2020 Beyond Sport Global Award Shortlister for Decent Work & Economic growth, Interculturalidad, Salud y Derechos A. C. (INSADE) works with incarcerated people in Mexico to help them reintegrate back into society, socially and economically. Read about Pamela and then Take the Journey with all our Shortlisters through December at beyondsport.org/journey.
23-year old Pamela currently lives at home with her parents and two of her sisters. Extremely intelligent, she loves sports and concluded her degree in Sports Coaching at the High School of Physical Education.
She now works in a sports club and also supports the Taekwondo activities of the Hecho en Libertad™- "Made in Freedom" – program of Interculturalidad, Salud y Derechos A. C. (INSADE).
However, when she was 17, Pamela got into legal trouble in Mexico City. While a lawsuit progressed and facts were clarified, she was put on probation under the Dirección General de Adolescentes, which handles crimes committed by minors, where she had to live and work for 12 months.
It was there she learned of INSADE and began taking part in its 4-phase social reintegration and economic self-sufficiency program – beginning with sport.
Pamela chose taekwondo to train in, as she had liked the sport since she was a child. During the process, she made important advances to strengthen her self-esteem, manage her emotions and build her goals.
“Sport keeps your mind focused, makes you brave, patient and competitive with yourself. It makes you a better person because every day is an opportunity reflected in the actions that affect directly yourself, your family and your community.”
She remained fully engaged throughout and successfully completed the program. Pamela even went on to a taekwondo academy where she trained professionally, achieving a black belt and ultimately becoming a coach.
INSADE continuously followed up with Pamela and when she expressed a desire to help with its Taekwondo workshops for young and adult women who have been in her same situation, they brought her on.
She began training her first taekwondo groups in the Santa Martha women's prison in Mexico City in 2019 telling her students about Hecho en Libertad and showing that second chances are possible when you become an agent of change in your own future.
“Sport has influenced my life in many ways. It has tested me mentally, physically and emotionally. It has shaped my character, giving me one more reason not to give up. Sport makes me see what is after fear.”