'La Gran Sorpresa': Francisca Lachapel Takes Cruise To Reunite Cancer Survivor With Her Husband, Family [INTERVIEW]

Poncho de Anda & Francisca Lachapel
For Francisca Lachapel, creating moments of happiness for others lift her spirit. That is why she will be in charge of reuniting a family in the first episode of Univision's TV show "La Gran Sorpresa." Photo: Univision

With the crystalline waters of the Caribbean as a backdrop for emotional encounters, “La Gran Sorpresa” (The Great Surprise), hosted by TV personality Poncho de Anda, will premiere on Univision this Sunday, January 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT). 

Each one-hour episode of “La Gran Sorpresa” uses the power of travel to reunite families who have been separated by illness, distance or borders. The show will feature “Despierta America” co-host Francisca Lachapel on its first episode. During "La Gran Sorpresa" Janet Gonzalez and her mother, Bertha, go on a Carnival cruise to Mexico to enjoy and celebrate the mother’s successful battle against cancer. But what she wasn't expecting is that Lachapel will also bring on board her husband and family members she hasn't seen for years.

In addition to Lachapel, de Anda will be joined in future episodes by Karina Banda of Univision Deportes, Maity Interiano from “Despierta America," and Ligia Uriarte of Univision’s primetime dramedy “Mi Marido Tiene Familia.” 

In its first season, the families will sail aboard ships from Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line – three of Carnival Corporation’s nine global cruise brands – to exotic destinations including Cozumel (Mexico), Mahogany Bay (Honduras) and Half Moon Cay (Bahamas).  

Latin Times spoke with the Dominican former Beauty Queen on her experience and what viewers can expect from the show. "Imagine what Bertha should have felt with the meeting! Because due to her illness she had to be separated from the love of her life, and suddenly she goes on vacation without imagining that everything was a plan and then you meet that man again," said Lachapel about the reaction of the protagonist of the story.

Francisca also confirmed that viewers will witness a unique moment, hopeful, reflective and above all very emotional. "Yes, you are going to cry, but you will not cry of pain or anguish, but of happiness," says the former beauty queen. "It was a privilege for me to be able to accompany Mr. Martín on his trip to reunite with the love of his life. What I lived with this family will make you think that we must rescue the family values," she added.

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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.