Why El Chico? He is quite small, he is going to be travelling a good while in Spanish speaking countries and... he was mostly built in Chico, California, a place where I met an angel, actually a welding master, Chris, and his family. And in Paradise, a nearby town with angels too, but that shouldn't be a surprise. Without those angels whom I will never thank enough, Cristobal would not be as nice, or would not even have existed.
Based on our experience from past travels, we chose not to to drive a vehicle that would appear luxurious to people living in less developed countries. It tends to make most people shy away from foreigners, hence limiting our opportunities for friendly interactions... while risking to raise the interest of the very few with much less genuine or sincere motivations.
We also learned from the accidental destruction of our previous vehicle Alistair that things happen... And the bigger the investment, the higher financial risk... not to mention more worries too.
This is why we decided this time around against a brand new vehicle in favour of a second hand choice... and old enough not to have any electronics to worry about!
Here are some pictures as an overview. And below, the "making of", which spans two periods: when he has his original white paint and the latest, when he is brown. This last one was our challenge: we had 6 weeks to build an expedition vehicle from an almost bare chassis truck.
Like most expedition vehicles, Cristobal is repaired, improved, enhanced and maintained as we go. As is updated the "making of".