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Colombia

After Ecuador, Colombia was the second South American country on our list. Unfortunately, Lovis had to go back to Germany for a good week for personal reasons. During that time, Alex had the pleasure of traveling with Doro and Basti, whom we met in Ecuador. We were really lucky that they took care of Alex during that time. Nevertheless, we were able to experience a lot together in Colombia, like going to a soccer game several times (and being able to experience the completely different atmosphere), strolling trough Medellín, exploring the Colombian coast or going diving together. 

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Hurdle The World
accessibility score

2,5/5

Similar to Ecuador, the evaluation of accessibility depends a lot on where you are in the country. On the one hand, there is Medellín, now one of the most popular cities in South America with an incredible history. With its accessible train system (the only one in the entire country), it's easy to use public transportation to get from point A to B. Only entering the train stations themselves, could be simplified a bit. Overall, we can say from our own experience that Medellín is quite barrier-free, compared to other parts of South America and its own country. It is also increasingly becoming a hub for young companies and startups, such as MATT.Movilidad, which has as its goal to make the city more accessible for people with disabilities. With the co-founder, Simone, Alex was able to talk a lot about inclusion in Colombia. In doing so, he found that there is still a lot of room for improvement in Colombia as well in terms of accessibility and social perception of disability, especially in more rural areas. We were both able to explore these a bit after Medellín and can confirm the information from Medellín. The popular tourist places like Palomino or Minca are almost not barrier-free. There are hardly any steep ramps or very sandy, bumpy roads that can quickly turn into a mud bath, making it almost impossible to get around with a wheelchair. The towns of Santa Marta and Cartagena are more wheelchair-friendly, although there is still a lot of room for improvement in terms of accessibility. What we noticed in comparison to Ecuador is that Alex always got a discount there for something like long bus rides or activities, but this was always refused in Colombia.

The people, on the other hand, seemed even more open and willing to help than in Ecuador. In Medellín in particular, the topic of inclusion is discussed publicly and offering help seemed quite natural. We were in the famous Comuna 13, which is located on a hill, so all the houses are accessible only by steep, narrow stairs. I couldn't be carried up there alone, so our female tour guide unceremoniously approached a civilian, who then quickly lent a hand. Something similar happened to us when we boarded a bus that had very steep steps. It was not uncommon to strike up a conversation and sometimes even exchanged numbers or Instagram profiles. Also in Colombia, so the helpfulness and openness makes up for the poor infrastructural conditions to some extent. 
We didn't have time to survey Colombia as intensively in terms of accessibility and inclusion as we did Ecuador, but overall have a very similar impression of both countries. They are both great countries to travel to, and as a physically impaired person, you should think carefully in advance about where exactly you want to go.

 

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Here we have created a small gallery for you,

with pictures from our Ecuador trip. 

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