By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
A weeklong “Blind Caravan” of dinners in the dark will kick off on Friday, March 6, at Mexico City’s Les Moustaches restaurant in Colonia Juárez as part of an effort by the nonprofit Baylon Yubero Foundation to help build the country’s first job training center for the blind and to raise awareness of the rights and capabilities of blind people.
The fundraising dinners will be served in blacked-out dining rooms at upscale restaurants in Mexico City, Queretaro, León, Puebla and Veracruz between March 6 and March 12.
Guests, who will pay between 1,200 pesos and 1,800 pesos, depending on the venue, will be offered a four-course gourmet dinner with wine in a unique tactile, visionless culinary experience in which they will have to grope for their meal inside a pitch-black setting guided by blind or visually impaired wait staff.
The extraordinary “Dining in the Dark” experience is expected to raise between 500,000 and 600,00o pesos to help train blind Mexicans in self-supporting jobs, particularly in the food industry.
“Many Mexicans tend to simply write off blind people as incapable of doing regular jobs or supporting themselves,” explained Baylon Yubero Foundation president Ulrich Schwartz during a press conference to announce the project.
“One thing we hope to accomplish with these dinners is to increase public awareness of blind people’s many capabilities and potentials, and to encourage employers to consider hiring persons with different capabilities.”
According to the Mexican Institute of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Ipacidevi), there are at least 1.6 million blind Mexicans, and more than 70 percent of them are unemployed or underemployed.
The Baylon Yubero Foundation is planning to organize several additional Blind Caravans later this year in Toluca, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, San Luis Potosí, Monterrey, Saltillo, Merida, Cancun, Villahermosa, Aguascalientes and Zacatecas.
For more information and reservations, check out the Baylon Yubero webpage at http://www.carabanaaciegas.com.