Traditional Sports with an Innovative Approach

Paola and Maria were named Innovators of the Week! Click here to hear more about their story and the impact they are making in their community.


Paola and Maria are Special Olympics Youth Leaders who plan to increase inclusion in their community through the traditional sports of El Salvador. Through their Youth Innovation Project, they hope to use Unified Sports to bring together not only youth with and without intellectual disabilities in their communities, but also families of youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well.


After witnessing the lack of awareness of intellectual disabilities amongst their peers, Paola and Maria were inspired to create a project that will increase awareness for intellectual disability and to create inclusive environments for youth of all abilities to have fun and share the experiences that sport creates. Through their project, Paola and Maria want to use the power of traditional sports to create a sense of belonging in their peers with intellectual disability who are currently often neglected and excluded from many social events.


Paola and Maria are excited to be a part of the global Unified Generation’s movement towards inclusion and honored to be carrying out the task of making everyone feel welcome in their community.