Diego Alejandro Gonzalez Sanchez is an 11-year-old Venezuelan boy who is an inspiration to his family.
He has Down syndrome but his condition doesn't stop him from learning, especially karate.
“I like karate because I learn to defend myself. My brothers help me and teach me everything,” said Diego, blushing at the questions from Newsday Kids.
Diego is the second of three boys. Carlos Eduardo, 13, is the eldest and Saul Ricardo is the youngest at ten. The three brothers and their mother Yassy Yuleivys Sanchez Toribe live in Enterprise, Chaguanas.
Sanchez Toribe came to Trinidad six years ago from Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, Venezuela. Separated from her sons' father, she emigrated to work to provide for them. A year ago, Sanchez Toribe brought her boys to Trinidad.
Upon arriving, Diego began to show affection and quickly became involved in household chores. Everything he sets out to do, he does in an independent way which brings him joy, his mother said.
"Diego is a very happy and loving boy. He likes to draw, paint, listen to music and, above all, dance. Like any child, he has his days, is in a very bad mood and doesn't want to do anything, but treating him with a lot of love and patience, you manage to understand what he wants. It's a learning for us,” she said.
Karate is one of his passions. On Saturdays, he and his brothers attend a dojo nearby. He is learning to share with other children, and he's the centre of attraction.
Diego is visited weekly by an occupational therapist. She assigns him several activities which he does very well. He also attends art workshops every 15 days.
“It is a bit sad for us the little help in health and education our children have. Diego's case even more so because of his condition," his mother said.
“I have read a lot about Down Syndrome and normally they come with heart problems. In Diego's case, his last evaluation revealed something in his heart deserves deeper study, but it is difficult for me to pay for a private medical consultation. For now I just work hard so he and his brothers lack nothing.
"I would like him to go to a school like the rest of the children and that way he can brighten his days.” Migrant children are not allowed to go to local schools.
Meanwhile, Diego's brothers try to teach him a little about everything and look out for him.
Diego also enjoys football and his favourite team is the Spanish club FC Barcelona.