My name is Alvaro Silberstein, I’m from Chile and I’m currently a grad student at UC Berkeley. Thirteen years ago I was in a car accident and suffered a spinal cord injury that left me with permanent Quadriplegia with 100% of my body from the chest down paralyzed and partial mobility in my arms and hands. Since that day I live in a wheelchair, but I have learned to not let this limit me. I believe that people with disabilities live in a world that wasn’t designed for us. Even though, we manage to overcome barriers, seek our desires and contribute to making a better world. Having the experience of studying at UC Berkeley, learning about Ed Roberts and the Disability Rights Movement; inspired me to create awareness of people with disabilities as active human beings with a passion for living fully.
I’m convinced that barriers are on the environment and not on our minds. This is the main reason why with my friend Camilo, we founded Wheel the World, an organization that seeks for 4 goals
- BOOST outdoor adventures for people with disabilities.
- CREATE AWARENESS of people with disabilities as active persons that can live fully.
- CONSCIOUSNESS about the barriers that people with disabilities face day a day.
- INSPIRE with overcoming, fellowship and love life histories.
That is how, last year we organized our first expedition to Torres del Paine, Patagonia. I became the first person in a wheelchair to complete the famous and challenging “W” trek of one of the 8th Wonder of the World. To achieve this, we had to buy special trekking wheelchair, which we donated to the National Park so other persons could repeat the same adventure. Only one month after, already 3 people with disabilities have gone to Torres del Paine with the special trekking wheelchair!
Wheel the World is now organizing a second expedition to Easter Island on December 2017. Rapa Nui is visited by more than 80,000 tourists per year. This National Park has biking, hiking and great places to scuba dive and surf. Unfortunately, the island doesn’t count with adaptive equipment for people with disabilities. This is why we want to boost inclusive outdoor activities for the community and tourists that come to the island. This time we want to develop the project with a local person with a disability and explore the island doing hand-cycling, trekking, scuba diving and surfing.
Our goal with this crowdfunding campaign is to raise the money to buy 2 trekking wheelchairs and 2 hand-bikes that will be donated to an organization of Easter Island after the expedition. We will go with a professional filmmaker and photographers, so we can reach as many people as we can, enhancing to live this opportunity.
We are convinced that the most important thing with adaptive sports is to be creative. We invite you to join our project so we can change the way of doing tourism!