Mexico’s Physically Challenged ‘Charro’ Cowboys Test Limits

08/04/2016 The New York Times

charreria.jpgCUAUTITLAN IZCALLI, Mexico — Salvador Espinoza spends his days in a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. When he mounts his horse and tightens the back brace that helps him keep upright in the saddle, he transforms into a charro, or Mexican cowboy.

In the traditional Mexican sport of charreria, this country’s version of rodeo, they say you have to be agile, tough and brave.

For Espinoza and other members of the Mexican Association of Paracharreria and Equestrian Therapy, it also means overcoming conditions such as amputations, partial blindness, deafness or paralysis while competing in the same daredevil events as their more able-bodied peers: lassoing, horse-reining, bull-riding and others.

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