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Handicapped Access In Latin America

“Kathleen, I’m enjoying receiving your Panama Letter. My wife and I have been entertaining moving to Panama. I am 100% disabled and confined to a wheelchair. I would be very interested in your opinion of Panama’s accessibility or the lack of accessibility for someone in my situation.

“I am aware of your personal consulting service, and I think we will take advantage of it when we’re further along in our thinking. Right now, I am still attempting to discern which country and city would best serve my disability.”

— Paul B., United States

The truth is that nowhere in Central America is going to be super-accessible for you. Panama City would probably be the best choice, but, even here, you’re going to be limited in where you’ll be able to go and what you’ll be able to do.

We know personally of an older woman who is confined full-time to a wheelchair and who is living here in Panama City with her daughter. She gets around ok…but it’s not easy.

You’d want to live in a newer building, with good in-building amenities and a nice, big elevator. Then you’d be limited as to where you could go beyond your apartment and your apartment building.

The big malls in the city would be accessible to you. Some restaurants would be accessible. Most government and big downtown office buildings would be, as well.

You could enjoy the new Cinta Costera through the center of downtown and the Amador Causeway, both great places to enjoy the best views and breezes in this city.

On the other hand, you’d want to be driven everywhere, as the sidewalks in this city are in a disastrous state.

The rest of Central America would probably be too difficult for you to navigate.

South America could work. Cities like Medellin, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo could make great choices. Probably any large city in South America could be manageable for you.

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