The impact of a telenovela reaches far beyond just being entertainment. It not only serves as an outlet for the writers and producers to comment on political and social problems, but it also serves as a very unifying factor across country, political, and socioeconomic lines. It has the ability to sway opinions on certain issues and raise awareness for others.
The most prominent example of this would be in the telenovela "La Mujer Perfecta." In this telenovela, the main character Micaela suffers from Aspergers syndrome - something that is not extremely common and there is not much funding or awareness about it due to the diagnosed individuals' such high level of functioning. However, by the end of the telenovela not only had it provided an way to raise awareness about the disease, but it unified the people that suffered from it and those whose family and friends suffered from it. Many people before the show aired did not know what Aspergers was and by the end everyone who watched it had some sort of understanding as to what individuals with Aspergers go through on a daily basis.
One of my friends suffers from Aspergers and I was very surprised when we started learning about a telenovela that had a protagonist with such disease. Previously, I had always come in contact with a protagonist who people idolized and wanted to be like. Why would they have the main character have a disease such as this? Through watching many of the clips of scenes I grew to understand why and how Leonardo Padrón wrote this particular telenovela the way he did. Micaela is one of the most captivating characters I have ever seen - even in just those few short scenes. After reading the letters written by parents of children with Aspergers to Mr. Padrón, it was like my friend's mom had been writing them. Then, I truly understood just how important telenovelas are to people and how they can unite communities and shape opinions.