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Belizeans wearing mismatched socks in honor of World Down Syndrome Day

Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2023. 3:06 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: March 21 is observed globally as World Down Syndrome Day, and this year Belizeans at the academic level, in civil society and even elected officials are wearing mismatched socks to pay their respect to the special group of people who have Down Syndrome.

Schools like Horizon Academy, which has a longstanding record of being an inclusive education institution, encouraged all their students to raise awareness today by wearing mismatched socks. Autism Belize, a group typically focused on another condition, took time today to encourage all its supporters to get in on the awareness campaign, and even Minister o Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration Eamon Courtenay, posted on his official Twitter account today showing off his mismatched socks.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that creates an extra copy of the 21st chromosome (a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism). The chromosomes ideally exist in balance but an extra chromosome that contains extra genes affects that balance and causes mental development issues, distinct facial characteristics like a flattened face and upwardly slanted eyes, and increased risk for heart defects and digestive problems, which can range from mild to severe.

Down Syndrome affects people across all races, backgrounds, and ethnicities and can also lead to complications such as heart defects, hearing and vision problems, and thyroid conditions.


The 2023 celebration of World Down Syndrome day is being observed under the theme “With Us Not for Us” which emphasizes the need for the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome at all levels from their day-to-day activities to the policies that will affect their lives.

Why mismatched socks?

The socks are the global symbol of Down Syndrome support, representing the chromosomes that each person has. World Down Syndrome day was first observed on March 21, 2006, and it was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. The date was selected because Down syndrome is caused by the presence of a third copy of the 21st chromosome, and 21/3 (March 21st) represents this genetic condition.

Breaking Belize News takes this opportunity to join individuals and organizations in Belize and around the world in showing love and support for people with Down Syndrome and their families.


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