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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


April 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

No Differences on the Playing Field

By Maria Jose Gonzalez

I love sports, specially soccer!!! When you work for the world wide leader in sports you have got to love it, but on February 6 2015 we were invited to play a unified game with the Special Olympic Athletes in Mexico and then the love I had for sports meant a whole lot more.View Story I love sports, specially soccer!!! When you work for the world wide leader in sports you have got to love it, but on February 6 2015, we were invited to play a unified game with the Special Olympic Athletes in Mexico and then the love I had for sports meant a whole lot more.I realized that in a soccer field there is only one goal and that the passion for the game is shared by ALL. There are no differences in a playing field, we are all equal and we all want to give our best. The experience while playing the unified game was one of a kind. First of all I have never played with actual members of the Mexico´s National Soccer team, come July I´ll be rooting for them hoping they come home with a gold medal. Second of all I realized that the only boundaries that I could encounter in that field were the ones that limited the side lines and goal lines. Third and last, I was able to recognize a bit of myself in all of my teammates, we all love soccer and we all love to play together.

About Maria Jose Gonzalez:I am the finance manager for ESPN Mexico
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April 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I am Teresita Santander and am a Champion

By Paola Martinelli

Teresita at 2011 World Games in Greece

At the age of four years I went to school special education to be cared for adequately and a year later I was integrated into a regular preschool. It was not easy because children did not want to join me because of my disability and I always remained isolated so I had to return to the special school to continue my education until the age of 13.View Story My name is Jasmine Santander Teresita Sanchez. I was born in the city of Pachuca, Hidalgo on September 17, 1984. By a medical malpractice my parents were told that I have intellectual disability. At the age of four years I went to school special education to be cared for adequately and a year later I was integrated into a regular preschool It was not easy because children did not want to join me because of my disability and I always remained isolated so I had to return to the special school to continue my education until the age of 13. But fortunately, I received support from my teachers and finally finished my educación. From age 7 I have been an athlete in swimming and open water for Special Olympics. I have represented my country many times and now again I travel to the World Games as part of the Mexican delegation.

About Paola Martinelli:National Director of Communications and Marketing
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April 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I am Ruben Alejandro and I am a Champion

By Paola Martinelli

Thanks to my studies I got a job in Public Services of the State of Nayarit in the area of computer education, I am currently an administrative assistant in the Multiple Care Center of Nayarit.View Story I'm Ruben and I was born with Down Syndrome have a younger sister and I live with my parents. I went to CREE rehabilitation center at 22 days old. There they treated me for my developmental disability to be equal to all children. I attended the child development center for three months, then preschool, primary and secondary mainstream schools with persons without disabilities. Thanks to my studies I got a job in Public Services of the State of Nayarit in the area of computer education, I am currently an administrative assistant in the Multiple Care Center of Nayarit. Since childhood I practice sport and I love gymnastics, I participated in 8 national events and 3 World Games and now I have another opportunity to go on behalf of Mexico to Los Angeles. I like the Folkloric dance workshops scarves weaving workshops, development of piñatas, wreaths, bows for gift and beads.

About Paola Martinelli:National Director of Communications and Marketing
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April 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I am Juan Puente Lopez and I am a Champion

By Paola Martinelli

Juan Lopez

I grew up in a family of athletes, my father practiced baseball, and athletics and my brothers and nephews tennis.View Story I grew up in a family of athletes, my father practiced baseball, and athletics and my brothers and nephews tennis. At age 14 I started bolero in Potosino club Deportivo. My older brother worked there and with the intention that it will distract me and I practiced some physical activity. I got in because of my intellectual disability. Since then I started training at the Lomas Racquet Club. The practice of this sport has allowed me to perform first as a pencil boy and later as a player. In the club I played with partners and I have incomes that allowed me to have a more quality lifestyle. I participated in tournaments in singles and doubles, within the state, as in other nearby cities. The practice of this sport has given me a lot. Now shall represent my country in Los Angeles.

About Paola Martinelli:National Director of Communications and Marketing
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April 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I am Patricia Romo and I am a champion

By Paola Martinelli

Paty Romo won an Award at the Pan American Tennis Tournament in Bolivia

I had primary school education and started working at the Center for Down Syndrome at age 17 in my state in the area of early childhood stimulation. To this day I still work there.View Story I am the last child of 5 brothers and was born with intellectual disability. I studied in primary school and started working at the Center for Down Syndrome at 17 years in my state in the area of early childhood stimulation. To this day I still work there. I'm single and I live with my mother. I'm hardworking, entrepreneurial, outgoing, talkative and tolerant. But as my character is a little tricky because sometimes I get angry when something does not seem right. I have participated in various sports from a young age and have been called on several state and national competitions, in athletics, bowling and ultimately my main activity has been the Tennis I've worked hard to combine work with tennis training which I attend Saturdays and Sundays and my preparation has been very intensive since I have participated in several official tournaments. Now I shall represent my country at the World Games in Los Angeles.

About Paola Martinelli:National Director of Communications and Marketing
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Special Olympics Latin America
Urbanización Obarrio
Calle 58, P.H. Office One, Floor 11, Office 1103
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Special Olympics Blog

Jean Vanier, a prophet of humility and simplicity, wins!

Today, the Templeton Foundation gave its most prestigious award to my hero, Jean Vanier.  For Linda and our children and me, he has also been our retreat leader, our teacher of humility, our guide. 

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Posted on 2015-03-11 by Tim

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