Bimbo Bread? Say what? Class IV Kayaking in Ecuador

Lyle of Virginia nails his boof on the Lower Cosanga

November 27th brought as a fun crew from Colorado, Virginia, Austria, and the UK to paddle some of Ecuador’s finest Class IV Rivers.

Ursula from Austria joined us for 2 weeks this winter. She is one tough bad ass kayaker! Here she is on the Upper Jondachi.

Then, one day while we were in Tena I was out shopping for lunch supplies and, as always, noticed the shelves upon shelves of BIMBO bread. I’ve always wondered about this brand and in a middle school kind of way snickered to myself about the name. So with the new and improved educational SWA blog in mind I decided to do some research on the brand.

That doesn’t look like a Bimbo to me, that looks like a bear…

Bimbo bread is a product of a company called Grupo Bimbo which was established in Mexico in 1945. Today, it is one of the biggest baking companies in terms of production volume and distribution around the world.

Tim surfing “The Thing” just below the Quijos and Oyacachi confluence.

Grupo Bimbo is the #4 largest food corporation in the world behind Unilever, Kraft Foods, and Nestle. For obvious reasons, they’ve had some issues selling their products in North America (under the Bimbo name). But, throughout even the most remote areas in Latin America, Bimbo bread is king.

Dave boofing in Lavadora on the Cosanga River

Dave has been spending 2 weeks each season with us for the past four years in preparations for his trip to paddle the Amazon River from source to sea. While Dave is definitely a crazy Brit for wanting to do this, he also has a super cool plan for carrying out his dream. And we are stoked that he’s picked us to help him with the whitewater portion of his training!

Lyle lending a helping hand to some local kids delivering wood to their father’s furniture-making shop. Incidentally, Don bought a lovely shelf at this place, so it was win win for the kids and dad!

Back to Bimbo: Unlike in English, the name Bimbo doesn’t really mean anything in Spanish. Supposedly the name comes from a mixing of the words “bingo” and “bambi” as the company was trying to appeal to young children. Don’t ask me why a Mexican corporation wanted to mix English words for their product, but they kind of blew it if they wanted to market to the English-speaking world!

Tim and Lyle hiking into the Upper Jondachi–with each Small World Adventures trip kayakers get a little jungle tour. What a bargin!

Ursula and Tim admire El Chaco’s beautifual geology

Bimbo did officially enter the US market in 1996 but not under the Bimbo name. The corporation bought Pacific Pride Bakeries out of San Diego and began to set roots in the US.

The gang celebrating at the take out of the Upper Jondachi. Included with your Small World Adventure: great hiking, a jungle tour, beers at the take out, and Bimbo bread!

Today Bimbo owns a lot of bread in North America as well as Latin America. In the US, “Bimbo USA” now controls Pacific Pride Bakeries, Mrs. Baird’s Bakery, Oroweat, Thomas’s Bagels, Entenmann’s, and Boboli Pizza crusts. Now, aquisition of Sara Lee is in the works. My goodness, Bimbo is taking over the bread world!

A stunning view up the Borja Valley, it’s good to come home to sights like this

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