People with disabilities behind Mexican plushie concert craze
Puebla, Mexico, Sep 11 (EFE).- Mexican music fans have been making headlines over a new craze: hurling Dr. Simi plushies to international stars. But what many people don’t know is that the toys are made by a group of some 400 people with disabilities in a factory in Puebla.
The trend began in 2021 when a fan of Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora threw one of the toys onstage at a rock festival in Mexico City.
But the trend has gained momentum in recent months after Spanish singer Rosalía was given around 20 dolls at her concerts at the National Auditorium.
The movement has become so entrenched in Mexican pop culture that superfans of German rock group Rammstein have asked concertgoers to refrain from throwing the dolls onstage at an October concert in Mexico City that will be recorded. But Mexican fans have said the dolls will not be missing the gig.
No one could have imagined that the chubby doll, dressed as a doctor and sporting a mustache — which is the brand of a Mexican pharmacy with branches across the country — would reach global fame.
The Dr. Simi plushies are manufactured at the CINIA factory in the central Mexican state of Puebla by people with disabilities.
The 17-year-old initiative is focused on offering work opportunities to people with intellectual, motor, hearing or sensory disabilities.
All profits go towards supporting people with disabilities.
Carmen Méndez tells Efe that she has been working at the company for 16 years and feels very proud of being able to contribute to household expenses.
“I thank God for the people who have believed in me, have trusted me, I have been working for 16 years, they have treated me very well, I feel comfortable and very happy, I can support myself and help with expenses at home,” says Méndez
Fernando Fernández says that after three years working for the company, he has learned many skills which he has put to use in his daily life.
“People with disabilities can face any adversity daily and many enjoy their work, their colleagues and there are many who pair up, but, above all, they enjoy a working and social life” CINIA marketing and communications manager Samanta Henriquez tells Efe. EFE