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article imageBlind visitors in Colombia try salsa, paragliding

By AFP     Aug 22, 2017 in World

Salsa and paragliding may not seem unusual to many visitors to the Colombian city of Cali. But exotic dances and extreme sports are brand new thrills to blind tourists from around the world.

Nearly 70 blind or partially-sighted visitors from Latin America and Europe came to the southwestern city last week in one of its first "blind tourism" expeditions.

They tried salsa dancing while riding around town on a colorful local bus, clay modeling, rock climbing and even paragliding.

Technology specialist Pablo Lecuona, who is blind, launched the initiative in his native Argentina.

He started off by launching an online library for blind users and has expanded his activities to organizing adventure holidays in Argentina, Mexico and now in Colombia.

"As I got in contact with various people I could see that a lot of people wanted to visit Argentina or other countries," said Lecuona, 43.

"But since they had a visual impairment they didn't dare to, because often the hotels are not prepared and get scared when they see a person with a visual disability."

Volunteers and emergency services workers act as guides.

"I did different things, things I had never done before," said Spanish visitor Rafa Matos, 47, after flying off a hillside.

"I wasn't thinking of paragliding but at the last minute I said to myself: 'Go for it.'"

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