Entrepreneur and model with Down syndrome defies stereotypes and inspires others with their zest for life

A Puerto Rico couple living with Down syndrome continues their untold success stories.

Chris González and model Sofía Jirau are showing the world how to live without limits despite growing up with Down syndrome. Both have become trailblazers in their respective fields, and they’re just getting started.


Chris and Sofía are currently promoting a campaign called Sin Límites, which translates to “without limits” in English. This initiative aims at increasing awareness of Down syndrome and showing what people with the condition are capable of achieving.

Aside from launching Sin Límites, Sofía made history earlier this year as the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome. She dominated the New York Fashion Week runway in 2020.

Sofia Jirau modeling in New York Fashion Week

The young businesswoman has signed a deal with leading cosmetics company L’Oreal and is working on launching her own fashion line with the assistance of her mother.

Having acquired 617,000 followers on Instagram, Sofía is also gearing up to become a social media influencer.

Sofía, who admits to loving the camera, told CBS Mornings Lead National Correspondent David Begnaud that she gets recognized in public. Sometimes people would stop her and ask if they could take pictures with her.

Sofia Jirau

As a model, Sofía works hard to keep in tip-top shape. Sofia works out for about an hour each day and goes to the gym five times a week.

Sofía’s mother couldn’t be prouder of her daughter, whom she describes as “a happy person” who “brings joy to everyone.”

Chris, her boyfriend is also an achiever. In 2014, he became the first person with Down syndrome in Puerto Rico to get a driver’s license, said his parents.

Chris is also a chef, barista and retail entrepreneur. He also owns his own brand of coffee, and has a food truck.

Chris Gonzalez taking a customer's order from his food truck

“He’s so persistent,” his father, Eugene, described him. “He makes us be a better person.”

“A couple of times he’ll fail, but he knows that he has to try and try again,” he added. “I guess that’s what we’ve learned from him. That’s a big lesson in life.”

Chris, who lives on his own in an apartment, said that hearing his dad’s comments about him makes him “so happy.”

Sofía and Chris live on opposite ends of the island, more than two hours away from each other. Despite the distance and their busy schedules, they make it a point to spend time together every night via video conference, which can last up three hours.

Chris Gonzalez posing with a standee of himself and his own coffee products

This power couple inspires the special needs community and even the people outside of it with the extraordinary things they’ve done and their positive disposition in life.

But more than their accomplishments, Sofía and Chris’ most admirable trait is their ability to bring joy to the people around them. If there’s one thing we can learn from their story, it’s that we can also live our own lives without limits.

Watch the couple’s interview with David Begnaud in the video below.

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