MEXICO CITY – A coastal town in the southwestern Mexican resort state of Guerrero officially became home to the region’s first inclusive beach this past week.
Bahias de Papanoa, in Tecpan de Galeana, some 170 kilometers (1.6 miles) from Acapulco, is now the state’s first beach to offer disabled tourists the facilities required to make their stay comfortable and safe.
“We had been pushing for an inclusive beach for people with disabilities, because it is very hard for us to go to the beach,” Lucia Morales Sanchez, one of the beneficiaries of the project, told EFE.
The beach features amphibious furniture to cater to visitors, including oceanic chairs for children and adults, beach beds, and sand-ready walkers, as well as rescue stretchers, lifesavers and inflatable jackets, in addition to the regular beach resort amenities.
Authorities say that the project is set to benefit some 18,600 people with disabilities.
“It is a good initiative and I hope it spreads to more beaches (in Guerrero), because it is a bit far from where we live,” Sanchez said, added that she and her family live in Acapulco, a city that lacks the facilities needed to provide service to handicapped visitors.
Near the beach, the city also experienced a few changes, such as Braille directories, street signs and restaurant menus, as well as accessible restrooms, access ramps and a rescue buoy system.
“Most beaches in this area are not open to the sea and many are very far away,” Alex Justino Pineda, another beachgoer, said, adding that such recreational areas typically lack the proper facilities to accommodate handicapped visitors, such as ramps and restroom facilities.
The beach also has highly-trained staff on site to make sure that visitors get the help and attention they require to enjoy a safe stay.