Mexican couple travels Latin America in their “Vocho”

After four years on the road, what started as an adventure and the fulfillment of a dream, has become a passion and a lifestyle
Cynthia, Gustavo & “Poderoso” - COURTESY
19/10/2017
12:00
San Luis Potosí
Xóchitl Álvarez
-A +A

Cynthia and Gustavo traveled 115 thousand kilometers across 15 countries in a Volkswagen Beetle they call “Poderoso” (“Powerful”) – which at times was even their hotel room.

On June 2013, the couple left the state of San Luis Potosí with a budget of $ 90 thousand MXN with a goal in mind: reach the Patagonia and photograph Latin America.

Last Friday, after a little over four years on the road, the couple is back on their native land, excited to go on a new journey, but this time to promote the touristic attractions of San Luis Potosí and other Mexican states.

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According to Cynthia Gámez, what started as an adventure and the fulfillment of a dream, has become a passion and a lifestyle for her and her boyfriend, Gustavo Alonso. After 1540 days on the road, visiting small towns, they have seen there are more good people in the world than bad, and they have reaffirmed you can do whatever you set your heart on.

“There were times when people who approached our car and offered us to spend the night at their homes, without knowing a thing about us. They opened to us the doors of their homes. This has left us convinced that we need to keep trusting people.”

Cynthia remembers few were confident they could reach their goals, and many told them “you'll come back”, but having reached Ushuaia, in Argentina, has been the most enriching experience in the world.

Now, when they say they want to go to Alaska, Cynthia says she doesn't see it as an impossible goal, “the thing is you have to focus on what you want and give it your all.”

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They have their own YouTube channel called Nomadarte, and they are currently working with the Mexican Ministry of Tourism to become touristic and cultural sponsors of their state.

Gustavo, 32, graduated from Communications, while Cynthia, 30, has a major in Administration, but she has acquired technical knowledge in photography, video, production, and social networks. Their tools are two professional photographic cameras, stabilizers, a drone, and a computer.

In 2012 they began their plans to “backpack” around the world, and they saved for an entire year – Cynthia even had to sell her car. With $ 90 thousand MXN, they were ready to hit the road when Gustavo's mother suggested they repaired an old Volkswagen Beetle (“Vocho” in Mexico), and thus, they left Mexico at a speed of 80 km/h. “It couldn't go faster.”

They reached towns where photography courses were given to students with limited resources, and at exhibitions, they promoted their own work. Once their resources reached zero, they began to offer videos and photos at hotels in exchange of accommodation and food – what they did in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama.

“We ran out of money. Panama was our crucial moment, we ate just the basics, we couldn't afford dinner, only breakfast, while we got a job to keep going.”

It was in Panama where they managed to get a job with a production company, which gave them enough money to continue their journey.

They managed to photograph Latin America, and even took the art of photograpy to communities where children haven't even seen a camera – with free workshops.

They have so many experiences and stories, yet among them all the one which stands out the most is the death of Vilka, a dog who traveled with them for seven months. Vilka died in La Paz, Bolivia.

“This was the saddest day of the journey, we wanted to take her everywhere and bring her with us to Mexico,” Cynthia says, adding they had to cremate her there, and later on spread the dog's ashes in Ushuaia.

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Now that they are back home, they say they're happy and already making plans for their next trip.

Among their current projects, they have discarded the idea of selling “Poderoso” and instead they want to take it to a car shop to improve it; they also want to produce a documentary.

During a Volkswagen contest, they narrated their experience, and how their “Vocho” became their home and their reliable companion. The automotive manufacturer gave them a brand new Beetle, with which the backpackers are ready to travel across the Huasteca region in Mexico to promote “Xantolo”, the Day of the Dead festivity of their state.

Aftewards? They will go to Real de Catorce, Peña de Bernal, and then, Alaska.

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