Jeep Experience Pantanal Convoy

An experience of landscapes, colors and flavors

The Jeep Experience celebrates its fifth edition in Brazil and takes customers, partners and content creators to unique moments in the Pantanal in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul

December 23, 2019 - Three days, 500 km covered off-road, the largest rappel platform in Brazil, a trail that leads to crystal clear waters and a safari. All this in the Pantanal, the largest floodplain on the planet with an exotic biome with lush flora and fauna. How could such a trip get any better? On a Jeep, of course! From November 18 to 23, a Renegade, Compass and Wrangler convoy took two groups of 20 people to the Mato Grosso Pantanal to experience the Jeep spirit. It was the fifth edition of the Jeep Experience in Brazil.

The brand, supported by the pillars of adventure, freedom, authenticity and passion, is a veteran in this type of off-road circuit. Only in Brazil, the Jeep Experience has been through the Chapada Diamantina (BA), Chapada dos Guimarães (MT), Jalapão State Park (TO) and through the Southern Sierras, between Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. This year, in the Pantanal, customers, partners, and content creators were invited to seek inspiration from their own lives by connecting with nature.

Aline Galdino, Corporate Communications Analyst at FCA's Events Center, participated for the first time in the organization of the event. She says she developed the agenda by asking " when going from point A to point B, when can you really experience the brand?" That’s how the Jeep convoy went through the Nascente Azul in Bonito (MS), where guests could float along schools of fish amid translucent waters; through Boca da Onça Waterfall, in Bodoquena, where everyone sat ecstatic with the beauty of the Salobra River Canyon and were able to rappel 90 m (the largest platform in Brazil), near a waterfall of 156 m; and through the Caiman Ecological Refuge, a paradisiacal scenery of 53 thousand hectares where they took part in a safari and tried dishes - delicious, by the way - of local cuisine (read on, further down we’ll talk about the food!).

Nascente Azul RiverAt the end of a trail, the crystal-clear Blue Spring in Bonito

An irrecusable Invitation

Automotive journalist Paulo Cruz was a type of host in this edition. That’s because, although he is from São Paulo, he has lived in Mato Grosso do Sul for 33 years. He is so integrated with the region that he has already received from the City Council the title of citizen Campo Grandense and from the Chamber of Deputies the title of citizen of Mato Grosso. Cruz, who has participated in two other editions of the Jeep Experience, says that it’s always a great joy to receive the invitation. “The event is bigger now and you stay out for a few days. But it's one of those invitations you can't afford to miss. On my YouTube channel, AutoNewsTV, I talk about everything, but I really like talking about expeditions and experiencing the car. It's not just the car itself, but where it takes you”, he points out, explaining that Jeep offers the best of all worlds when thinking about off-road circuits. None of the cars had any adaptation for the road and all of them demonstrated their spirit (the journalist drove the three available models). “We didn't even have a flat tire,” he says.

Before becoming a journalist, Paulo was in the Air Force as part of a rescue squad. Nevertheless, he talked about the adrenaline felt in various moments of the expedition. “The rappel was 90 meters. The view is amazing, I really had the experience of seeing the wildlife. We even saw a jaguar twice! It is a unique experience”. For Paulo, who offered a toast to participants with Cachaça Taboa, produced in Bonito, the experience involved landscapes, colors and flavors. During the trip, they ate pacu em brasa (river fish cooked in charcoal), beef ribs, drank caipirinha made with guavira (an exotic fruit from the area) and tasted the typical breakfast of the Pantaneiro, the ‘quebra-torto’ (among other ingredients, the meal has rice, beans, eggs, cassava and a special flour). “The Pantanal is a unique place indeed. If you are lost and find a native, your problem is over, he will solve it. The people of the region are trained to deal in this rugged terrain, so the people are very united”, says the journalist.

Rappelling Boca da Onça WaterfallRappel in Bodoquena, the largest platform in Brazil, 90 m

Paulo evaluates this type of expedition very positively. According to him, “I have my personal experience of being able to participate in such a special event and be able to produce quality content [Check out the video he made of the experience]. This adds an edge to my work. For Jeep it's also good, because I show the car in a different light. It’s not a test drive in the city, it’s in a different situation and I can show people what the car is capable of. In addition, those who watch the video end up wanting to buy the car”, he says.

More than a car

In the technical visit done for the expedition, held in July, Aline recalls that the Pantanal was completely dry. The area to be traveled had been hit by fires, so they had considered canceling the event. But fortunately, the fires died down and the rain came. “We arrived to a completely different scenario, with several flooded areas. We saw fewer alligators and more birds - including blue macaws. We were impressed by nature’s resilience. Trees that had their stems burned down had green crowns. It was not totally flooded as it is in January and February, but it was already possible to see an impressive recovery”, she says.

And what's the connection of all of this with the Jeep brand? According to Aline, other cars with similar technologies may even take people to such a place, but “the Jeep brand transcends mechanics, the grease, it’s more than just driving through the mud. She values ​​the connection with nature in all her actions”.

Blue Macaw at Caiman Ecological RefugeEven the Blue Macaw, an endangered species, was spotted on a safari at Caiman Ecological Refuge

Elisangela Peres, a journalist specializing in marketing and branding, participated this year in her second Jeep Experience (the first was the Southern Highlands edition last year). On her channel Marcas pelo Mundo, she shows parts of the journey and talks about her learning experience, her connection with nature and with herself. Passionate about Jeeps and driving from a young age, she has tried everything, even the Jeep SUVs. “On this trip I rappelled and floated through the rivers. While floating, I had the impression of being in an aquarium. I’d never been in such clear waters before. I had never rappelled either. I found the view to be so beautiful, I felt free, almost like flying. I was my first and I started with the highest of its kind in Brazil”, she says.

For the journalist, when people think of off-road cars, they always think of Jeep, and this is the reason for having Jeep Day or why people tattoo the brand on their body. “The experience only highlights the brand’s values, such as adventure and freedom. She shows how the car is like a partner in these delicious adventures provided by life”, she adds.

Check out the video below for a summary of everything that happened at the event:

Environmental and social sustainability

The differentials in the current edition do not stop at the specifics and wonders of the place where it occurred. In partnership with the Climate Friendly Program, FCA has neutralized all greenhouse gas emissions from the Jeep Experience Pantanal. From the fuel used on the expedition itself, to the taxis that transported participants to the airports, the flights used, the technical visits made by production months before the event, all emissions were offset. The initiative is also followed by the Jeep Automotive Plant aligned with the group's goals, which recently received the Gold Seal of approval for controlling emissions in its production. In addition, says Aline Galdino, “all materials made for the event had some functionality or circulated only in the digital version. The guests got eco-friendly straws, water bottles, all of it so as to not generate unnecessary waste. The event is one of connection with nature; generating waste unnecessarily is not justified ”.

She also explains that another example of social responsibility was the delivery of 470 school kits to the Polo Pilad Rebua Indigenous School and 30 to the Association of Parents and Friends of Exceptional Children (Apae), both institutions in the city of Miranda, where the expedition took place. This gesture is part of a broader FCA program implemented in Pernambuco, the Rota do Saber. The delivery to the indigenous school was done in person and, as a thank you, the representatives of the FCA were presented with books written in indigenous language, handicrafts and typical food. “I think it was cooler for us than it was for them”, jokes Aline. "But seriously, it was a simple and touching moment for everyone who was there.

Jeep Renegade in the mudJeep Wrangler may be the king of off-road, but Compass and Renegade (photo) are doing fine too.

Words: Vanessa Costa

Pictures: Marketing

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