PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN GUATEMALA
|Public Buses - Old American School Buses|
Guatemalan bus stations are chaotic and very loud! 30 mins before the bus leaves the bus driver and his assistant keep screaming like hell the name of the destination city to inform and attract the people. For example for Guatemala city they would yell "Guate, Guate, Guateeeee!!!" or for Huehuetango "Huehue, Huehe, Huehueeee!!!". The job of the bus assistant is to collect money from the passengers once the bus has left, is responsible to know when and where the passengers need to get out and he also opens and closes the door. When the driver turns on the engine, it doesn't mean that the bus is leaving physically for sure. The bus is only slowly moving at a speed of 10 km/h all the way through the town while the driver's assistant is yelling out on the street through the open door about a thousand times "Guate, Guate, Guateeee!!!" to fill up the bus as much as possible.
Remember there isn't any seat number limit on the bus... so with a seating capacity of 50 in Guatemala can be easily doubled! Kids sit on their parents' lap and on seat benches for two people there will be sat at least three adults and two kids without counting the numerous bags and briefcases. The others will have to stand. All the way to the end of the journey, even on the main way, the bus keeps stopping to let people down or to pick them up. Official bus stops don't exist, only start and destination point. Moreover the roads (any of them; locals, main roads and highways) are in most places in very bed conditions, especially in the mountainous areas and in the country sides. Often you'll see one side of the road blocked because either on the cliff side the concrete cracked caused by a running soil or on the hill side part of the mountain have collapsed such as stones, earth or tree. Also the roads are full of holes, they go up and down and are plenty of curves. Buses don't hesitate to overtake big tracks on a double line main road, check out the movie and ... GOOD LUCK FOR THOSE WHO GET CARSICK!
|Food Market next to the Bus Station|