Several years ago, while visiting Portugal to attend an international conference for Special Education, I had the great opportunity of volunteering at Centre Algarve. The run-down, family hotel had been purchased by British entrepreneur, Andy Mahony, over five years ago with the aim of creating the first comprehensive holiday resort for families traveling with members with special needs. I cannot resist projects of this caliber of intention, so when I discovered it, I immediately contacted them.
I spent a beautiful week, walking distance from the Algarve coast of Portugal, joining the incredibly hard-working manager, Belinda, and her constantly rotating volunteer team. I recently read this statistic on their website, "It took four years and the dedication of over 480 unbelievable volunteers, to create Centre Algarve." If there ever was a labor of love for individuals with disabilities and their families, this is it!
If you are a family searching for a unique and fully-accommodating vacation environment, it is worth the trip to Centre Algarve! Just some of the facilities include a sensory room, classroom, vegetable garden and diner-style kitchen for personal cooking according to dietary needs, wheelchair accessible swimming pool, and an elaborate petting zoo.
Congratulations to all at Centre Algarve, the finished product looks amazing! I trust you will serve many, and they will serve you in return.