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Sep 18, 2007, 8:47 AM

Post #1 of 7 (10739 views)


Wheelchair van transportation??? -- GDL/Chapala area???

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Can anyone provide me a referral or referrals to any business or individual who offers wheelchair van transportation for hire in the Guadalajara to Lake Chapala area? I will be in the area in the next few weeks. Because I am confined to a wheelchair, I arranged to stay in an assisted living facility in Ajijic as my base of operations to explore whether retiring to Mexico is right for me. However, I have been totally unsuccessful in locating any adapted van rental or transportation service for wheelchair users so I can engage half-day tours, for example, of Guadalajara proper and Lakeside. I've contacted the AmSoc people in GDL but have not yet heard anything back. A service that can transport a disabled passenger in her wheelchair is necessary because, like many, I cannot transfer out of a manual wheelchair into a front car seat. ANY referrals or potential leads to pursue that you might suggest would be VERY appreciated! Muchas gracias por su ayuda! Anne Phillips


Sep 19, 2007, 7:40 AM

Post #2 of 7 (10707 views)


Re: [ANNEP46] Wheelchair van transportation??? -- GDL/Chapala area???

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It's surprising to me that the assisted living facility doesn't know of any such services. Since they don't, can't
you ask them to check the local hospitals, doctors, etc.? You obviously cannot from where you are. They can. The local DIF would know if nobody else does. Or one of the Old Folk Homes.

There has to be such service available. After all, Mexicans are people with body problems too.

Adiós. jerezano.


Sep 19, 2007, 9:05 AM

Post #3 of 7 (10703 views)


Re: [jerezano] Wheelchair van transportation??? -- GDL/Chapala area???

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Thank you for your kind reply. Unfortunately, I've had no such luck enlisting the staff person with whom I've been dealing at the assisted living facility -- Alicia's Convalescent Home -- to check out possibilities. The AmSoc organization in Guadalajara is working on an updated 2008 Survival Guide of programs and services so something might still turn up there. My plan so far has been to check out the area first with an extended stay and then, if I were to decide to retire there, to buy myself a wheelchair van conversion and hire a driver as needed. I'll keep my fingers crossed and post back whatever I learn. I know that Guadalajara was once known as "Quadalajara" following a number of disabled Viet Nam veterans taking up residency there and you're right -- the Mexican people, themselves, have their own disabled. So surely there's some transportation service out there, even if it doesn't advertise. Again, muchas gracias! Anne


Sep 19, 2007, 9:59 AM

Post #4 of 7 (10700 views)


Re: [ANNEP46] Wheelchair van transportation??? -- GDL/Chapala area???

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Do ask at the DIF office. They will be knowledgeable about handicapped issues.

I have had very good dealings with DIF in my town. When I applied for a handicapped parking sticker, I was not strong enough to climb the stairs to the office, so the doctor came to me. When I needed a wheelchair, they gave me one on an indefinite loan for a one-time fee of $20 pesos.

Rolly Pirate


Sep 19, 2007, 11:23 AM

Post #5 of 7 (10688 views)


Re: [Rolly] Wheelchair van transportation??? -- GDL/Chapala area???

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Oh, thank you, Rolly -- as I should also have thanked Jerezano earlier -- I will check with the DIF. I'm also checking with the Jalisco-based Confederacion Mexicana de Limitados Fisicos y Representantes de Deficientes Mentales, A.C. and one or two other Mexican advocacy groups para personas con incapacidad. By the way, I have found these forums to be wonderfully helpful and informative before and each time took note of your and Jerezano's many contributions. You are a generous spirit. One of the things ultimately that attracted me to checking out Mexico was the spirit of these forums. Cheers to you! Anne


Sep 22, 2007, 2:56 PM

Post #6 of 7 (10650 views)


Re: [ANNEP46] Wheelchair van transportation??? -- GDL/Chapala area???

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I checked with my doctor at Lakeside who could not recall seeing a wheelchair van here, of the type that transports nursing home patients in most of the towns and cities in the US. If I hear of anything, I will post it.

I just want to mention that in Mexico, where there's a will, there's a way. I will not be surprised to see you boosted into the back of a truck and riding around town sightseeing. There are many disabled people here, both gringos and Mexicans, and people are very supportive. If you can deal with being lifted about, you might be able to see quite a lot. You might also consider a motorized scooter, of the kind used by people who have trouble getting around. I saw someone in the local grocery with one yesterday. This will not give you the independence to go places in a van without help, but it might enable you to tour the neighborhood, and it might be less bulky and more manoeverable than a motorized wheelchair. You might even be able to buy one and then sell it later, if you are coming down for enough time to make that worthwhile.

You might also try your post on the forum where a couple of disabled people post regularly. They might have some more ideas for you.


Apr 15, 2008, 9:29 AM

Post #7 of 7 (10578 views)


Re: [ANNEP46] Wheelchair van transportation??? -- GDL/Chapala area???

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I had just returned from Guadalajara when I checked my Mex connect forums and read the thread seeking information on available transportation in Guadalajara, for people who are confined to their wheel chairs. I read this thread with a personal interest, because for the last ten years, I have been confined to a motorized wheel chair. When I travel to Mexico, I take my own van so transportation has not been an issue, however when I traveled to other parts of the world on business, it was ALWAYS not only an issue, it was a logistical nightmare. (Many stories about how that was handled, and yes, I have been tied down on the bed of a Toyota, Tacoma pick up truck.)

I am now retired and building a home in Mexico, so I don’t have the travel problem anymore. However, this lady’s problem kept nagging at me, would not let go, until the name Manuel Alvarez popped into my mind. My seventy year old fried and dried brain sizzled when it connected Manuel to the wheelchair. Over the span of almost twenty five years, Manuel has driven me, my children, my parents and personal friends to many parts of Mexico, and I had just been with Manuel the week before. Manuel has even picked up my autos in California and had them waiting at the airport when I arrived in Guadalajara.

Manuel Alvarez is a Licensed and Bonded tour guide in Guadalajara for over thirty years. Manuel is fluent in English, has great detailed knowledge of Mexico, and knows the most accessible hotels, restaurants, markets, shopping centers, day trips and really, anything that would interest a visitor in this beautiful part of the world.

I drank my second cup of coffee, picked up the phone and called Manuel. It went like this:
Hola Manuel, como estan todos?
Bien Don Carlos, y ustedes?
Todo bien aqui, Manuel, gracias. Olles, te voy acer una proposision.
Digame Don Carlos.
Manuel, would you be interested in adding a wheelchair equipped van to your business?
Sure, sounds good, I have not seen any around, it would be a good thing.
Ok, then, you work on the permits and insurance, and I’ll get on the van. Hasta luego Manuel, me saludas a todos.
Gracias Don Carlos, saludos, adios.

It was that simple, no endless weeks of lawyers, negotiating points, sending contracts back and forth, coverings what-if such as; what if you were out somewhere, walking the dog, enjoying a beautiful, crystal, clear afternoon and the dog was suddenly struck by a bolt of lighting, causing a tragic and premature death to said dog. Who would be responsible? You for walking the dog? The dog, for in his own way giving you permission to walk him? The weather man for not issuing lighting bolt warnings which could be harmful to dogs and could result in death? The government for not posting lighting bolt signs for dogs? (In plain English, Who gets screwed?)

Over the following months, I went through so many twists and turns on finding the right Van, that I kicked myself (more than once) in the you know what, for thinking up such a crazy idea. After all, the wheelchair thing was not my problem. But still, Manuel’s words kept coming back “It would be a good thing.” I know how frustrating it is for a 3 inch curb to stand in your way of going where you want to. I knew that if we were able to make a persons journey easier and more enjoyable, whatever effort it took, in the end it would be worthwhile.

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.
Un fuerte abaso. Don Carlos
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