07/10/2015 11:41 EDT | Updated 07/10/2016 05:59 EDT

All about Pachi: What you need to know about the Pan Am/Parapan Am mascot

As the Pan Am/Parapan Games officially kick off, here's everything you need to know about Pachi, the Games' anthropomorphic porcupine mascot.


The idea for PACHI came from a group of Grade 8 students who entered the TO2015 Mascot Creation Challenge as part of a school project led by their physical education teacher.

Team Porcupine includes Jenny Lee, Fiona Hong, Michelle Ing and Paige Kunihiro from Buttonville Public School in Markham.

The story behind the mascot

Pachi is a young porcupine that grew up just west of Toronto in a forested area of the Niagara Escarpment.

One day, he noticed lights and noise coming from the east. He followed them, ending up in Toronto, arriving to find that everyone was diverse and unique just like him.

Pachi's dream is for everyone to celebrate their differences and be proud of their individuality.

Pachi has a different wristband on each wrist — one representing the Pan Am Games and the other representing the Parapan Am Games.

According the Games, here are a few details about the mascot:

Hobbies: Climbing trees, swimming, dancing, new adventures and meeting new friends from around the world

Favourite food: Fruit, leaves and bark

Favourite colour: Pan Am Green

Instagram account: @PACHI_the_Porcupine

Based on real-life facts

Other porcupines have more than 30,000 quills, but Pachi only has 41 brightly-coloured quills to represent each of the Pan American countries participating in the Games.

His quills are five different colours, each representing qualities he holds — green means youth, fuschia represents passion, blue equals collaboration, orange translates to determination and purple is creativity.

Pachi, like all porcupines, is visually impaired and has difficulty seeing objects and people that are far away. That's one reason why Pachi stood out as an ideal representative for both the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

Porcupines are found throughout North America and South America, including in more than 20 of the Pan American countries competing at the Games

The Niagara Escarpment, where the fictional Pachi is from, is a massive forested limestone ridge extending from the Niagara River north to Georgian Bay.

The escarpment is known for its waterfalls, river systems and forests.

Popular porcupine

Pachi accounts for about 30 per cent of all Games merchandise sales, and is the top-seller in the run up to these Games.