Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Mexico: Not a Place for the Disabled

I am struck by just how many steps there are everywhere in Mexico. There are even steps in my room between my ¨sitting area¨and my ¨sleeping area.¨ I have this fear of falling on my ass or on my face as I get up in the night .

There is no indication of an elevator at the hotel La Noria. There are stairs up and down through the gardens, to the pool, in the restaurant, and to my room on the second floor. Fortunately I can still walk, but if I were confined to a wheelchair, I would be in trouble.

It doesn´t get much better at INEGI, the Mexican equivalent of the Census Bureau. It looks like an Aztec temple, beautiful but with long flights of stairs everywhere. There is actually a ramp up to the women´s bathroom, but then there is a step to get into every stall. Each day to go to lunch in a beautiful garden area, we must negotiate at least 200 stairs. The food is well worth the walk, but I keep wondering how they would deal with an ambulatory-challenged person.

We take for granted the great strides in the US to deal with persons with disabilities. It just takes a trip to a third world country to remind you of how difficult things can be.


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