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HomeNewsInfluencer's Terrifying Ordeal Exposes Costa Rica's Accessibility Shortcomings

Influencer’s Terrifying Ordeal Exposes Costa Rica’s Accessibility Shortcomings

Costa Rica has focused on becoming an inclusive destination where everyone can enjoy the natural wonders the country has to offer. However, the country still has a long way to go and must make many changes.

Tori Hunter, a Canadian influencer, published a video recounting her ordeal upon landing at Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. She shared the video on her Instagram account on May 16, World Accessibility Awareness Day, because she felt it was an appropriate time to highlight what happened to her when she disembarked at the Liberian air terminal.

Hunter described how none of the people were able to understand that this was not the correct way to transport her.

The video shows how distressed and absolutely terrified the 26-year-old was as she was being carried down the stairs. She felt the crew in charge of helping her had very little training. She also noted they had to set the chair down because they didn’t have the right grip and were holding the chair completely sideways.

Hunter said her dad had to hold her head to prevent her from completely falling off as they were descending the stairs. “Never in my life have I felt so out of control and so disconnected from my body,” Tori posted on her Instagram page.

As a result of this incident, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) requested explanations from the airport to determine why the established protocol, which prioritizes the use of landing bridges in such cases, failed.

The DGAC, confirmed that the terminal does not have the appropriate equipment to lower wheelchair users directly from the aircraft when the bridges are unavailable, but the process to acquire this equipment is already underway. On previous occasions, several authorities had pointed out that the airport in Liberia should be remodeled to make it more accessible.

Hunter commented that Costa Rica is a wonderful country and she and her family felt very welcome. She was also happy to hear that the airport is looking to improve and become more accessible.

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