Photos: jgbrandt

Jgbrandt isn’t just a model Matador member — we’re also proud to call him our destination expert on Ecuador.

In a little over a year of membership, jgbrandt has racked up 73 blog posts on the Matador community site. Not only that, but his profile is overflowing with engaging photographs from his travels, both in Ecuador and other corners of the world.

Now several months into a stay in Ecuador, jgbrandt has all the info needed to answer your questions on the region:

Ecuador’s a small country, but with 4 distinct regions and rough roads, traveling around can take some time. It’s also one of the most diverse countries I’ve ever seen. I’ve been living in Cuenca, high in the sierra and have traveled to all of the regions, except for deep into the jungle.

If you’re heading this way I’ve got relevant information on everything from buses, hostels, things to do and not to do, and much more. First tip: Take whatever the guide book says with a grain of salt.

Here’s a little more on this week’s featured expert:

About me: I find myself redefining “normal” every day. Each challenge, each triumph, each setback is moving me one step closer to the person I’ll become once I leave this place. I’m teaching English at the University of Cuenca for a year and trying to get dual citizenship with Argentina to move there next.

The things I’ve seen and done, the people I’ve met in my travels, all have led me to believe that there’s something great out there worth experiencing while it’s possible. And the best part I’ll keep for myself.

Why I travel: It’s the best way to learn about another society and culture. Books, pictures, and anything else will never do enough justice unless you’ve been there and seen it for yourself. I think if we all traveled we’d understand each other a lot better.

Pretending to ride the tortoise

This isn’t the first time jgbrandt’s been featured on Matador. To find out what’s on his bookshelf, read the inaugural edition of “My Favorite Books” over at Matador Goods.

Make sure to check out his Matador profile for frequent updates from Cuenca. He also gave us a stunning account, complete with video, of the final chapter in a centuries-old tradition in “The Last Iceman of Chimborazo.”

As if this weren’t enough, he also regularly posts to his personal blog, Travel Guy.

Community Connection:

Visit this page to browse Trips’ ever-expanding catalog of featured experts.

Do you know a place inside and out? Read this forum post to find out how YOU can become a Matador destination expert.