Jaime Cruz Juscamaita wants to build a better world for people with intellectual disabilities—one play, one speech, one competition at a time.
He’s a 28-year-old with Down syndrome, who’s been breaking barriers in Peru all his life. As a child, he was one of the first students with intellectual disabilities included within the regular school system.
As a teen, he became interested in acting, taking on elocution classes and roles in several plays, including a production of “Hamlet."
As an adult, he’s continued working in theater at night and as a hotel waiter by day. Jaime has also been tapped as a public speaker for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. He’s been invited to speak in Great Britain, Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia—and the United Nations.
He’s currently working in communications for the Peruvian Down Syndrome Society and preparing to live independently.
At the same time, he’s been training for the Special Olympics World Games swimming competition. Jaime is skilled in freestyle, butterfly, and relay competitions. He’s also achieved a gold medal as part of Peru’s national “butterfly x 50” team.
For Jaime, his sports, acting and activism are all part of his work for an inclusive world—which means everything to him. Jaime says: “It is important because the world is made up of ALL of us and we must live with respect toward others.”