Entertainment

This Team Of Synchronized Swimmers With Down Syndrome Were Denied Access To A Pool For Fear Of Contaminating Other Swimmers

Sirenas Especiales (Special Mermaids) is giving girls with Down Syndrome in Mexico a chance to show off their athletic abilities in synchronized swimming. The team and program were organized by Paloma Torres, a former synchronized swimmer from Peru, after she studied educational psychology. Her thesis was on the cognitive benefits of synchronized swimming. With that and a little patience, Sirenas Especiales was born.

Sirenas Especiales is tearing down the stigma and misinformation about people with Down Syndrome.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

Coach Paloma Torres knew that people with Down Syndrome are often very creative and flexible. Those two characteristics are perfect for synchronized swimming so she knew that it would be a great idea to get a group of girls together.

However, Torres and Sirenas Especiales immediately faced pushback from local pools in Mexico City because of the girls’ Down Syndrome.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

“I had to find a swimming pool where we could organize regular practices. At first, I couldn’t find anywhere. One pool even refused entry to my swimmers, saying that they might contaminate other swimmers! It was really disheartening at first — both for me and for the girls’ parents,” Torres told France24. “Finally, I found the Alberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez pool, which is located in southern Mexico City. I’ve been training the group there since 2011.”

The team overcame the initial mistreatment from local pools and have been competing in national and international competitions.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

Their Instagram is filled with photos of the team holding medal from the various competitions they have participated in. They’ve competed all over Mexico and were recently at the PanAm games to cheer on Mexico’s national synchronizing team.

The team continues to grow with more girls and boys wanting to participate in synchronized swimming.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

Torres currently trains about 20 swimmers between 14 and 30. There are three boys who are part of the team and 17 girls, according to France24. It seems clear that the swimmers enjoy their chance to show off their own athletic abilities.

The sport is doing more than just giving them something to do.

Este día tan especial Sirenas Especiales darán entrevista en Capital 21 Canal 21 en TV abierta, no se lo pierdan a las 10:35am en VIVO!!!!! FELIZ DÍA MUNDIAL DEL SINDROME DE DOWN Edith Perez Rocio Hernández Martínez Paloma Torres Montserrat Vega Triny Turcio Blanca Olivia Fontes Machado Araceli Vazquez Loredo Beatriz Mendoza Castañón China Li Lourdes Castellanos Daniel Perez Martinez

Posted by Sirenas Especiales on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This sport helps participants improve their concentration and memory,” Torres told France24. “However, most importantly, this activity helps them integrate socially. They participate regularly in competitions both nationally and internationally, which sometimes include swimmers without disabilities. Our team has won about 50 medals. They become more social and their work is applauded. It’s also important for their families because some of them don’t think that these girls will make something of their lives.”

One thing Sirenas Especiales is doing to changing the narrative around disabilities one synchronized swim at a time.

Credit: Sirenas Especiales / Facebook

The swimmers are showing everyone that you can do anything you set your mind to. There is nothing that can keep them from participating in the sport that they love and enjoy.

Congratulations, swimmers.

We can’t wait to see what you do next.

READ: The Internet Was Having A Collective Sob Fest After A Video Of Young Disabled Man’s Reaction To Getting His First Job Goes Viral

This Mexican Mom Makes Hundreds Of Tortas For the Poor Every Week

Culture

This Mexican Mom Makes Hundreds Of Tortas For the Poor Every Week

@guera_trizz / Twitter

A video of a woman passing out sandwiches to the poor in Cancún, Mexico has gone viral, and Twitter has raised over $2,000 to keep her going. Twitter user Beatriz Mages knew her mom made sandwiches to pass out every week, but she had never seen the footage before. Last week, she tweeted the video and captioned it, “My Mom makes HUNDREDS of sandwiches and tortas weekly for the poor where she lives in Mexico and I am just now seeing this footage! I am crying 😭😭 what a good soul 😭.” It has since been viewed by over 2.2 million people and retweeted over 53k times at the time of publication.

Twitter is giving Mama Mages lots of love, and have even raised thousands of dollars to help her keep feeding the hungry line of people that rely on her act of kindness each week.

A long line of folks are seen waiting for their weekly torta, and Mama Mages is passing out smiles to go with them.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“Buena!” you hear the folks in the line saying as she starts passing the tortas out. Latino Twitter has come out in full force to bestow all their “Que Dios la bendiga”‘s on this “angelita.”

I’m sorry ma’am. But she is OUR mother now. We are all adopting her and we’re all proud and you’re just gonna have to deal with it,” one user tells Beatriz. 

Someone else asked Beatriz, “Would it be weird if I said I love your mom?” Beatriz’s response? “No, she loves u too.”  😭

The people asked for more angelic content and Beatriz happily obliged.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“Look! Seriously amazing,” Beatriz shared along with more photos of her mom making sandwiches, and the line of people cheering for her.

Your mom is proof good kind caring people still exist. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. One day someone will tell their child or grandchild about the kind women who helped feed hundreds of hungry people on her own,” one touched Twitter user replied. 

“Just look at everyone’s faces,” tweeted one Armando.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“She is a god,” “She is an angel,” “A Saint,” read the comments pouring in for Mama Mages. Dozens of people started asking Beatriz if there was a way they could help. One person offered her time to help make sandwiches and pass them out next time she was in the area. Most folks asked if there was a GoFundMe they could donate to keep Mama Mages going.

After people asked how they can donate to her mom’s cause, Mages set up a GoFundMe, which raised $2,185 in just five days.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“My mom makes hundreds of sandwiches and tortas for the poor In Mexico, she doesn’t have much money her self but she continues to donate to those less fortunate regardless,” Mages writes in the GoFundMe. “She is always donating clothing and other useful items and never asks for help. Please feel free to donate anything so that she can keep on giving.”

In the comments, folks are asking her to create a PayPal account so that they can donate to the cause monthly.

Beatriz also told folks that they can help by staying at her mom’s Airbnb in Cancún.

Credit: Joy / Airbnb

By the way my mom has a beautiful air bnb at her home in Cancun,” tweeted Beatriz. “This is her only source of income and she uses her earnings and donations to give to the poor!” We have a feeling this incredible villa is about to booked by all the buena gente who support the cause because it’s been retweeted hundreds of times. By the looks of Airbnb, it seems like her mom’s name is, in fact, “Joy.”

Joy’s reaction to her new status as Latino Twitter’s New Mom? “That’s cool.”

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

My mom is actually visiting me in the US right now and look at her reaction 😂😂😂 SO PURE,” tweeted Beatriz, alongside a video of her mom. “Ma, you’re famous. What do you think?” she asks her mom. Her mom awkwardly gives a thumbs up, then a peace sign, then another thumbs up and says, “That’s cool.” She’s clearly not in it for the fans, and that makes us love her even more. 

Latino Twitter has sanctified Joy Mages, who shall forever be known as Twitter’s Mom of the Year, or just San Joy. You can donate to her GoFundMe here.

READ: Studies Say Latina Moms Struggle With Pregnancies In Ways That Are Unique To Themselves In Early Stages

Mexico Grants Bolivia’s Former President Asylum Allowing Him To Flee Growing Unrest

Things That Matter

Mexico Grants Bolivia’s Former President Asylum Allowing Him To Flee Growing Unrest

Latin America is in chaos. People are protesting in Chile over the economic disparity between classes. Colombians are also fighting for their demand for a fair educational system. Mexico’s violence is surging once again after Mexico’s new government has taken over. The Amazon rainforest is still on fire, and Brazil’s president refuses to acknowledge the environmental ramifications. Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, is still in office despite his people demanding otherwise. Now we can add Bolivia to that list

On Monday, Evo Morales resigned as president of Bolivia after the public renounced the presidential elections there in October. 

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

Back in October, Morales ran against former President Carlos Mesa (he was president of Bolivia between 2003 and 2005). Morales had been Bolivia’s leader since 2006, but it looks as if perhaps the people had enough of his presidency. During the elections last month, CNN reports that Morales won by a small margin

So a recount was in order. However, 24 hours after the counting had begun, Morales ordered to end it and declared himself president. The fact that Morales said he had won himself wasn’t that farfetched, because he sort of did that in the past. 

Jim Shultz, Founder and Executive Director of the Democracy Center, who’s lived in Bolivia and understands the situation there, wrote, “One was what seemed like Morales’ desire to serve as President for Life. When his political party, MAS, wrote a new constitution in 2009, they lifted the long-standing one-term limit on presidents and paved the way for Evo to run for a second term. In 2014 he broke a long-standing pledge not to seek a third term, claiming that his first term didn’t count because it was served under the old constitution. He won once more.”

The election results, and Morales handling of it, resulted in massive protests and violence. 

Credit: @evagolinger / Twitter

“Bolivians are upset over fraud, and we will not be silent in the face of injustice,” 26-year-old Diego Tamayo, a student at a university, told the New York Times. “Never in my life have I seen a mobilization of this scale.”

The mobilization seemed to work. Bolivian Armed Forces, Commander Williams Kaliman, told Morales to step down, and he did. 

Morales tweeted, “I denounce to the world and the Bolivian people that a police officer publicly announced that he is instructed to execute an illegal arrest warrant against me; likewise, violent groups assaulted my home. A coup destroys the rule of law.” He added, “After looting and trying to set fire to my house in Villa Victoria, vandalism groups of the Mesa and Camacho coup docked my home in the Magisterio neighborhood of Cochabamba. I am very grateful to my neighbors, who stopped those raids. A coup destroys peace.”

Now Mexico has opened the doors to the former leader where he has sought asylum. 

He said this is where he spent his first night as the former president of Bolivia. 

Credit: @evoespueblo / Twitter

“This was my first night after leaving the presidency, forced by the coup of Mesa and Camacho with the help of the Police. There I remembered my times as a leader. Very grateful to my brothers from the federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba for providing security and care.”

Now that he is in the hands of the Mexican government, Morales doesn’t seem all that upset about getting ousted.

Credit: @evoespueblo / Twitter

Morales tweeted, “Very grateful to brother Manuel López Obrador and the government and people of Mexico for saving my life. We arrived safe and sound with our brothers Álvaro and Gabriela. The coup plotters offered $ 50,000 to a security member to deliver me before my resignation.” 

Wow, sounds kind of dramatic, almost like it could be a movie or series on TV. Weirdly enough, the Bolivia drama sounds just like season two of “Jack Ryan.” We won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it. Just know that it’s about a Venezuelan president that will go to great lengths to not lose his presidency. It sounds like real life to us. Speaking of Venezuelan president, Maduro was not pleased at all about Morales getting ousted. He also blamed President Donald Trump. 

“There went Donald Trump to applaud and celebrate what he thinks is his victory … the look on Donald Trump’s face was one of vengeance, of hatred, and he gave the order to overthrow and finish off the Indian,” Maduro said, according to Asi Somos

But now the real work begins. Who will lead Bolivia now?

READ: Bolivia’s President Wants To Be Reelected For A Fourth Time But He Could Send His Country Into A Political Crisis