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The Way to overcome disability

Peter Fransiscus

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The Way to overcome disability
The Order of Malta organizes accessible stages for people in adapted chairs
The Way to overcome disability
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1533804106452.gif SANDRA ALONSO
1533804106512.gif SANDRA ALONSO

08/09/2018 05:00 H

Four people in a wheelchair -Socorro del Cerro, Toledo; Gonzalo Cánovas, from Málaga; Araceli Martínez, from Madrid; and Juan Domínguez, from Seville- yesterday they finished the Camino de Santiago accompanied by twenty volunteers from the Order of Malta. At noon they entered excited and applauding in the Obradoiro. The volunteers placed the adapted chairs in a row and in front of the facade of the Cathedral so that everyone could contemplate the monument.
Gonzalo Cánovas, one of the protagonists, recounted his adventure: "We left Villalcázar de Sirga, in Palencia, a week ago. We made accessible stages of 17 kilometers a day and slept in adapted hostels ». Cánovas said that his experience "was very positive, giving four disabled people the opportunity to do the Camino is something that under normal circumstances would be impossible". He clarified that there were times when they traveled by car, as in O Cebreiro. Araceli Martínez, another of the protagonists, was moved when she saw the Cathedral: "The Camino has its complicated moments, but it is worth it to get here". The group made 119 kilometers to get the compostela. The trip was organized according to three axes: first the encomiendas, villages historically linked to the Order of Malta; later, that the stages were accessible and, finally, that the hostels were adapted. The chairs in which they arrived had only one wheel, they needed four volunteers: one pushing ahead, another from behind and two more to take turns.


Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
The Order of Malta (as well as the Knights Hospitaller) had as one their foundation mission to protect pilgrims going to the Holy land.
It is actually moving to see that a thousand years later they are still helping people to complete their pilgrimages. And those pilgrims are amazing!

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