Down Syndrome Association

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit • Mexico

The Fundacion Asistencial para Personas con Sindrome de Down A.C. promotes the well-being of people with Down syndrome both in their own family as well as in their community by increasing personal development opportunities.

"Her name is Maria Joao Silva, and she has Down Syndrome. Maria Joao has become a world champion athlete. She competed at the World Championship for people with Down syndrome which took place on Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Maria Joao is a member of Santa Casa da Madalena do Pico and was a team member of the National Association of Sports for the Intellectually Disabled. Representing the Azores, she won the championship. Maria Joao won the 400m Walk-Trisomy 21, with a time of 3:22:46 and 1,500 m Walk - Trisomy 21 with a time of 13:34:50 (world record), thus obtaining two World Championship titles."


This is just one example of how important your donation dollars are to the lives of our citizens here in Puerto Vallarta that are living daily in the families touched with Down Syndrome.

You can help improve the quality of life for our citizens of Puerto Vallarta affected by Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome - Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Down syndrome is a genetic problem that can be determined during the prenatal stage, or while the child is still in the womb.

Down Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is a genetic problem caused by an abnormality of chromosome 21 (a chromosome is a part of the gene), wherein the Chromosome 21 is present in triplicate. Normally, one chromosome comes from each parent. In the case of Down’s Syndrome, the extra chromosome may come from either parent, although more frequently, its from the mother. This extra chromosome causes some abnormalities.

It was described in 1866 by John Langdon Down, a British physician. The chances of a child getting Down syndrome are 1:733.

Causes of Down syndrome:

The advanced age of the mother is an important consideration. As the woman’s ovarian follicles (they unite with male sperm to form an egg) are present at the time of birth through the reproductive years, they are exposed for a longer time to environmental influences and ageing. This may cause Down syndrome.

The probability of Down syndrome increases as the age of the mother increases:



Signs and symptoms of Down syndrome:

• The most disturbing finding is mental retardation or intellectual disability. The average IQ of a child with Down’s syndrome is around 50 as compared to the IQ of 100 in a normal child. The mental qualities are described as unisexual, playful and affectionate.

• Stunted growth is also universally seen.

• Characteristic facial features are seen.

• Eyes are almond shaped with an upward slant. Nose is small with a flat, nasal bridge. Mouth and teeth are small while tongue appears protruding. Ears are small. There is a characteristic facial grimace on crying. Chin is small and the face is unusually round.

• The skull is small. The muscles lack tone (hypotonia) and joints are extra flexible.

• Hands are short and broad. There is a single transverse crease on the palm (instead of a double crease). A wide space is seen between the big and second toes.

• Constipation and reflux disease is present.

• Congenital heart disease is the major killer in children. They mostly need corrective surgery soon after birth.

• Thyroid problems, commonly hypothyroidism are noted.

• Recurrent ear infections, if neglected, lead to hearing loss. Inner ear malformations also may be a contributing factor.

• Other major problems are epilepsy (seizures) , obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and leukemias (cancer of blood).

• Eye problems are common, requiring glasses and cataracts. Congenital cataract and glaucoma may be present.

• Infertility is noted in both sexes.

Investigations and diagnosis of Down syndrome:

• Many prenatal screening tests can detect this condition. Genetic testing and counselling must be offered to couples who have the risk of a baby being born with Down. During pregnancy, chorionic villus sampling (seeing the inner lining of a pregnant uterus) and amniocentesis (withdrawing amniotic fluid around foetus and examining) point towards Down syndrome.

• A Complete Blood Count test can identify leukaemia.

• A growth chart should be maintained by the paediatrician to check growth patterns. Any medical problem like OSA or ear infection need prompt attention.

• Involvement of the family is a must. They must be educated on mental and physical limitations of the child and maintain a conducive and supportive environment.

• Speech therapy is important to promote language skills.

• Cognitive therapy is useful to enhance mental functioning.

Prognosis of Down syndrome:

Many people with Down’s now live to adulthood and need occupational therapy to be independent and earn a living. In adults from 40-50 years, dementia is a notable symptom. The general life expectancy remains at 25 years.

Written by Nisreen Nakhoda, General Physician

Last updated: April 25, 2017 · Charity ID: 402

Partner for Change

In Touch Home Services - Valerie Schaffer

Valerie has been providing home care in Puerto Vallarta for many years and her goal is to help you or your loved ones maintain their independence and quality of life by providing individualized "personal care."

21Apr2017
13th International Altruism Festival to Benefit 20 Local Vallarta-Nayarit Charities

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This is the most important altruism event of Puerto Vallarta and will take place on Sunday, May 14, 2017, beginning at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful beachfront garden of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta.

06Apr2016
12th International Altruism Festival to Benefit 20 Local Vallarta-Nayarit Charities

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This is the most important altruism event of Puerto Vallarta and will take place on Sunday, May 8, 2016, beginning at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful beachfront garden of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta.

13Jan2016
New Angel in Puerto Vallarta: The Richard R. Reed Foundation

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Since founding his private charity in 2015, the Richard R. Reed Foundation, Reed has been diligently researching charitable organizations in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and his home state of Arizona.

19Apr2015
11th International Altruism Festival to Benefit 20 Local Vallarta-Nayarit Charities

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This is the most important altruism event of Vallarta-Nayarit and will take place on Sunday, May 17, 2015, beginning at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful beachfront garden of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta.

25Apr2014
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Don’t miss this very upbeat, wonderful evening of food, friendship and fun on May 4, with all proceeds divided equally among the 20 charities. Tickets, which include food, drinks and entertainment, cost just 350 pesos in advance or 450 pesos at the gate.

01Mar2014
American School Vallarta's Water Therapy Field Trip

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The objectives of our field trip were to have students learn more about Asperger's therapy, the Halliwick theory, general water therapy, and participate in a community activity that required embracing each other's different abilities.

23Feb2014
10th International Altruism Festival to Benefit 20 Local Charities

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This is the most important altruism event of Puerto Vallarta and will take place on Sunday, May 4, 2014, beginning at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful beachfront garden of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta.

14Jun2013
'Fantastic People' Chosen as Theme for 2013 Los Mangos Library Summer Courses

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It will be four wonderful weeks where there will be dozens of activities related to the arts, culture, and environmental conservation, as well as recreational novelties that stimulate team-work, patience and the tenacity to achieve their goals.

16Apr2013
Charities Announced to Benefit from Vallarta's 2013 Altruism Festival

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Twenty-four of our local charity and non-profit organizations in Banderas Bay have been announced to participate and benefit from Puerto Vallarta's largest fundraising event of the year to take place on Sunday, May 5.

09Apr2013
9th International Altruism Festival to Benefit 24 Local Charities

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This is the most important altruism event of Puerto Vallarta and will take place on Sunday, May 5, 2013, beginning at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful beachfront garden of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta.

09Mar2013
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Set to begin operations in June, there will be four first aid kiosks in strategic points throughout the city's tourist area. Each designated kiosk will offer first aid assistance as well as rent orthopedic aids (wheelchairs, crutches, canes and walkers) to the public.

21Sep2012
Eagle Wings Deliver 1.5M Pesos to Local Charities

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Alas de Aguila continues to improve lives of vulnerable Vallarta residents through various civil associations as part of their commitment to work together to lend support to a greater number of people.

24Jun2012
Philanthropy Strategy Vallarta

VisitPuertoVallarta.com

The city assured the Altruistic Network that during in the next session of City Council, there will be a vote on the proposal to ensure full support for the associations of the region which will be assessed by the Commission for Social Assistance.

16Apr2012
8th International Altruism Festival

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CasaMagna Marriott Resort & Spa is once again the proud sponsor of the 8th International Altruism Festival in Puerto Vallarta. This gastronomic and cultural event creates awareness among the population to support those who need it the most.

12Feb2012
Vallarta Adventures Takes Disadvantaged Kids Whale Watching

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We were proud to hear that Vallarta Adventures organized a fun catamaran trip for more than 300 disadvantaged children in Puerto Vallarta to watch the humpback whales and experience an unforgettable day.

26Dec2011
New Campaign for the Disabled of Vallarta

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14Aug2016
More Than 1500 Friendly, Exclusive Services for the Health Care of Mexico Youth

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Dr. Pablo Kuri Morales, Mexico's undersecretary for disease prevention and health promotion, said that "we promote the culture of prevention within a framework of respect of human rights, equity and interculturality."

01Jul2016
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27May2015
Special Sirens: Check Out the Mexican Down Syndrome Synchronized Swimming Team

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31Jan2015
Harvard University Helps Power Seguro Popular Health Care Initiative in Mexico

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Just a decade ago, half of all Mexicans had no health insurance. As many as 4 million families a year faced financial ruin because of catastrophic illness, like breast cancer. Today, those same families have access to treatment because of Seguro Popular.

07Oct2014
Mexico's Carlos Slim Launches Global Campaign to Hire Workers with Disabilities

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Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications billionaire who ranks as the world’s second-richest person, is pledging to hire workers with disabilities and asking others to join him.

14Jan2014
7th Down Syndrome World Championships to Be Held in Morelia, Mexico

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The 7th Down Syndrome International meet & World Championship combined event will be held from November 7th-15th, 2014 in Morelia, Mexico in a short course meters pool.

19Sep2013
Unequal Access to LatAm Health Care is Still No. 1 Killer for Moms & Kids

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In Latin America and the Caribbean today a child’s parents’ socio-economic status still has a significant impact on a child’s future.

13Jul2013
Therapy with Horses: Mounted Police Unit of Mexico City Helps the Disabled

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13Feb2013
Watch: Mexican Children Abandoned by Families Because of Disabilities

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Abandoned by their families because of their disabilities; Attitude TV goes to Mexico, where they discover why so many children are institutionalized.

27Aug2012
Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp: A Different Kind of Healing

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26Jul2012
Latina with Down Syndrome Graces Cover of Catalog

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A 10-month-old Latina with Down syndrome is the new face of a children clothing line by Spanish designer Dolores Cortes.


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Contact Down Syndrome Association

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Tordo No. 158
Las Aralias
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48320



Contact: Ana Catalina Flores
(322) 224-9577
(322) 222-7654
Fax: (322) 224-9577

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