Cinthia López

Tabasco, Mexico

Cinthia López

Throughout life Cinthia has been determined to overcome her obstacles and never give up. Many doctors have called her a miracle. Despite being physically fragile and suffering from numerous health conditions, including gastritis, nervous colitis and cardiovascular disease, she has only missed school on those few occasions when she was too weak to walk. Teased for wearing glasses and orthopaedic shoes, she found it hard to make friends as her family moved multiple times in her first few years. However, she believes nothing in life is impossible. She strives towards achieving a degree and qualifying as a paediatric nurse – working even harder when her health causes her to doubt that she will live long enough to do so. 

Cinthia shrugs off the description of intelligence many people give her, believing that everyone can achieve with effort and support. She put this approach to the test by helping her classmates learn to read during break times. Her encouragement led to their success, and she began coaching in maths and science –  for recognition, but for the personal satisfaction of having helped her peers. In time, her tutees admitted to understanding her better than their teacher! Her compassion extended beyond the classroom as she set about finding opportunities to help her community by providing food, nappies and clothing to neighbours in need, and persuading a local landlord to allow her to plant fruit trees in a disused patch of land. Motivated by environmental causes, she has established We Are The Change, a sustainability project focused on managing waste and delivering zero hunger. She built her own vermin-composter and, before COVID, created a natural food product made from vegetable rind. 

Eager to nurture companionship and bring different cultures together, Cinthia helped an Indonesian student exchange partner to feel at home during a visit by devising a culture cabin with food and clothing from her country. And in return, Cinthia shared her culture by encouraging this new friend to represent the class in their celebration of the Day of the Dead.  

Cinthia’s commitment to learning and dedication to environmental causes has seen her achieve a wide range of prizes throughout her schooling. She came first in a contest of edible models of physics, with a piece on the theme of Kepler's Laws. More recently, the Directorate of Planning and Management of the Scientific Research Centre of Yucatan awarded her the public prize in the “Share Science” student video contest. Winning this prize money would give Cinthia the opportunity to continue her studies and develop her environmental work, while also allowing her to pursue her dream of helping children and young people overcome health challenges, as she has so admirably done.