Fundación John Langdon Down

Celebrate with us 51 years of comprehensive care to improve the quality of life of people with Down syndrome! ICF’s Friends of Fund, Fundación John Langdon Down is a leading institution in Mexico and in the world that provides educational, medical, and psychological care to children, adolescents and adults with Down syndrome and their families who are low-income. It was created in Mexico City in 1972, by Maestra Sylvia G. Escamilla, who is currently the headquarters of the Mexican School of Art Down and creator of the "Tres 21 Arte Café" chain of cafeterias.

The John Langdon Down Foundation currently operates with a mission to promote the human rights, dignity, and potential of people with Down syndrome by improving their quality of life.

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when a child is born with an extra chromosome. The extra chromosome affects the way the child’s brain and body develop, leading to developmental delays, intellectual disability, and an increased risk for certain medical issues. This condition is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who first recognized the traits of Down syndrome in 1866.

Unfortunately, many people with Down syndrome often face limited acceptance and limited opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, employment, volunteerism and community engagement.

Fundación John Langdon Down Programs and Services

Fundación John Langdon Down has an incredible specialized program that offers a range of services to support full development and promote social inclusion and independence of people with Down syndrome: 

Educational Program

This program provides care in all areas of development, from birth to socio-labor training workshops. It essentially offers educational opportunities according to individual requirements, with a holistic approach, in an environment of affection and continuous motivation. The activities that complement the integral development of the students are: swimming, language therapy, physical education, independent living workshop, computers, playroom, music, dance, theater, school cafeteria and school for parents. 

Clinic and Psychology

Any person with Down syndrome, regardless of age or social status, can receive care at the foundation’s clinic.  The clinic attends to the Down Syndrome health issues that most frequently occur. 

  • Quality medical care, with a preventive approach
  • Guidance and psychological support to all family members
  • Statistics, studies, and research on Down syndrome

The goal is to provide individualized medical care, with quality and warmth, and in this way provide benefits in the health of the individual.

Tres21 Arte Café 

The Tres21 Arte Café cafeteria is part of the programs that the foundation leads. All the food at Tres21 Arte Café is prepared by the students of the foundation’s gastronomy workshop, with the highest hygienic quality standards. Young people with Down syndrome are trained to attend to the public, and the decorations are made with reproductions of works made by artists from the Mexican School of Down Art of the same foundation. 

100% of profits from the cafés are invested back into the John Langdon Down Syndrome Foundation, so that it can continue providing its services. 

Mexican School of Down Art

The Mexican School of Down Art began as a small art workshop, where young students with Down syndrome could have a space to express their ideas, emotions, perceptions, and sensations through plastic arts. Realizing their great sensitivity and artistic talent, the foundation gave them the necessary tools so that they could interact in the world, through the extraordinary path of plastic creation. In this way, students recreate life on their own terms. This is how the small workshop grew to become what is now the Mexican School of Down Art.

The school is unique and unparalleled throughout the world. The paintings, lithographs and engravings have been exhibited in important museums and galleries in America, Europe, and Asia. The work has been recognized and acclaimed by important plastic masters. Through the school, it has been discovered that education opens the doors to a world full of great achievements, which promotes the development of all capacities of a human being where artistic abilities are no exception.

Fundación John Langdon Down´s Impact

What began as an institution with only 10 students, Fundación John Langdon Down now cares for 1,500 people with Down syndrome and their families annually. The School for Parents continued, where counseling, information, and guidance are provided to parents and family members (ex: siblings, uncles, grandparents).

50 years of fruitful work (1972 - 2022)

  • 100,000 students and family members benefited
  • 50,000 students and professionals trained
  • 105,000 visitors to 79 art exhibitions in 45 cities in Europe, Asia, and America
  • 95,000 impressions of three books and 31 art catalogs in 7 languages

The foundation is a worldwide model and over the years, similar centers have been opened, as well as Down syndrome organizations within the Mexican Republic and Latin America.

The first two World Congresses on Down Syndrome were organized by the foundation with the participation of the most important international researchers, including Professor Jérôme Lejeune. A total of twenty-five countries participated in the congresses. Down Syndrome International (DSI) emerged from these conferences, based in London, of which Sylvia G. Escamilla is a founding member.

Subsequently, it organized four international symposia, in Mexico City (1987, 1997, 2004 and 2008), on biomedical and psychoeducational aspects of Down syndrome.

Why give your support to Fundación John Langdon Down?

Thanks to widespread education and community programs, more and more people with Down syndrome graduate from high school, attend college, and work in their communities. Your contribution to a Down syndrome foundation will help build relational bridges to the Down syndrome community, which are necessary to create a more inclusive world for all.

How to donate

Every human being has the right to be happy, so let’s break limits together! To donate to Fundación John Langdon Down’s fund at ICF, visit us here.

Organization Information




Previous Post

Shark swimming with a diver

Oct 2, 2023

Shark Conservation in the Gulf of California

Discover the significance of shark conservation, get to know the challenges associated with it, and learn how you can help save sharks in the...

Suscríbase a nuestra lista de correo

Manténgase en contacto con el ICF

Sea el primero en recibir información exclusiva sobre lo que hace ICF para marcar la diferencia.