He has also delved into the world of inclusive tourism, which seeks to offer tourism and travel experiences to people with disabilities.
His first trip was with Carla Burgos, or “Carlita” as Raúl calls her, a young Yucatecan woman who lost a leg to cancer, and who had the desire to swim in a cenote once again. She achieved this goal alongside the Aguas Sagradas Expeditions team, first with their assistance, and now does so on her own. She also does rappel and other outdoor activities. A true example and inspiration.
Recently, Sebastian Layrisse, a French visitor with no leg mobility, had the experience of visiting and swimming in a cenote and called this adventure the “best in life.” Raúl mentions that it was paramount to guarantee Sebastian’s safety as he descended into the cenote; and on his way back up, they did this by using a system of ropes and a lifejacket. Once he was in the cenote, with Raúl’s daughter Saknité’s assistance, Sebastian enjoyed the cool, mystic waters which attract visitors to Yucatán. Sebastian’s smile is all you need to see in order to feel his happiness and gratitude for this “first-time experience.”
Inclusive tourism has the objective of offering travel experiences and tourism products to people with disabilities whether these are motor, visual, hearing, or other. It seeks to offer accessibility of infrastructure with ramps and accesses, and the use of adequate equipment and accessories, but above all, they strive to offer good and kind service. There is an expected growth in the demand of these tourism products for México and Yucatán within the next few years.
Aguas Sagradas Expeditions has been dedicated to ecotourism since 2001 and emphasizes private family tours which include recreational eco and adventure tourism activities such as visits to cenotes with archaeological remains and caves, snorkeling, scuba diving, and rappelling. They also offer bike tours in the jungle for specific destinations. The communities they usually visit are in Abalá, Telchaquillo, and Tecoh, to name a few.
Visitors can feel confident and safe while experiencing new tourism activities which they might not have considered before, thanks to the experience, dedication, and sensitivity of Raúl and Saknité, who has technical rescue and diving training. Their specialized equipment (ropes and harnesses) for rappel, diving, and snorkeling allow for a safe, yet complete, adventure.
After all, who doesn’t want to experience what’s “best in life” while in Yucatán?
Ediorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Photography by Violeta H Cantarell and Aguas Sagradas Expeditions
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