto Ricans have lost track of where we came from," Lopez tells the Daily News. "They're proud. But they don't know the history and the culture. They don't know how to cook healthy food."
And that's where the frog chef comes in! On her website, Lopez sells cookbooks and shares nutritious recipes... like, uh, Dulce de Leche Flan. (Only one cup of sugar!)