Newsletter from the Sierra Madre #68
Rigo Delgado’s story
A disabled activist’s daring work in disability rights
When Rigoberto Delgado first arrived at PROJIMO in 2002 his hopes for the future were dismal. A few months before, at age 24, a car accident had left him quadriplegic (paralyzed from the neck down) for life. He had lost control of most of his body, including urine and bowel functions. He had limited use of his arms but couldn’t grasp with his hands. He was completely dependent on family members for all his basic needs. It was as humiliating as it was depressing.
Rigo had heard about PROJIMO – a community rehabilitation program run by disabled villagers in the town of Coyotitan, Sinaloa, Mexico – and decided to go there as a last resort. The fact that the program’s two leaders were spinal-cord-injured like himself gave him a bit of hope. If they could run a program helping disabled persons move ahead with their lives, perhaps he had a chance, too. But still he had misgivings. After all, the two women who directed PROJIMO were paraplegic (paralyzed from the waist down) and still had use of their hands – whereas his upper limbs were also involved. How could someone as incapacitated as he was ever dream of independent living? Yet he still held on to that dream. Depressed as he was, something inside him wouldn’t give up.
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