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#66580 - 04/14/03 03:55 PM wheelchair access
dodger Offline
Greetings fellow islanders and those that want to be:

I plan to make an extended visit to AC soon and am wondering about the feasibility of having someone come to visit who has to get around in a wheelchair. Are there any places to stay that are accessible? How much hassle is it likely to be to even get this person over to the island? Any input would certainly be appreciated.

#66581 - 04/14/03 04:48 PM Re: wheelchair access
Big Frank Offline
just deleted a long reply--no, I'm not that kind of handicapped* so here is a brief version.

You would have substantial problems to overcome.
Transfer into and out of either the ferry of island hopper plane. The ferry is really a speedboat with significant steps down to seats, crowded and not level. The planes are steps up and narrow seats--one on each side of aisle.

The streets are sand and pose a problem.

1] can person walk onto and off of the ferry or plane?

2] can they do transfers from chair to golfcart.

3] a larger place like Caribe Island would pose only a few problems. they have concrete walks and only a few steps.

4] Is there a strong helper to push-pull?

Good luck. I think too dicey for wheel chair unless above is okay

#66582 - 04/14/03 04:50 PM Re: wheelchair access
Big Frank Offline
*"handicap" derives from back in the day when such people were ...marginilized. They would sit with their"hand holding their cap" for donations

#66583 - 04/14/03 05:53 PM Re: wheelchair access
Chloe Offline
I think it would be doable, if they have some strong help.

Mayan and Tropic are used to lifting people on and off their planes, due to illness usually.

Golf cart would be the ticket, and carry the wheelchair on the back.

Many restaurant and bars are street level.

Sunbreeze across from the airstrip can be reached by the wheelchair easily, and Sunbreeze has a front entry ramp, smooth tiled walkways all around and ramps to the restuarant and pool also. The pool and restaurant are right on the beach with great views of all the water activity.

Golf cart can be driven around the dive shop and enter the courtyard from the beach, and park the cart right in front of your room on the ground floor.
Dare To Deviate

#66584 - 04/14/03 06:06 PM Re: wheelchair access
Thought I would respond to this one...
My son was in a wheelchair, so I am very aware of the non-accessibility in San Pedro.
Caribe Island is not accessible, although we have hosted some disabled guests. Sunbreeze is the only place I am aware of that is accessible, and there are pitfalls even then.
Getting to and from the airport in Belize City could be an issue too. When I had a cast on my leg, they drove me to the plane on the golf cart, then picked me up and put me in the plane. It's not easy, nor comfortable.... but it is doable...
As a member of the Chamber of Commerce in San Pedro, I have brought up the subject of accessibility, but it's just a small issue in a big ocean.

#66585 - 04/14/03 06:27 PM Re: wheelchair access
mayatravel Offline
Not sure of the conditions of the rooms these days, but Journeys End had a few wheelchair accessible rooms in the lagoon rooms out back. The width of the doors of the entrance anf for the bathroom/shower were wide enough. they had balance bars, etc in the bathrooms for people in wheelchairs. They used to have a group that came very year. These vistors were paraplegics and they came specifically to snorkel and be active. I would contact Steve Bowen who ran the dive shope there at the time and talk to him. There will be plenty of obstacles- Belize is no place for a person with limitations to get around independantly. But on the other hand, Belize people are very friendly and helpful and if they see that someone who needs help really wants to get out and do it, people here will do what they can to help. The weight of the person will be important to note as well. Good luck and I really really hope who ever this is, is able to visit and participate. I assume this is a paraplegic, right? Kayaking? Barton Creek Cave?
Maya Travel Services

#66586 - 04/14/03 06:38 PM Re: wheelchair access
Barbara K Offline
I had a client in a wheel chair stay at Belize Yacht Club. Went OK for them. Not sure of their disability level.

#66587 - 04/14/03 08:43 PM Re: wheelchair access
dodger Offline
Thank you all so much for the info. This forum is a great resource. Wish I could buy each of you a drink that took the time to respond. If anyone else has anything to pass along, please do so.


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