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Latin America

Special Olympics Latin America is part of Special Olympics, an international organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.

A love of football ties us all together. Read More
The 2010 Latin America games were in Puerto Rico. Learn More
A football team from Ecuador prepares for the 2011 World Summer Games. See Video

Stories from Latin America


December 17, 2014 | Latin America: Puerto Rico

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs Play Unified in Puerto Rico

By David Evangelista

As spectators streamed into a sports complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the inaugural event of the 2014 Lions Clubs International USA/Canada Forum, it was clear that something unique was about to happen.View Story As spectators streamed into a sports complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the inaugural event of the 2014 Lions Clubs International USA/Canada Forum, it was clear that something unique was about to happen. Two Unified basketball teams – made up of Special Olympics Puerto Rico athletes and Leos from Puerto Rico – took the court sporting new uniforms adorning the logos of two organizations dedicated to ensuring that basketball was just the start. The game highlighted the exciting expansion of the organization’s partnership, “Mission: Inclusion”, which provides key vision care and health services to Special Olympics athletes and promotes inclusive sports programming among their global Leo youth network. “It’s fantastic what we are seeing here this evening. Together, we are creating new ways to serve our communities, and demonstrate the power that youth can have in charting this course,” said Joe Preston, President of Lions Clubs International.

About David Evangelista:I am the Vice President of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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December 15, 2014 | Latin America: Brazil

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs Launch National Partnership in Brazil

By David Evangelista

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in our partnership,” said Barry Palmer, Chairperson of the Lions Clubs International Foundation. “These athletes deserve, and should have access to, quality care. We must work hard to ensure that we sustain what we create, on behalf of those we serve."View Story “Thank you Lions Clubs of Brazil. Thank you for believing in us as athletes and for giving us opportunities to shine. You may be surprised, but you will not be disappointed!” These words, offered by Leticia Elias, provided a great introduction to the Special Olympics Brazil–Lions Clubs of Brazil Stakeholders meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The meeting served as the inauguration of the national partnership in Brazil, where the global Mission: Inclusion” partnership will be implemented. Together, the organizations will provide opportunities for inclusive sports, health care, family health education, athlete leadership, service projects and more for Special Olympics athletes and their families. “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in our partnership,” said Barry Palmer, Chairperson of the Lions Clubs International Foundation. “These athletes deserve, and should have access to, quality care. We must work hard to ensure that we sustain what we create, on behalf of those we serve."

About David Evangelista:I am the Vice President of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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December 01, 2014 | Latin America: Argentina

High School Unified Partners

By Antonela Balbo and Delfina Sponda

Delfina and Antonela of Buenos Aires, Argentina took part in a Unified Athletics tournament held at their school. After the event they both agreed that it was a very enriching and mobilizing experience for them.View Story Delfina and Antonela are two 16-year-old high school schoolmates. Because Special Olympics has an alliance with their school, they took part in a Unified Athletics tournament held at their school. They both expressed that their were nervous at first, because none of them had experience with people with special needs. After the event they both agreed that it was a very enriching and mobilizing experience for them. They realized how they give things for granted in their daily life and appreciated the effort and joy the athletes show while participating in sports. They both want to continue to take part in Unified Sports activities and would totally recommend it to their friends and acquaintances. They both went home that day being really greatfull for the experience.

About Antonela Balbo and Delfina Sponda:High School students from the city of Pilar in Buenos Aires, Argentina
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November 13, 2014 | Latin America: Brazil

Being a partner

By Dalva Pompermayer

Dalva Pompermayer (partner) and Ruy Carneiro (athlete) from Special Olympics Brazil will be playing unified doubles in LA 2015

I am Dalva Pompermayer, 62 years old and I always heard about Special Olympics but I have never being involved before because I had to take care of my old mom and after her death, taking care of my sister with Alzheimer's disease.View Story I am Dalva Pompermayer, 62 years old and I always heard about Special Olympics but I have never being involved before because I had to take care of my old mom and after her death, taking care of my sister with Alzheimer's disease. But in my free time I kept playing tennis because I love this game where I could met my friends and distracted my head from this terrible desease that consumes us. And suddenly, I was invited by a very good friend to play a unified double with Ruy, the best tennis player with intellectual disabilities in Jundiai, SP (our home town) and I can affirm that he is the best tennis player in Brazil. At the beginning I was afraid to play with him because he hates to lose and during our first matches we were losing so many points, what made him nuts. After many other practices together, I have learned how to deal with his anger and now I can say that we are real partners. He respects me, one helps the other during the matches, we train twice a week and that opportunity brought me back to life.

About Dalva Pompermayer:Dalva Pompermayer, 62 years old, retired, a amateur tennis player and a Special Olympics lover.
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November 05, 2014 | SOI: Region Latin America

Facing Ignorance mixed with Arrogance

By Ivonne Casco

While checking my wall in Facebook, I liked a comment shared by a person who works at a center for LD children. The post showed a diagram letting the public know, it is never ok to use the R word.View Story While checking my wall in Facebook, I liked a comment shared by a person who works at a center for LD children. The post showed a diagram letting the public know, it is never ok to use the R word. A person commented that in music the term is used to mean a slower tempo, that is not derogatory, at least in music. However, the chart was never talking about music, it was meant to educate the public to stop using the R word. So this man continued to uphold the fact that word origins and current uses of the word are two different things and that the word in essence is not a bad word, granted it is not used against someone. I argued, the word is negative, hurtful and derogatory and should never be used or encouraged regarless of the origin. I continued to argue with him, because he was completely missing the point, this was not about him and his knowledge of music terms, but about hateful slurs on exceptional people. This continued for a couple of hours and ended by insulting me personaly.

About Ivonne Casco:I am a Principal at a Secondary school in Honduras. Being in the educational field for the past 24 years has showed me the impact of hateful words on people´s lives. I will not stand by passively.
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Special Olympics Latin America
Urbanización Obarrio
Calle 58, P.H. Office One, Floor 11, Office 1103
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Office: +1 (507) 214-4500
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Special Olympics Blog

Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.  read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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