Wheel the World is a national venture created by Álvaro Silberstein and Camilo Navarro, passionate friends for travel and nature, who seek to develop inclusive experiences in tourist places around the world for people with and without disabilities. As a company, the first thing they do is make expeditions to iconic places, identifying the adventures and feasibility of doing the tours, and then partnering with local operators and preparing them so that they can receive the following travelers who want to repeat the experience.
Álvaro Silberstein until the age of 18, was a starter in rugby. That year, he suffered a car accident that left him quadriplegic with 75% immobility in his body. However, the adrenaline is in his blood and sitting in a wheelchair was not an impediment to leave behind the adventures he likes so much, being part of the 3% national disabled with a sport. He lived in the United States and together with his childhood friend Camilo Navarro (32 years old) they met many national parks in the northern hemisphere that were fully adapted for people with disabilities.
In Chile there are ecological units that cover an area of 14.6 million hectares, equivalent to 20% of the national territory. Of these, only 31% of protected areas have some universal accessibility variable. That is why Wheel the World aims to enable Chile and the world to be explored by people with disabilities, through the development of inclusive experiences. And from this, that the Wheel the World is transformed into a Marketplace so that people from all over the globe can find and plan their next adventure.
The first experience of Álvaro and Camilo was in Torres del Paine in December 2016. They took a special wheelchair to do trekking which has already been used by 6 people after him. For Rapa Nui, Wheel the World left on the island 6 chairs: 2 trekking specials, 2 bicycles and 2 beach chairs (they work in sand and float in the sea) and together with a group of 20 people, they were able to identify different experiences that can be done on the island, from reaching the top of the Rano Raraku Volcano, enjoy the Anakena beach, where they even dived, and explore the island by bicycle.
The team that traveled to Easter Island was made up of 1 journalist, 2 filmmaker, 2 photographers, 1 kinesiologist, 1 mechanic, 1 physical trainer, 5 people with disabilities and 7 volunteers, including tour operators. Together, they managed to make five incredible routes that are now available in Rapa Nui. These are: travel from Hanga Roa to the Rano Raraku Volcano: 20 kilometers by bicycle; trekking that started at the Conaf nursery in Hanga Roa, passing through the Te Ara or Te Ao path that leads to the Rano Raraku volcano; stay at Anakena Beach, where they taught to use beach chairs that are easily mobilized by the sand and that can be entered into the sea, as they float in the water; In the same beach, diving was done, which was a collaborative activity with diving centers in the area, enabling them to assist people with reduced mobility; and finally, it was the climb to the Terravaka volcano that began in trekking chairs from Vai Tea with the support of people to push, to then descend through Akivi, reaching Ahu of the 7 explorers (moais).
On the experience of the last trip, Álvaro Silberstein says: “We want to promote that there are options for outdoor activities and that anyone who wants to do it can. It is so powerful this adventure, that even, people that one is bumping into the road are added to help push the chair, because they realize that it is simple and only requires a normal physical state.
The chairs used in Rapa Nui were purchased thanks to sponsors of the project (Banco de Chile, Columbia and Colmena) and to people who joined this inclusion proposal through donations. Once the trip was over, all these were available to the Island. To be able to organize the trip and request them, you just have to visit http://www.gowheeltheworld.com and enter Contact. Through the page, you can also make donations to carry out the next adventures of Wheel the World, among which are in folder: Cochamó in the Lakes Region, San Pedro de Atacama in the Region of Antofagasta, and Machu Picchu in Peru.