Inclusive rural tourism: touch and feel nature accessible to everyone

Rural tourism is synonymous with contact with nature and can be experienced in many ways, but without a doubt one of the most inclusive is that which makes nature accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities, as they achieved with “Feel the Alto Tahoe “.

It all started in 2015 from the hands of entrepreneurs Gemma Rossello and Jose Jimenez in the city of Trout Peralejos -Alto Tajo area of ​​Guadalajara – where the company’s name comes from.

This region can boast that it has natural enclaves such as Alto Tahoe Natural Park where you can enjoy a Romanesque sanctuary from the 13th century and unique towns such as the one where the entrance of the park is located, Peralejos de las Truchas, or as well known as Molina de Aragón, with a castle from the 10th century.

In 2015, a pair of mountain and nature guides He started his venture for hiking and other activities related to the mountain and countryside, but in 2016 his project became accessible to people with disabilities.

“After we received a call from two blind people who wanted to explore the region, we set about adapting our services so that they could carry out the activities,” recalls founder Gemma Rosello in an interview with Efeagro.

An experience which, he explains, prompted them to carry out market research to realize this rural tourism was adapted “partially”but it didn’t exist “Support from the beginning of the activity to the end”apostille

The satisfaction given to them by the two new clients motivated them and for this reason they decided to specialize in training for professional adaptation to work with disabled people.

Visually impaired customer guided in the snow by José Jiménez Photograph: Feeling the Alto Tajo – Editorial use only –

And from the beginning the results accompanied: the same year “a total of 25 people with disabilities enjoyed the activities offered by Feeling the Alto Tajo,” says its founder.

Over the next five years, disabled people led the numbers to the customers who performed the services on this project, a clientele that does not stop growing.

And this is that in Peralejos de las Truchas they accept disabled people from many provinces, but his success is not limited to the national fieldhaving managed to cross the lake with clients from Argentina.

The inclusive tourism program they offer begins when, if necessary, the company picks up its clients at the bus stop to take them to the small hotel, also adapted, which functions as a “base camp” during the activities.

Xisca Rigo – customer, friend and employee – is accessibility, inclusion and disability engineering of the project.

She became familiar with Sentir el Tajo as a user in 2018 and after completing the activities proposed by the pair of mountain guides, she suggested some adaptations; He has been part of the testing team ever since.

Some customers travel out of town. Photo courtesy of Sentir el Alto Tajo. – For editorial use only –

take care of check if an activity is adapted and is accessible to a visually impaired person, such as yourself, but also to people with hearing or other disabilities.

To feel nature is to enjoy it with other senses thanks to tools such as tactile sheets with drawings of birds and fauna that visually impaired people use during activities.

And taking advantage of the fact that the sky of Guadalajara received the maximum certificate of Starlight Reserve which qualifies their astronomical quality, they made plates of the constellations and stars, so that they could touch the shapes and understand what they meant when they spoke, for example, of the “car” of the great bear.

Thus, rural tourism becomes inclusive, accessible and adapted for every type of person, so that the beauty of the environment continues to spread, while contributing to the development of the circular economy in rural areas.

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