Chel is the deuteragonist in The Road to El Dorado. She is the only female major character, as all other females are minor, and all other major characters are male. She is voiced by Rosie Perez.
She claims to Tulio and Miguel that she too has reasons to leave El Dorado and start an adventure. "You've got your reasons... And I've got mine. Let's not make it personal, okay? It's just business".
Chel is a young South American Native woman with long straight black hair with flat bangs that reach her thighs. Her sideburns go only partially down her ear, and similar flat bangs end above her brown eyes. She has brown skin, an non-prominent nose, and pink lips.
She wears a white skirt/loincloth and a pink, orange, and white crop top exposing the midriff. As well as turquoise earrings and bracelets. She goes around barefoot.
Chel is cunning and clever: She sneaks around, trying to gather information on the two visitors, and even though she discovers that Tulio and Miguel are not gods, she keeps their secret, hoping to use them and their riches to fund her own escape. She's also very adventurous and prefers to do things without any set plan in mind. At the end of the movie, while Tulio and Miguel worry that they won't have a map or a plan to help them figure out their next adventure, Chel reassures them and tells them that it's more interesting that way.
Eventually, she grows to care for the two con men and values them for who they are and not what she can get out of them. She eventually becomes attracted to the older Tulio after a short time of flirting with him. Her caring side also comes out when she is around children and animals.
Role in the film
Chel is a native bored with her society and dreams of a better life. To obtain those dreams, she turns to crime by becoming a con artist.
She first runs into Tulio and Miguel when she has stolen some treasure from the temple and runs away from some guards. Tulio and Miguel then save her from being punished. She then makes a deal with them (she helps them maintain their scam, and they let her come back to Spain with them). Throughout the movie, Tulio becomes attracted to Chel due to her young figure, and they become a couple.
When Tulio and Miguel are ready to leave Tzekel-Kan leads invaders to the city and Chel helps stop them. She then rides off with Tulio and Miguel back to Spain.
- She is the only major female character in the entire film, as the rest are minor and have no dialogue.
- Chel was likely a slave as she wears revealing clothing and doesn't seem to possess any gold on her prior to meeting Tulio and Miguel.
- In the early draft of the movie, Chel was originally the queen of El Dorado.
- Chel never tells the duo what exactly her reasons for leaving are.