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Wheelchair Van transport from GUA to Lake Chapala

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I'm trying to find wheelchair accessible van transport from Guadalajara airport to Chapala. We are hoping to relocate but we need to get down to be sure and to find a permanent home. Unfortunately, the few references online to a wheelchair van taxi from Guadalajara to Lake Chapala appear to be obsolete. My husband is a quadriplegic in an electric wheelchair (HEAVY) and really needs a van with a ramp or a lift. I've asked the real estate agent and B&B we are working with but no one seems to have any recommendations. Does anyone have any clues if such as service exists?

Best,
Shelly

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Hey Shelley, did a quick google search and I found these, unfortunately from 2007 and 2011 but either might be worth a shot (unless you have already found these articles)

http://www.wheelchairtraveling.com/guadalajara-jalisco-mexico-2011-trip/

http://www.mexconnect.com/forums/Areas_C2/Central_Pacific_Region_F20/Wheelchair_van_transportation_--_GDL/Chapala_area_P112005/

last paragraph states "So now, there is a Van in Guadalajara equipped to transport people confined to a wheelchair. You can contact Manuel Alvarez from the USA at this number: 0015213336677690. From Guadalajara: 3338100737. I will be in Guadalajara the end of this month. I am shipping down a motorized wheel chair, manual wheel chairs and walkers for Manuel to add to his new service. I hope that for some, this will make for a safer, richer, and more comfortable visit to that wonderful city called Guadalajara."

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Thanks WideSky! I did find those references and they seems to be the only clues online. We did not get too far as we do not speak Spanish. It may be possible for me to find someone who does who I can persuade to make some calls for us. We have tried all the limousine services and hospital transport services that we can find reference to. It seems that if they had a wheelchair van in the past, it's no longer in service.  We did get referred to one individual in Puerto Vallarta who still seems to have one, and I guess our option would be to fly into there versus Guadalajara. We're hoping for a less extreme solution. Another somewhat extreme solution would be to rent a wheelchair van in Texas and drive down ourselves. But I guess if extreme solutions are what is required, that's what we'll do 

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I've put a post on one of the expat web boards a couple of days ago and no response yet. I'll also ask around. I'll pass on any info I can find.

Oh PV is about a 3 hr drive from here; that doesn't sound very practical.

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12 minutes ago, WideSky said:

 

Oh PV is about a 3 hr drive from here; that doesn't sound very practical.

I think 6 hours is nearer the mark.  3 hours would be to Manzanillo and you'd be pushing it a bit to do it in that time.

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I doubt that you could take a rental vehicle into Mexico. Mobility at Lake Chapala will be quite limited in a motorized wheelchair, as curb cuts are not as frequently found as in the USA, and many sidewalks are simply too narrow and have posts which restrict passage, etc.  You may want to make your exploration first, before considering the area together.

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Mexico is a country that has very little support for people with handicaps. Most would refer to the facilities as the poorest they have ever seem. Are you sure this is your best choice to live? Your hubby would basically be confined to your house, if you ever get him in there. :( 

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9 hours ago, Jim Bowie said:

Mexico is a country that has very little support for people with handicaps. Most would refer to the facilities as the poorest they have ever seem. Are you sure this is your best choice to live? Your hubby would basically be confined to your house, if you ever get him in there. :(

This time around it seems to be the negative crowd responding (except for the first few posts). I would refer everyone back to Chimerastudio's first post on March 30th... "Wheelchair Accessbility"

It can most certainly be done and enjoyed with a handicap. It's all about a "can do" attitude.

 

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I think the difference in the responses is because this time posters are aware that the wheelchair is an electric, heavy one.  Before I suspect posters were thinking of a much lighter weight  regular wheelchair.

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Her question is regarding transport. It is possible to navigate with a wheel chair here, particularly in the areas closer to the Chapala Malecon. The sidewalks are wider, there is curb access. We all have to make decisions for ourselves based on our own needs and requirements, if they want to visit or move it's their choice. We can try help.

 

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Now in our 9th year of living here I have to agree with RV.  This place is not handicapped friendly in general and certainly not wheelchair friendly.  If you decide to live here I'd certainly avoid any of the villages with their narrow, rough sidewalks and even rougher streets.  The kind of infrastructure improvements needed to bring this area up to even the most minimal NOB handicapped standards are simply not in the cards.  On top of that most areas have slopes and most homes are two story.

Mirasol is an area that has passable streets, minimal slopes and one story homes.  You could try that.

One should evaluate this situation not only from the perspective of the handicapped person but also from the perspective of the care giver who would be trying to move the person over these streets and sidewalks.

Definitely come down and try it out for a while before even thinking about buying anything.

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I have found that there are many homes here that are ONE story or, if they are two storeys then there is usually a master bedroom and a full bath on the main floor. Why do I know this? Because my husband could not climb stairs and was pretty much in his wheelchair for the last two years of his life.

The gentleman in question will be arriving with his motorized wheelchair...that doesn't mean that he won't have other kinds when he finally moves down here...like lighter versions for when he wants to go to a restaurant that has stairs.

I listed a pile of restaurants before that he could easily get into with his motorized version and there's the malecon in Ajijic, the malecon in Chapala, the malecon in Jocotepec.

Many residences with only one floor....La Huerta; Mirasol; Riviera Alta; etc.

Let's accentuate the positive and be affirmative. Maybe they're coming from a northern climate where snow makes life miserable for those who are handicapped even though there are nice sidewalk cuts afforded them by law. Personally, I'd rather live here where I could at least get out in the sunshine or roll out onto my terrace.

Life hands you lemons so you better learn to make lemonade.

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Let me try to explain our situation a bit further. We are definitely planning a two week visit to see if the area is a fit for us. If we come down to stay we will either bring our existing wheelchair van or buy one registered in Mexico. I am just beginning to learn the nuances of both options but I have talked to a manager at an adapted van agency in McAllen Texas who seems to understand the pros and cons of each. I'm sure I have much more learning to do.

We have complicated reasons for wanting to relocate in Lake Chapala, although I'm sure most expats have complicated reasons. I don't believe my husband expects to enjoy the full spectrum of experiences of living there. He just wants to experience a few. Right now, the only time he goes out of the house is to therapy or the doctor. We very rarely attempt to go out to eat, mostly because it's a chore and we can't afford it as his accident put a huge dent in our retirement savings. So even one or two places we could enjoy would be a plus. Another reason is that I am hoping with the lower cost of living, we can afford some household help and/or in home health care for him, as I'm starting to have problems with my strength and grip. The climate is also a factor, as a quadriplegic usually has a problem controlling their body temperature and although the Raleigh winters are better than PA and NY, he generally spends the winter huddled under blankets. His favorite thing to do now is sit in the sunshine and watch the birds. Before, he was a college professor, and artist and a craftsman who was always building something. It may sound melodramatic, but we kinda feel we either stay put and just wait to die, or do something daring

Then there's HB2... ughh

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Chimerastudio you should come.  People are so kind…..my elderly mother was helped across streets, up sidewalks and picked up when she fell by helpful strangers who rushed over to her.  Many Mexicans  with good attitudes and reasonable pay work helping older people.  The sun shines, the birds sing the flowers bloom.  Chapala is the best for decent sidewalks, roadways and better rents.  

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Consider moving into one of the care facilities where you could be with him. For example, Dr. Leon has one in La Floresta where you could both 'walk' around the neighborhood and you could easily walk to central Ajijic and have fuller life without worrying about whether he was lonely. The people who are there are intelligent and education. There are many others like that. Or contact Alicia, who has been in this business for a very long time, and who could probably advise you. I've never been in a care facility here that did not have a beautiful garden. You might enjoy not having to shop and cook and nurse.

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As an update, I voiced the concerns expressed here to my husband and suggested that with all that we are selling that we could afford to buy an all-terrain electric wheelchair that could handle the cobblestones and pavement irregularities of Lake Chapala. His response was that it was a low priority for him. So I think if I can find a nice house with a nice garden (or we make the garden), he will be happy. He understands that I will be going out and experiencing things without him and does not seem to mine (as he has never minded). I guess he can be considered an extreme introvert. Me, no, I need friends.

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