Guayaquil, Ecuador is host to the 2013 Latin America Regional. Get to know your host city.
Photo by: Piero Burneo
Photo by: Jaime Freire
Photo by: Jaime Freire
Guayaquil is a port city located in the middle of Ecuador. It’s by the shore of the Guayas River, but it’s also located very near to many salty beaches.
The city known as the Pearl of the Pacific is not as big as other cities, but it holds a population of nearly 2.4 million people and is growing at an amazing rate.
This year, Guayaquil will host the Latin America Regional where athletes from all over Latin America will meet to decide who is the fittest in the region.
CrossFit in Guayaquil
CrossFit became big in Ecuador in 2010. It all started nearly five years ago with Carlos Andrade. A nutritionist and CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff member, Andrade opened the first CrossFit affiliate in the city — CrossFit Guayaquil. A large majority of the movement in the country has stemmed from Andrade and his box.
Now, there are several other active affiliates — Maori, Horda, Amaru, Raza, Machete, Kallpa and CrossFit Culture.
An estimated 3,000 people in Guayaquil are part of the CrossFit community, which is probably the largest in the region right now. One member of the community is Nelly Rodriguez, winner of the 2010 Latin America Regional, co-owner of Horda CrossFit and this year’s Regional Event Director.
“This year's event will be huge,” Rodriguez says. “We've managed to get the biggest venue in the city, located right in the middle of Guayaquil, so there will be no trouble getting there. There’s a big team of volunteers that will manage security, media and every need the athletes may have. Everyone is preparing … we are sure this will be epic.”
Guayaquil will be well represented at the Regional.
Giancarlo Vera Ochoa is a local athlete who placed 17th in the Open to earn a spot at the Regional. He placed second at the 2012 Regional in Cali, Colombia behind Peruvian Orlando Trejo.
In third, is CrossFit Raza’s Mario Barone. The 20-year-old has become competitive in the past year and hopes to be on the podium at the Regional.
Others like Maori CrossFit’s Johnny Chong (known for his kung-fu style hat) are also among the local competitors.
But let’s face it, the CrossFit women are some of the most competitive in the region and this year is no exception. Marion Ingrassia, a French-born Ecuadorian at heart, has a lot of hype behind her, as well. She placed eighth in the Open in the region and plans to score big at the Regional, on her home turf.
Priscila Caceres from CrossFit Guayaquil, Christine Knieff from CrossFit Quito, Daniela De Cesare from Maori CrossFit and Denisse Meza from Horda CrossFit are athletes to watch at the Regional in June.
The oldest box in the city also managed to qualify two teams for Regionals — CrossFit Guayaquil has members who have been working together for years, so they will be tough to beat. As they describe it, competing for the CrossFit Guayaquil team is sort of like a family tradition. Maori CrossFit, Horda CrossFit and Amaru CrossFit are preparing with special team training, so this will be a close fight.
We hope to see you in Guayaquil so you can get to know where some of the fittest Latin Americans come from.