When we were in Cancun, my friend Corbett sent me the link to Freedom Shores, an RV-Park/Hotel in Campeche, Mexico, and asked me if I could check it out and get the scoop on how accessible it really is.
So we made our way on over and sussed it out.
This is the story:
Bill and Thelma married. Bill was American; Thelma, Mexican. Bill was a quadriplegic and had a dream of building a completely wheelchair accessible RV/Hotel in Mexico. So the two of them did exactly that: they built Freedom Shores and ran it for some time together before Bill passed away. Thelma runs it alone now.
We loved this place.
I mean, we LOVED it. Love, love, love!!!
I think Thelma is big part of that. She speaks English fluently and with her Grandmother-Who-Loves-You vibe, she made me feel like all was well in the world and things were taken care of.
She runs a fabulous restaurant. We brought crabs that we bought off the street in and asked if they’d make sure they were cooked, and their cook took the bag, nodded and said he knew EXACTLY what to do.
This place didn’t seem to have a divide between the local and tourist communities and we really loved that. The locals hanging out on the beach in front of the RV park were so awesome. Joking and laid back and friendly. The kids played with our kids and the sky sparkled, a rainbow iguana danced out and the coconuts started singing. I mean, it was just unreal.
But speaking of unreal, Thelma arranged this impromptu boat trip of guests of Freedom Shores. About 100 pesos a head. We all went out for a few hours and looked at dolphins playing in the water…
And then hung out on a deserted island…
And then did some bird watching
We LOVED this place. It’s worth a detour for, worth spending time at.
If you are a wheelchair user, this place is absolutely tricked out for you.
Completely accessible bathrooms, showers in the rooms. Everything has ramps. The bar is accessible, so too is the restaurant. The public restrooms are NOT accessible – too narrow for a chair to get in/out – and when I asked Thelma about that, she said that the RV campers who are chair users had their own bathrooms on them, but if someone came in an RV who needed an accessible bathroom, she’d make that happen.
There was a wonderful couple staying there who had been coming to Freedom Shores for some time. They gave me a lot of helpful information, like the fact that there are inclusive deals – you can pay Thelma one price and have all of your meals there, airport pick up and drop off, etc. The website has all the information.
There is also loaner beach wheelchair and shower wheelchair
I get really tired of saying how inaccessible things are in Mexico –
it’s like there is always “just one” stair, the ramps cut off at the end, it’s too narrow to turn a wheel chair or whatever.
It was really exciting and happy-making to see a place that had all of those details thought out and attended to. The handles on the bathroom sinks, the height of the shower head, the grips by the toilet. I mean, everything. It was rad. Add to that the laid back, happy vibe there, the delicious scent of jasmine all over the place and delightful locals and we have it added it as a “must visit” place for next year.
All details for Freedom Shores is on their website: www.freedom-shores.com
They can host weddings and events.
I think Thelma also said she’s selling her completely wheelchair-accessible RV?! How about a trip to go there and buy it, then drive home?!!
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.