In its first two seasons, the series followed the typical telenovela format with more mature themes, which changed from the third season onwards.
Soon after Gabriela had a child, the baby was taken away from the young woman by her father, Ramiro Morán. Being a snobbish man, he did not accept the result of his daughter having a romance to one of the servants, so Gabriela was told her child was stillborn. The girl, named Mili, was sent to an orphanage created by Ramiro, the "Rincón de Luz". Mili grows up in the house alongside eight other little girls, actual orphans that are later upheld by in manor. The orphans are Georgi, Cinthia, Vero, Michelle, Romina, Laura and Maru. Spearheaded by Mili, the oldest among them, the seven chiquititas became a family altogether.
The girls are supervised by Ernestina, the rigorous janitor who is usually a victim of their pranks, and the adorable Spanish cook Saverio.
Emilia administrates the house, and is very loved by the orphans as well. Jime is an orphan taken from the streets and set in the manor, being welcomed by the girls. However, she initially does not get along with them, until Mili calms her down, the two becoming good friends.
The girls' lives are touched by an adorable young woman named Belén. She lives with her fumbling brother Felipe "Piojo", and her friends Leticia and Clarita. Together, they make a family for Sol, Leticia's little daughter. Belén, Leticia and Clarita work for the Morán's industries, and in the factory Belén meets Ramiro's oldest son, Martín. Martín and Belén fall for each other, which causes Ramiro's anger, doing the impossible to keep them apart, as Belén is part of a lower social class. Belén and Martin help Mili in the search for her true identity, finding out the first clues about the little girl's past.
Martín is back from London, primally due to his sister's emotional status. Over the years, Gabriela has lived in deep depression, believing in her father's lies about her baby not being alive. Her condition is gradually softned by Mili herself, both unaware of their blood ties. The Morán's secret is also kept by Carmen, Ramiro's ambitious sister, who wants his fortune for her own. Carmen takes Emilia off her position as Rincón de Luz' administration, assuming her place and frustrating the little girls. For Carmen's ire, Ramiro nominates his several years younger fiancée Ginette as their newest admin. Ginette demonstrates herself to be amiable to the orphans, but what she really wants is to assume their house, which Ramiro supposedly took off her father. Ginette is later debunked by Jime (an orphan who arrives at Rincón de Luz later).
Ramiro starts blackmailing Belén, making her break up with Martín. A repentant Ramiro decides to reveal the truth he has kept, but dies in a car crash. Believing she is no longer in love with him, Martín leaves with a now sane Gabriela, for Belén's sadness. However, she meets a new man in her life after Jime suffers a serious accident, Doctor Facundo Brausen.
Carmen is once again Rincón de Luz's administrator. Facundo and Belén are in love with each other, although she still misses Martín. With Jime's intervention, her two friends Roña and Corcho are upheld in the manor, being the first boys to live in the place. Carmen does not agree with boys living in the institution, but the Juvenile Court intervenes and allows them to stay. Their decision leads to the definitive return of Mosca, and the arrival of Guille. Ernestina is replaced by Matilde, an eerie and smarter woman which uncovers the secret about Mili. She tells Carmén about what she has found out, and Carmen ends up in the hospital. In her absence, Belén assumes the position of administrator, struggling against the Court in order to stay with the children, using her social assistance learning. She also becomes a mother to Sol, after Leticia's sudden death, moving into the manor with the little girl and Clarita.
Clarita becomes a dance instructor to the little girls, and her skills lead her to become a professional dancer. Cinthia and Laura are adopted and new interns, such as Tamara and Mecha, increase the family inside the Rincón de Luz manor.
Carmen manages to close down the house and separate the group administered by Belén. But she and the kids receive the help of a mysterious man named Pedro Vega who donates his old mansion to them. Alongside Facundo, Piojo and Tommy, Belén and the chiquititas find the huge, beauteous manor at the corner of the Pasaje del Sauce. Despite being astonished with the attractive facade, the orphans discover a creepy place full of traps and secret passages, inhabited by a mysterious woman named Elena, and her granddaughter Lucia. Belén introduces them to the Magic Window ("La Ventatina de los Sueños"), which allows them to glare at their deepest dreams and illusions. Similar to the Window is the Magic Mirror, in which they must look with only one eye, to watch their dreams become true. A complete makeover is made by the group, and the Juvenile Court allows them to live in the place. Living with Elena becomes a torment as she wants the kids out of the place and far away from Lucia. Roña discovers the little girl hidden in the inner parts of the manor and, alongside Belén, struggles against the hag to free her. For Elena's desperation, Lucia gradually becomes part of the family, thanks to Roña.
The kids also have to interact with their new neighbors, starting feuds (in a series of misunderstandings), making new friends and discovering first love, as Jime falls in love for the first time with Matías, and Mosca develops a troubled relationship with Delfina, the spoiled girl next door. Facundo moves to the house in front of the manor to become closer to Belén and the orphans. Belén and the kids receive a Brazilian orphan named Mora, and Nico, a young boy who loves flying and aircraft whose dream is to be reunited with his father, an aircraft pilot.
However, their relationship as a group starts to be torn apart thanks to Andrea, Facundo's ex-wife, and the unscrupulous Alejo Méndez Ayala, who wants his daughter Sol back.
Meanwhile, as Gabriela and Mili become closer each day, Carmen follows them closely, trying to keep them from knowing their true ties.
As Mili still is blind, Gabriela invites her to live with her, feeling it will be more secure compared to the manor. Mili deeply reflects about leaving Belén, her best friend Jime and the other chiquititas, until Jime understands it will be better for her. Carmen creates a bond with Caro, the ambitious orphan among the other kids, to assume her place as Gabriela's real daughter. The girl actually aspires everything Mili has, including her boyfriend Paul. But the truth comes out after Belén discovers everything Carmen was trying to hide. At the Mothers Day, she receives a gift made by the grateful orphans and reunites them to tell the story behind the creation of the Rincón De Luz institution, revealing that Mili is the main reason of it. The girl becomes hysterically excited after finding out she finally found her family, but is hijacked by an angry Carmen. All the orphans's attempts to save Mili go wrong, but Carmen's final plans then fail, as Gabriela helself discovers the tied and desperated young girl. With the two of them reunited, Carmen is arrested and sent into rehabilitation, pleading for their forgiveness. Gabriela tells her they expect Carmen's regeneration, and so they will become a real family. Mili says goodbye to Belén, Jime and the other chiquititas and leaves with her mother. Belén and the orphans then travel to Walt Disney World.
Belén and the orphans celebrate a party at their street, the Pasaje del Sauce, but the event is ruined by an unknown saboteur. Six new orphans (the older ones Patricio, Martina and Micaela and the tiny ones Nacho, Catalina and Luna) are added to the group. Patricio is a problematic and troublesome boy, whose behaviour is a consequence of his traumatic past.
He does not get along with the other orphans and becomes a challenge to Belén. Martina is an attractive but ambitious girl, who causes jealousy in Georgi. Mosca and Delfina's relationship is intensified, and Belén meets Alejo's supposed identical twin brother, Manuel. Unlike his brother, Manuel is an adorable, sweet-hearted saxophonist, who gives help to Belén and the orphans whenever they need (even softening Patricio's behaviour). However, his presence does not eases Sol's longing for her father.
Like Mili, Jimena is reunited with her mother after discovering that Mosca is her brother only by her father's side. A tragedy reaches the life of the chiquitita, when her mother is shot to death during and expedition in the jungle. Lost in the forest, she used her memories and clues from the other kids to survive (such as creating a sundial), and well as Belén's messages about keeping faith and hope. She makes friends with a monkey and meets Yago, a jungle boy who knows everything about wild life and lost her father. When Jime is rescued by Manuel and Mosca, she takes Yago with her to the manor. The boy takes some time to adjust himself into the civilized life. Elena returns, now rich after inheriting Vega's fortune, decided to take revenge on Belén and the orphans, after taking off Lucia from her.
Georgi is reunited with her older sister and her family, and emotionally leaves the group and the manor. After they start a relationship, Manuel asks Belén in marriage, which she accepts. At the wedding ceremony, Belén tells the orphans that she and Manuel are planning to adopt them all. However, at the same night she discovers the truth about him, through an unknown woman, that being that Manuel and Alejo are in effect, the very same person. Heartbroken with such a lie, she runs away from him. As he follows her, Alejo is hit by a car and ends up seriously damaged. Even after everything they have been through, Belén takes care of Alejo, as a new admin is introduced to the manor. Belén has lost her position after her decision of adopting the orphans, and the Court replaces her by Martirio. Initially adorable with the kids, Martirio reveals her true face as the manor's ultimate hag. Applying severe punishments and methods on them, she plans to stay with their permanent custody. Belén and Alejo fight on court against Martirio, using video messages sent by Georgi and Nico, who are grateful for everything Belén did for them. Belén also exposes to the judge the horrible conditions of a previous institution Martirio took over. She is sent in jail as Belén and Alejo win the orphans's custody, adopting them all. Belén gives her children the Book of Life, in which she writes about the future of each of them.
Maria is a little girl who lives in the streets with some other kids. Somehow, she received the Book of Life written by Belén, and from her messages Maria believes that she and her friends will find a place to live altogether, just like the Rincón de Luz manor. The group meet some other homeless kids and discover a huge granary in their way. The place is inhabited by an enormous tree and a nice but lonely old man, named Joaquín. He welcomes the group in his place as the kids ease her loneliness. The barn is located nearby a mansion which belongs to Joaquín's son Juan Maza, where he lives with his seven children (Mariano, Ines, Javier, the twins Luisana and Titán, Juanita and Agustín). The lost of their mother shattered Juan's relationship with them. The family receives a distant teenager cousin, Candela, whose differences cause issues between her, Mariano and Ines. Candela brings her little brothers Hosana and Facundo with her.
Juan is engaged to an ambitious woman, Pía Pacheco, who has just arrived with her little daughter Tali and personal assistance Elza. Despite Juan is not sure about his feelings for Pía, their wedding ceremony is materialized, but it is interrupted with the arrival of Ana, a sweet-hearted woman, who falls with her balloon right on their wedding cake. Juan falls in love instantly for Ana, and she is well received by Joaquín and the orphans, settling in their granary. Ana talks to Anita, an angel in the form of a young girl only her is able to see. She also notices that Juan's children are living in sadness or emotional need, and starts touching and changing their lives (starting from Javier). Ana's presence also changes the situation between children and father, as Pía becomes increasingly annoyed with her presence. The barn becomes a legal orphanage and receives new children.
The orphans start interacting with the Maza children and with Candela, who develops a troubled relationship with Mariano. She actually is unsure between him and Lucas, a handsome neighbor boy. The attention and love Candela receives from everyone cause intense jealousy in Ines. Despite Pía's attempts to separate them, Ana and Juan become lovers, and she decides to ruin their family starting with the orphans. She sends Bautista and Santiago to the Hogar de las Sombras, a horrible child prison, soon before Ana and Juan's wedding. The couple tries to avoid her decision, but since Pía legally assumed the orphanage, Ana authorizes believing the boys are going to a travel. Ana and Juan get married and Candela chooses Mariano over Lucas. The orphans emotionally say goodbye to Ana, and Candela is left on their care. However, Pía hires thugs to get rid from the children (the orphans and the Maza kids). Mariano loses contact with his father and he and Candela attempt to escape with the kids from her men, until the group is caught. Candela realizes Pía is mentally ill and Mariano discovers she legally assumed the children. Their last attempt is to fly in Ana's balloon, but only Mariano and Candela are able to flee. As the couple lift off, they are told by Camila to be happy together. The group is then taken to the Hogar de Las Sombras, where they are reunited with Santiago and Bautista. In the horrible place, they have to deal with its rigorous janitors and violent interns, until Maria mitigates them using the messages written in the Book of Life. The group decides to escape from the child prison, struggling against its guards. While they escape, Pía insanely burns the granary, dying in the fire. As the kids flee from their prison, Maria has a vision of Ana and Juan in the skies, and realises that is the right moment to find the Rincón de Luz manor, their last chance to have a family again.
Ana and Juan died, Pía burned down the granary and the children escaped from the Hogar de las Sombras. The group formed by Felipe-nicknamed "Mexicano" or "The Mexican" by the others-(Felipe Colombo, who played Felipe is, in fact, Mexican-Argentine), Tali, the Maza children (Luisana, Titán, Juanita and Agustín) and the granary orphans (Camila, Bautista and Maria) was left in sadness, all of them homeless and hopeless. Juanita ended up traumatized and became unable to communicate. Fearing being sent back to the horrendous child prison, the chiquititas need to find a new place to live. María decides it is the perfect time to find the original Rincón de Luz described in her Book of Life, which she faithfully keeps. Following a magic shooting star, the group is led to the house on the corner. The manor seems to be abandoned and scary, as they find the place completely covered in branches and leaves. However, the sinister facade actually covers an utopic place full of toys, puppets and dolls. Camila insists the group is invading a private property (which in fact they are doing), but the Magic Window in the attic reveals that they actually found the Rincón de Luz manor. The orphans glare as a spiritual Belén appears, welcoming them home and stating that, even after all the sorrow the children have been through, they shall not stop dreaming and keeping their faith.
The kids then discover that the place was sold to a Phantom of the Opera-like mysterious figure named Refael Sander. He was involved in an accident in which he lost a son and got half of his face burned. Since then he has lived in bitterness in the dark, hidden places of the Manor with half of the face covered with a mask, as the place became known as a haunted house. His only company is Enzo the Valet, a bald, funny man who initially lurks and scares the newly arrived children. Camila insists to him that, since they are orphans in an orphanage, they won't leave the manor. As time goes by, Sander allows the children to live in his house, as he discovers that there is a possibility of one of them to be his lost son. Juanita is the first one among them to meet him, and they become good friends. Paula, Sander's deceased wife twin sister, arrives with a girl named Olivia. Paula believes the manor belongs to her and still is in love with Sander, and Olivia is a troublesome compulsive liar. She is ordered by Paula to get as closer to the orphans as possible. She then intervenes in both Camila and Felipe, and Luisana and Bautista relationships.
A young and brave woman named Luz arrives in the manor, after she runs away from her abusive and very violent boss and Maria immediately recognizes her as their "mother", because of Camila's jealousy. Sander secretly watches Luz and falls in love for her. As she discovers the story behind the manor, Luz is decided to bring him to life again. The younger girls discover a library in which fairytales come to life; the manor also hides a magical world inhabited by elfs, where Maria befriends a tiny elf named Tok.
As Luz, Sander and Juanita go in search for his lost son, who is supposedly still alive, the orphans are left under the cares of Enzo. However, the Juvenile Court hires a vicious woman named Lidia to be in charge of the house's administration. After Lidia starts ruling their home, the children are once again deprived from their dreams and good life. Camila and Luisana are worried since Felipe and Bautista have not sent news since their travel, some time before Luz and Rafael's wedding. They were actually kidnapped by Paula's henchmen, and had to cause a car crash to escape from them. Felipe falls unconscious and Bautista loses his memories. They are rescued by Miki, an adorable girl who lives in a trailer. As Felipe awakens, he notices that Bautista has amnesia and tells him they should go back home. Even without remembering anything, Bautista goes with him and they take Miki with them, away from her abusive mother.
After her mother dies, a young girl moves to the neighborhood, and starts working at a nearby bar. She is Mili, the original chiquitita and the reason the original orphanage was created. Mili comes back following her memories of her life in the manor, alongside her friends Jime, Georgi, Guille, Mosca and everybody else, and foremost, following Belén's lessons. She is decided to help the orphans ruled by Lidia (who had blocked up the Magic Window), giving back their dreams and their happiness. To deceive Lidia, she joins the manor as a "rigorous" janitor named Greta. Mili receives help in her mission from Enzo and his brother Renzo, and from the handsome bar owner Ramiro. She reveals herself to the kids, but they do not believe in her words with the exception of Maria. Aspiring their house, Lidia tries to send the kids back to the Hogar de las Sombras and ties up Ramiro and Mili to chairs after she discovers her true intentions. Ramiro manages to escape, releasing Mili. As the kids struggle against the guards, Bautista recovers his memories while saving Luisana from them, and the group runs back to the manor. Mili, Ramiro and the orphans are reunited, but Lidia performs her final act even though she is arrested. Stating that if the house will not belong to her then it will not be anyone else's, Lidia reveals to Ramiro that she has implanted explosives in the manor. He desperately runs towards the place, in order to evacuate it. After everybody apparently leaves the manor, Tali misses Agustín and Mili goes back to rescue him. As they run out, the manor explodes, leaving the kids in desperation. As an insane Lidia delights, Mili tells her that she is wrong, and nothing will knock down their home, if the chiquititas stand together. The group is surprised by a white radiance in the sky, which reveals itself to be Belén. She states that the Rincón de Luz will always exist while each child in the world keep his or her dream, and while love exists, as the manor magically starts rebuilding itself, amazing the orphans. Among them, the orphans that lived with Mili (Jime, Corcho, Georgi, Mosca and the others) appear one by one.
Maria passes on the Book of Life to other orphaned children, and as her family formed by her fellows, Mili and Ramiro is shown, she ends the story by telling the audience to never give up their dreams, and if sometime they grow up and think they have lost them, to just look deep inside the heart, where will always be their chiquitita, giving them care.
The series premiered on August 7, 1995, occupying Jugate Conmigo's former time-slot years before. Part of the Jugate cast, including Luciano Castro and Romina Yan herself, is featured in the show's first season. The series started in the traditional dramatic telenovela format, with an adult cast sharing space with the young cast on screen. This aspect changed gradually in the following years (starting with the third season, in 1997), with the young characters receiving more prominence in the storyline. Fantasy elements were also added to the plot. Actress Agustina Cherri had an exclusivity contract with Telefe and was cast as the young protagonist among the orphans, Mili Urién. Romina Yan auditioned for the role of Belén Fraga with few other actresses and was cast. The series is also known for being the first using the serialized format, unusual in the telenovela genre. Season One has 155 episodes; Seasons Two to Six have the very same number of episodes each year, in a total 210. As a consequence of the series's cancellation, the shortest season is the last one, with only nine episodes. Despite having a sudden ending, the seventh season features the return of Agustina Cherri as a 20-year-old Mili.
Romina Yan left the series in 1998 (Season Four), and the storyline was rebooted in the following year, Chiquititas 1999 (Season Five), with new characters, a new story and setting, co-starring Grecia Colmenares and Marcela Kloosterboer. Although having different roles, some young actors from previous seasons remained (such as Guillermo Santa Cruz and Camila Bordonaba), which initially caused confusion on the audience. In 2000 (Season Six), the setting went back to the Rincón de Luz manor, where the series ended in 2001. Each season received a respective soundtrack with three additional albums, all of them released by Sony Music. The songs are without exception composed by Carlos Nilson and Cris Morena. Actor, singer and musician Felipe Colombo was brought by Cris Morena from the Mexican version of the series, where he portrayed Julio. He was introduced in Season Five, alongside Luisana Lopilato. Camila Bordonaba was introduced in Season Two as Pato and Benjamin Rojas in Season Four. They were all cast in Rebelde Way, an Argentine hit television series also created and produced by Morena, in which they portrayed its protagonists and members of the band Erreway.
Annual stage presentations at the Gran Rex theatre, written and directed by Cris Morena complemented the series from the second year onwards, featuring the whole cast of each season. The fourth year holds to this day the record of most tickets ever sold by that theatre. An incident occurred in the Season Five performances (Chiquititas 1999), in which a fire generated by short circuit destroyed part of the scenario, specifically the thematic giant tree. Gran Rex did not return the money to the present and frustrated audience.
Between 1996 and 2000, 1.100.432 of Argentine people watched the Chiquititas presentations.
Chiquititas was canceled after financial disagreements between Cris Morena and Claudio Villarruel, Telefe's newly employed chairman. In the seventh and final season, the running was changed from daily to weekly, being aired at Sundays, and being replaced by a retrospective of Chiquititas previous seasons, entitled Chiquititas: la historia, which was aired daily on the original time slot (weekdays at 6 PM). Morena moved to Canal 9, for which she created Rincón de Luz, a new series with similar concept. The show had to be renamed since the title of Chiquititas contractually belonged to Telefe.
Chiquititas was panned by critics that deemed the program to be over sexualized and having a bad quality. The idea of an orphanage being portrayed as a beautiful place full of pretty well-dressed white children was also heavily panned. The Season Five ending, where the adult characters were removed from the storyline after an accident, and the children are sent to the Hogar de las Sombras child prison from where they escape, was considered by some reviewers as "anything but ingenious" and too "traumatic" for children, and received criticism for the writer's "incoherence and unjustified cruelty".
Despite receiving bad reviews, the series became a hit among the young audience, and spawned 150 licensed products and a monthly magazine, La Revista de Chiquititas. The Season Three released soundtrack, La Música de Chiquititas Vol. 3, sold 2.500 copies, and the Season Four album is the top selling among the twelve volumes. Themes such as "Mentiritas", "Corazón con Agujeritos" and "Pimpollo" are the most remembered songs to this day.
Chiquititas Sin Fin, also known as Chiquititas 2006 is an Argentine 2006 television series created and produced by Cris Morena, to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the original series Chiquititas. Written by Walter Ferreira Ramos and Delia Maunas, and produced by Cris Morena and RGB Entertainment, the series has been aired on Disney Channel in some South American countries, Mexico, Greece and Spain. SBT also aired the show to Brazil in 2008. Sin Fin was adapted in Portugal and Romania, and is the basis for the Wii game Chiquititas: The Magical Journey. Stage presentations at the Gran Rex were also featured.
The series focuses on the search of a young woman for her lost son. After discovering that her child may be living at an orphanage, she goes to the place under the alter ego of a humorous and magical nanny figure, touching and changing their lives.
Magali Garcia (Jorgelina Aruzzi) is a strict businesswoman who got pregnant in the past, and after revealing it to her father Vítor (Ernesto Claudio), was sent to an abandoned place. Her son was sent by the Garcia's servant, under Vítor's orders, to an orphanage, and she had to lie by saying to Magali that her little child was stillborn. Repentant, the servant told Magali the truth, which made daughter hate father since then. Magali started looking for their child, and is sure that the kid lives in an orphanage named Modelo Dumont. She goes there under a new identity: with the help of her best friend Lúcia (Mariana Richaudeau), she's now an adorable, a little bit crazy and funny woman, the sweet Lili. Under this alter ego, she ends up assuming a maternal figure to the orphans of the place, appearing as a Magali's distant cousin. Beyond them, Lili meets Terezinha (Mariana Briski), an arrogant housekeeper who is seen by the kids as an "evil witch", the orphanage's owners, Julieta (María Carámbula) and Pierre (Alejo García Pintos) Dummont, and their little spoiled children, Marcel (Luciano Ruiz) and Talita (Delfina Varni). The Dummonts are an ambitious, greedy and perverse family that aspire for money. Kili (Gastón Ricaud) is the handsome and adorable chef of the orphanage, and he and Lily soon fall in love for each other. The chiquititas of this series are Miki, Guta and Mosquito, teenagers forming a loving triangle, the younger orphans Luana, Anita, Nando, Paula, Pulga, Josep, Eduardo and Francisco.
The soundtrack 24 Horas is among the ten 2006 top-selling albums, the Sin Fin Gran Rex presentation was released on DVD. The series finale was watched by the cast alongside fans at the Shopping Abasto, in Buenos Aires.
Chiquititas: The Magical Journey is a fantasy-action 2009 game based on Chiquititas Sin Fin, produced by Biodroid Productions and distributed by Emergent. Available for PS2 and Wii, the game provides two playable characters from the 2006 show, Lily and Kili, exploring levels and fighting against enemies.
Rincón de Luz is a 2003 series created by Cris Morena for Argentine channel Canal 9. This show has the same concept and some of the actors of her previous telenovela Chiquititas, which she could not keep the original title for legal rights. Starring the popular singer Soledad Pastorutti and Guido Kaczka (who had acted in Chiquititas first four seasons as Piojo, Belén's brother), the show did not reach the amount of popularity the first version of the program achieved. However, it was extremely successful in Israel and the complete cast of the show visited Tel Aviv for a series of concerts at Nokia Arena.
In 2001, while leaving Telefe, Cris Morena made it clear that, despite of legal rights, she would not stop producing Chiquititas, stating that it was "more than a title". Morena was actually moving the show's concept to another channel with a different title because the program rights were owned by Telefé, not her.
The original show includes twelve soundtracks, which were recorded by the actors of Chiquititas.