Chicken buses in Central America

Here in Central America there are not too many options when it comes to HOW to travel. In a few places there are shuttle buses or ferrys, but most of the time the only option is the chicken bus. These buses are old school buses from North America and the name “chicken bus” comes from that people often take live animals with them in the bus.

The sign “school bus” is still in big print on some of the buses, together with some really nice decorations, usually in the form of religious stickers that are unique for every bus. There are always a “throw in” guy working on the bus that shouts the destination (or a short version of it) out of the open front door of the bus to people on the street. The speakers inside the bus is loadly pumping out music of all kind, everything from Mano Chao and Bob Marley to reggeaton and dancehall. People are speaking loudly and the athmosphere is social and warm, as well as the temperature. Every window is pulled down and delivers a strong wind draught in the face as long as the bus is moving. When the bus however stops it´s like sitting inside an owen with sweat running down your back. Luckely enough the bus seldom stops more then a few seonds at a time to let people on or off the bus. Even on a 6 hour ride you can not be sure that there will be a break for food or toilet visit, and if there is, the “toilet” is usually a forest if you are lucky, or the side of the bus.

Now and then not only normal travelers (which is you and the locals) jump on the bus but also a bunch of street food sellers. These sometimes even follow the bus to the next stop while in the meanwhile offer you food like homemade tortillas and fruit in plastic bags, together with water or juice that also comes in plastic bags here with a straw. For the price of 60 cent you can easily get something good to eat together with something to remove your thirst.

All trash, that is, plastic bags, are thrown out of the windor which of course results in a lot of trash along the roads, which probably in the end washes out in the ocean and gets collected in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

I usually clean up the ocean when going scuba diving or snorkeling, but when seing the ocean in a lot of places here it is easy to loose the idea that that will make any change.

Back to the subject, here are some pictures of chicken buses from Central America:

Chicken bus: Belize "school bus"

Chicken bus Central America

Chicken bus change wheel

Chicken bus: chicken in box

Chicken bus in El Salvador with surfing decals

Chicken bus with food sellers

Chicken bus free rider

Chicken bus Honduras

Chicken bus in Honduras with fried bananas and chili

Chicken bus: inside panorama

Chicken bus in Nicaragua decorated

Chicken bus in Nicaragua, dog & message

Chicken bus in Nicaragua with hands

Chicken bus in Nicaragua, inside

Chicken bus in Nicaragua with food- and drink sellers

Chicken bus on backyard

Chicken bus with people on roof

Chicken bus: police sleeping with shotgun in his face

Chicken bus Rabinal (Guatemala) with Jesus hood

Chicken bus crossing river with ferry

Chicken bus river crossing

Chicken bus, sleeping man

Chicken bus with smiling man & Jesus

Chicken bus smoke

Chicken buses Belize

Chicken buses Central America

Chicken buses Guatemala

Chicken buses, Esteli - Matagalpa luggage


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