Elder Makes Ancestral Trip to the Amazon in a RoughRider Wheelchair!

Ankur Wate and Don Cesareo | RoughRider in the Amazon Jungle

Whirlwind was contacted  last summer by Joshua Van Winkle about a wheelchair that could handle the rugged terrain of the Amazon jungle. He was planning an ancestral trip for three generations of families, including an elder gentleman that needed a wheelchair that was sturdy and reliable.  We recently received this thank you letter that touched our hearts. We were glad to have been able to help him out to make his extraordinary journey a success!


Dear Whirlwind,

Last August my friend Ankur Wate (who had trained and worked extensively with a man named Don Cesareo for many years in the jungle) and I planned a group trip down to Secoya territory (and their ancestral homelands near the Ecuador/Peruvian border called Lagarto Cocha) with him.

Unfortunately Don’s older wheelchair was in poor condition and unable to traverse rough Amazonian terrain for such a trip.

So Abkur suggested we look around for a wheelchair that would could do such a task. And we found your website online.

As all of us that were planning to go on this trip work normal jobs and were by no means financially wealthy, so we wrote to Marc personally asking if he was able to discount the price of a normal Roughrider model so we could afford to get it for Don.

Marc was super generous and discounted it for a fair price. So myself and another friend split the cost and brought it down to Ecuador for him as a gift. I personally am a custodian with the local school district at the moment, but I, and a group of close friends have a very strong connection with the Secoya people.

On this particular trip last August, we spent about 2.5 weeks down there to bring together 3 generations of Secoya families together for a special trip to Lagarto Cocha, their ancestral homelands, for time together and traditional ceremonies that the elders have been upholding and practicing since a young age.

It was a very special trip made possible by Marc and everyone at Whirlwind for making such an awesome wheelchair. He had an amazing time as did we all.

Thank you so much for all of your help and generosity.

Best regards,

Joshua Van Winkle

We are always happy to hear when the RoughRider has made someone’s ability to travel off the beaten path possible. We look forward to continuing to help more people reach their dreams!