The Chicken Buses of Central America

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, colorful lease on life.

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.

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman

Photo by David Coleman


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Travel Advice for Guatemala

You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Guatemala (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.

The British and Australian governments offer their own country-specific travel information for Guatemala . You can find the British Government's here and the Australian Government's here.

Health & Vaccinations

The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Guatemala here.

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