A ramp -or footbridge- so that people with disabilities can reach the sea in a safer and more comfortable way will be placed in the area of Madrigales, in Jacó.

The project is currently planned by the Municipality of Garabito, the Costa Rican Network of Accessible Tourism, and the Surf Federation. In addition, it has the support of the Plura organization, which leads the development of initiatives and products that promote respect for the rights of people with disabilities, in terms of inclusive tourism, accessibility, and labor inclusion.

“These ramps are part of a project that is in the canton, these would be located in Madrigales, a part of Jaco, the plan is also to build sidewalks, restrooms, and a lifeguard base”, said the spokesman of the mayor, Wilmer Quirós.

The ramp will be 60 meters and financed by the Municipality, the Network, and the Federation. “It is a ramp that reaches the sea, and measures 60 meters, the municipality will finance 30 meters, 15 meters the Surf Federation, the company that provides this type of wood the other 15”, said the spokesman.

Installation of a footbridge for people with disabilities

Quirós did not manage to specify the date for the placement of these ramps, nor the cost. Although the executive director of the Costa Rican Network of Accessible Tourism, Stephanie Sheehy, hopes that it will be at the end of this 2018 when it is possible to put even apart.

How is the ramp?

These footbridges are made of wood, measure a meter and a half wide and 3 long, and what is done is to place each piece of the board until you reach the sea. “These wooden retractable walkways are created with 100% recycled plastic, which is why it is a country project”, Sheehy explained.

The footbridges have the possibility of cutting or lengthening depending on the tide of the moment. For what can be removed or put at any time and in this case the idea is to be day and remove them at night.

“At low tide in Jacó, it is 60 meters (…) We want to place it in the Madrigales section since that’s where the Network, Plura and the Surf Federation carry out therapies for people with disabilities, it is also a section already analyzed that is suitable for people with disabilities”, said Sheehy.

In order to collect the plastic for this project, the Network developed a campaign called “Dona Tapa”, to collect covers and other plastic containers in order to place the first ramps and, at the same time, contribute to the reduction of waste.

“What we seek is to create awareness through the accessibility of recycling issues”, said the director of the Network.

Support for

The president of the Surf Federation, Randall Chaves, said they are looking for the resources to buy the part of the ramp that is theirs. “We have a letter of intent to seek resources”, said Chaves, who among its projects for 2020 has the plan to organize the world surf for people with disabilities and therefore all support for the work of the Municipality to make Jacó an inclusive beach

For her part, the adapted surfer Natalia Vindas mentioned that tourism is a way of drawing attention with the importance that should be given to accessibility issues. “What we want is for the beaches in Costa Rica to be inclusive, to develop that part of accessibility, I have traveled a lot alone to other places and through travel and experiences, I have discovered that tourism is a door that opens a lot to that people realize the importance of accessibility “, said Vindas.

The plan of the Network is that these footbridges are also placed on all the beaches of the country, as well as that other actions are implemented (changers and accessible toilets, transfer cranes, designated parking, sidewalks, and an accessible value chain), for the benefit of the aforementioned population.