Pioneering initiative allows visually impaired people to touch Holy Week

Raúl Ruiz, Abel Arcas and Copo at San Francisco church.
Raúl Ruiz, Abel Arcas and Copo at San Francisco church. / E. CABEZAS
  • A number of Axarquía-based organisations collaborated in the day during which 50 participants visited venues in Vélez-Málaga

As preparations for Holy Week reach a climax, a pioneering initiative organised by the Cofradías association of Vélez-Málaga allowed around 50 visually-impaired people to touch 33 images that will form part of next week's processions in the town.

Also collaborating in the activity, which is the first of its kind in Andalucía, were the ONCE foundation, the Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Costa del Sol Oriental-Axarquía and Asociación para la Promoción Turística de la Axarquía (APTA), which provided the tourist train to move participants between the different venues.

The route took in a number of places where images are kept, as well as the town's MUVEL museum, Hermanas Carmelitas convent, San José church, the Los Remedios chapel and Holy Week museum (Museo de la Semana Santa).

Taking part in the event was 29-year-old Torre del Mar resident, Abel Arcas, with his guide dog, Copo, a black Labrador. Abel admitted that he was “a huge fan” of Holy Week, despite not being able to see the processions. “Although I can't see the images, I can feel the sound of the processions, the noise of the people and smell of the rosemary and orange blossom,” he said.

Another participant, Raúl Ruiz, 20, only has sight in one eye. He also said that he enjoys Holy Week. “I like El Cautivo and the legionnaires who take part in the processions,” he explained.