Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chicken Bus II

Chicken buses are the primary means of inter-city travel for the non-car-owning majority of Guatemalans. In one (possibly apocryphal) tale, somebody found the term "chicken bus" offensive, and as a result the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, when warning people to think twice before riding on them, refers to them only as "recycled U.S. school buses." Once they don't meet U.S. age or safety requirements, these school buses are sold at auction, driven overland to Guatemala, and given a little bling. As you can see in the bus to the right of this picture, many are pressed into service before they can get the full extreme makeover treatment. The U.S. flag is a common, if puzzling, motif in chicken bus decor, as seen here on the "Santa Fe."

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