What is pachavox?
Pachavox is a website that promotes Ecuador’s Andean non-very well-known travel destinations, street food, adventure sports, and people. It’s focused on the outdoors and rural areas that are unknown by the locals themselves.
Its name comes from two words. In Quechua languages, ‘Pacha’ means world, space, nature. ‘Vox’ comes from Latin and means voice. The words fusion represents Ecuador’s Andean and Western cultural heritage.
Pachavox also seeks to inspire others to share stories about Ecuadorian society and the environment.
Gustavo is an Ecuadorian-American citizen who has spent his life between both countries, and it’s currently based in Riobamba. He majored in Philosophy and Psychology. He also has some academic background in sociology, business, and tourism.
After graduation in 2015, he moved back to Ecuador where he started working as an ESL teacher. Most of his colleagues were foreigners with whom he had the opportunity to explore and see the country through their eyes. These experiences made him appreciate local places, food, and culture from a different perspective.
Ecuador’s diversity made him an outdoors enthusiast. He decided to pursue photography as a hobby, which later led him into videography.
In 2018 he decided to start sharing his content on a Facebook page dedicated to mountains called “Kuyayku”.
In 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown, he felt stuck with his project due to not being able to go outdoors. He decided that he also wanted to tell stories about people, culture, and local street-food. He changed the page’s name to “Pachavox” to fit the more diverse content ahead
Riobamba is where the journey through Ecuador starts. It’s a small city in the middle of Ecuador located 3 hours south of its capital city Quito, and 4 hours east of Ecuador’s major coastal city Guayaquil.
The city is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, which have given it the nickname of “La Sultana de los Andes” which means “Royalty of the Andes”. This is because if seen from above, the mountains around the city resemble a crown. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, here you will have easy access to a wide variety of mountains such as Mt. Chimborazo which is only 40 minutes away and it’s the closest place to the sun on earth if measured from the earth’s core.
Its size and location make it an ideal place for a home base for long term travel. Its living expenses are cheaper than in most major cities in the country. Commuting is fast, easy, and cheap.
It’s connected to all major highways that lead to different regions in Ecuador like the Amazon, North and South Andes, and the Pacific Coast which makes it easy to travel to the beach or jungle during the weekend. Day-trips to any other locations within the mountains region are also an option.
So if you are interested in visiting Ecuador for a gap year, want to learn Spanish, do volunteering, or a digital nomad, Riobamba might be the perfect place for you.