01 March 2010

San Antonio Church and the Disabled

One of the items on my checklist the other day was to look in on the progress of the resurfacing of the plaza in front of San Antonio Church. I am very fond of this neighborhood gathering place in Colonia San Antonio, my neighborhood. It is very Mexican. A neighborhood fiesta is held there occasionally. Few norteamericanos hang around there.

Before, from the steps of the church.

The guys working on the surface are doing well.

The area around the fountain is completed.

Although it has not yet been hosed off, you can see that the brickwork is beautiful.

The design made of brick in the middle of the plaza will be beautiful, I think.

Which brings me to the subject of the plight of the ambulatorily challenged in the city. We can dispense with the euphemisms here. People who have difficulty walking are truly handicapped in this city as they are in Mexico for the most part. I am speaking of the aged, the injured, the diseased for whom walking is truly a challenge. To put it bluntly, the situation here is brutal for them.

The streets are steep in many parts of the city, particularly in el centro, the downtown. They are oftentimes cobblestone, which can be treacherously slippery when wet. The sidewalks are narrow and catch as catch can in the sense that they are intermittent. The traffic on the narrow streets at times reaches proportions that cause me difficulty crossing an intersection on foot. Although, I must add that the drivers here are not as aggressive as in the rest of the country. And they are alert to the handicapped, particularly the aged.

I remember when the “Americans with Disabilities Act” was first passed. There was a lot of sturm und drang about the cost of making public facilities accessible to everyone. Then we got used to it. The difficulties of handicapped people in this country in that regard are heartbreaking to see. There are insufficient public resources to address the problem. The whole thing is complicated here in San Miguel by the historical nature of the city, again particularly with regard to el centro. Any remodeling of the buildings in that part of the city is bureaucratically difficult to do. And I like that.

So what do you know? A handicapped ramp is being installed to allow easier access to San Antonio Church. I was startled to discover this and happy. I do not think it will detract from the appearance of the plaza or the church at all.


Four Dinners said...

It's probably wise if I say nothing about churches...;-)

A handicapped ramp won't spoil the lok if it's done well. Good for them!

Señor Steve said...

Yep, Four, I think it the better part of wisdom for you to refrain from comment on churches. Admirable restraint, lad.