It’s important for young Latinas to see themselves represented in the toys they play with as well as across a variety of industries so they can dream big and believe in themselves. Throughout the past decade or so, Mattel has created a variety Barbie dolls celebrating Latinas including icons María Felix, Celia Cruz, and Gloria Estefan dolls, and impactful Latinas who have inspired countless niñas, like their Maya Gabeira, Laurie Hernandez, and Mariana Costa Checa dolls. On Wednesday, Mattel announced a collaboration with Inspiring Girls International to host a global auction featuring replicas of previously launched role model dolls, including a revamped version of their Katya Echazarreta-inspired doll that honors the Mexican electrical engineer and citizen astronaut’s legacy.
In commemoration of the Barbie Dream Gap Project’s 5th anniversary, the auction will feature five custom role model dolls in the likeness of award-winning writer, producer, and author Shonda Rhimes, French Michelin chef Helene Darroze, Italian Paralympian & Inclusion activist Bebe Vio, Chinese Olympic Volleyball Champion Hui Ruoqi, and Echazarreta, who is president of the Katya Echazarreta A.C. Space Foundation. Created to celebrate the strides each woman has made in advancing opportunities for girls around the world, the dolls will be available to fans for the first time through the auction.
“I have an amazing surprise for you!” Echazarreta wrote on Instagram. “If you are interested in helping with the dreams of a new generation and, in having a unique #Barbie Katya Echazarreta that also wears the uniform of my Foundation, it is time to join this auction for a very noble cause.”
The global auction is being held from Wednesday, October 11th to October 30th on Bidding for Good, and all proceeds generated from Echazarreta’s doll will go to Fundación Espacial to empower young Latinas interested in pursuing a career in space and engineering. On Oct 30 at 10:00 PM PDT, dolls will go to the highest bidder.
In contrast with the original doll created to recognize the Mexican engineer’s accomplishments, this version of the doll dons Echazarreta’s cobalt blue Space Foundation uniform complete with a pink name tag. Mattel initially debuted the Echazarreta-inspired Barbie doll in March of 2023 for Women’s History Month.
“It’s incredible to be honored by Mattel along with so many other intelligent and awe-inspiring women in STEM for Women’s History Day. Representation is an extremely important foundation when young women and girls begin to explore the endless possibilities of their future, and I hope that my doll will encourage girls that they belong in any career they set their mind to. Science is not just for the boys!,” Echazaretta previously told HipLatina.
The Guadalajara-born poderosa was selected from a pool of 7,000 applicants by nonprofit organization Space for Humanity as an ambassador on the June 2022 flight of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket. Her journey in STEM began at San Diego City College, where she studied electrical engineering for three years and later transferred to UCLA, she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
“I am very proud to be recognized by Barbie as a reference of inspiration for thousands of girls and boys in Latin America. I believe it is difficult to imagine doing things you have never seen and it is enriching to continue empowering children through real examples,” she told us earlier this year. “I hope that, as Barbie has done for over 60 years, children will believe in themselves and continue to break down barriers and stereotypes thanks to our example. With self-love, perseverance, and enthusiasm, everything is possible. You can step on the Earth, float in Space and bounce on the Moon.”
We love to see hard working Latinas in STEM honored for breaking barriers for the next generations of girls to come, and we’re excited to see what else Mattel has in store for Latinx representation in the future.