This Actor And Director Busts Prejudice Against People With Down Syndrome
Pablo Pineda is an actor and teacher and also an embodiment of strength, wit and intelligence. And today, on World Down Syndrome Day, who better than him to be our Local Hero?
“Look at me, do I look sick to you? It is not a disease. It is a characteristic of the human being. It is a matter of chromosomes, like the one that makes your hair blond or brown.
One day I was walking around Malaga, I was going to cross the street, and an old woman walking with a stick in a worse condition than me took my arm and helped me cross the street. The world has gone upside down!
Al of a sudden two young guys came to me and told me: ‘Pablo, we want you to be an actor.’ And I went: ‘What?! Are you kidding?”
In the beginning, I said no, I did not study dramatic arts. But slowly they convinced me, telling me one oof the directors had a sister with Down syndrome. And Hulio Medem, the producer, had a daughter with Down syndrome. So, I said yes. But I made it very clear I wouldn’t do anything against the DS community.
This world seems to be made for one type of man. Usually for the good looking ones, even better with money. That is how things work. But am I going to give up? No. I worked in Malaga City Hall, then I was in the movie, I present a TV show, I have written two books, I just never stop doing things.
Let’s open our eyes and look at the problem from a different perspective and allow those with Down syndrome to work. My message to parents of children with DS is at the same time easy and very difficult: Think of them as your child, not as someone with a disability. A child that you need to educate, not a disabled person you have to take care of. It is very different. You don’t suffer from Down syndrome, you enjoy it.”