Mexiko: Sandra Jiménez Loza

We cannot be spectators of the events. We cannot wait for other people to do what we should do ourselves.

— Sandra Jiménez Loza

Sandra Jiménez Loza (18) was born three months prematurely. The doctors said that she would not survive for more than 48 hours. She fought for her life in an intensive care unit for 15 days. Today, she hopes to become a film director and General Secretary of the UN. She was in a hurry to come into this world – just as she is in a hurry, today, to achieve her most important goal: to make humanity see the differences among people as richness.

“My family has always integrated me into all activities. They accepted me as I am, without any obstacles. Sometimes people do not know how to treat me. They do not know that, after all, I am just a person like anyone else, who needs a little more help to do some things. All of us need a little help and people to support us.” There is an enormous restlessness in this young girl. She is in a big hurry to do everything and is lucky, having survived a premature birth, due to lack of oxygen. As a result of those circumstances, Sandra Jiménez Loza has cerebral palsy, a paralysis that does not allow her to move her 18-year-old body in an independent manner. She has had medical treatment and physiotherapy since she was four months old. She uses a wheel chair. “I came into this world to change it,” she assures us. “Ambitious? Of course!” she says laughing. “Since I was a little child, I liked to ask about things and that is the reason why I need to investigate and read, to talk and write about the things I know. I need to say, for example, that, in 2003, a single country spent more on arms than the entire Latin American foreign debt.” Sandra Jiménez Loza created the First Parliament for the Children and Youth of Mexico City, as a place to begin practicing democracy at an early age. She has participated in debates on the rights of disabled people and in the Women's and Children's Commission of the Legislative Assembly, to help pass the Law for the Protection of the Rights of Girls, Boys and Young People. She is the spokesperson on the rights of children in the Human Rights Commission of Unicef. “I want to be the General Secretary of the United Nations,” she says emphatically. Sandra's ambition has no limits.