By José Antonio Pérez and Shandra Keesecker-Rivero
In mid-March, right before Puerto Peñasco closed its beaches due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the local Rotary Club CR Mar de Peñasco, A.C. rolled out a new chair meant to help make the city’s beaches become more inclusive. Unfortunately, as quickly as it was rolled out, it was rolled back into storage until area beaches reopened on August 1st.
Leading a parade of beach cleaning and safety equipment onto Playa Hermosa on the morning of Peñasco’s beach reopening day, the WaterWheels chair by AccessRec now finds its sandy home at the lifeguard station to the west of the main entrance.
The floating beach wheelchair, made possible through a grant investment of $2500 US, will be operated by Puerto Peñasco’s Clean Beach Committee in coordination with the Tourism Auxiliary Unit (TAU).
In March, when the WaterWheels chair was first unveiled, Fernando Aníbal Otáñez Martínez, who at the time was Rotary District 4100 Governor, detailed the amphibious chair was achieved through activities of the local Rotary Club and a matching grant from Rotary District 4100 and Rotary International.
Oscar Palacio Soto, 2019-2020 President of the local Rotary Club, detailed the chair would be given to the local Clean Beach Committee under a “comodato” (gratuitous loan) contract and is to be used by the community in general for persons with disabilities.
On behalf of Mayor Kiko Munro, city treasurer Maritza Montijo Quintana, applauded the efforts of the local Rotary Club in promoting inclusion, noting future investment from the Maritime Federal Land Zone (ZOFEMAT) seeks to improve beach access among other steps that will complement the floating beach wheelchair now available to those with disabilities. (NOTE: Photos below from March 2020)