North Africa and the Middle East is where old Mercedes cars have their afterlife. And Central America is where American school buses go to retire. In the balmy tropical climes of places like Guatemala and Honduras, they’re given a new lease on life. Their engines are removed and replaced with beefier truck engines that handle the mountains better. And they get a colorful new custom paint job over that distinctive National School Bus Glossy Yellow (yes, it’s an official color mandated by American law).
Once refitted, they’re let loose on the roads of Central America’s wild west of mass transit. Privately owned, they run specific routes. You pay by the mile. You might end up with a neighbor’s chicken on your lap. And they don’t slow down for much–definitely not for those pesky speed bumps and potholes.
But they’re also a vibrant and beautiful kind of street art.