Chicken Buses: Loud, Wild and Out of Control
A chicken bus, or “camioneta de pollos” in Spanish, is the fun, colloquial English expression for fancifully painted, modified and decorated public buses that transport people and goods throughout Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. In Panama, however, chicken buses are also sometimes known as “Diablos Rojos.” The Red Devils!
Known for their outrageously fast and dangerous driving, the base vehicle is usually a retired North American “Blue Bird” school bus on a light or medium truck chassis. The word “chicken” may come from the fact that the buses are often completely crammed with passengers, reminiscent of a packed truckload of chickens. Another theory for the name is the custom of Central Americans often transporting live animals on such public buses… including chickens!
Visited in Chapter 32 of The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
An Excerpt from the Book
“As Simon struggled to maintain his composure on the frighteningly rugged winding road, the mechanical beasts repeatedly flew up on his bumper, air horns blaring, coming within inches of collision. Invariably, they’d swerve to pass him at the last possible moment, forcing oncoming drivers to slam on their brakes or veer off the road to avoid being hit. All those who ventured this way were at the mercy of the devil-may-care drivers who carelessly inflicted their hazardous wrath upon the road.
Such is the law of the chicken bus. Anything goes.”
From The Author
“My first ever visit to Central America began in Guatemala. I arrived in the sprawling capital city of Guatemala City with the intention of ‘taking a bus’ to Antigua. I had no clue what I was in store for. When the taxi dropped me at the ‘bus terminal,’ I was immediately overwhelmed by a sprawling parking lot bestrewn with these massive, ornate buses crisscrossing and flying all over the place. Men and boys hung from the open doors yelling the names of destination towns as a plume of dust and smoke filled the air. Finally, locating a bus to Antigua, the next several hours were spent perched precariously atop a large bag of rice in the packed center aisle. As the driver swerved speeding around every turn, I repeatedly found myself in the laps of those packed in around me. Definitely a ‘welcome to Guatemala’ kind of experience!”
Several Books, One Global Adventure
The Travelers Within is a travel adventure fiction series following a motley cast of characters on a wild and profound journey through the bizarre locales, unfamiliar cultures, and perilous dangers of the world.
When office worker, Simon, is unexpectedly thrust into the wilds of Central America, he soon learns to trust his instincts, harness his unknown personal strengths and open himself up to the unlikeliest of friendships along the way. Inspired by extraordinary, real locations and remarkable stories from the road, The Travelers Within is a journey beyond all limits.
BOOK ONE: INTO THE UNKNOWN
NOW AVAILABLE in KINDLE & PAPERBACK
The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
Simon had always followed a typical routine in life. Work, TV, Sleep, Repeat. But when a wild series of events lands him deep in Central America, Simon’s world takes a dramatic turn to the extraordinary. With no previous experience in third world travel, and driven only by a newly ignited lust for life and the need to survive, Simon sets forth on an epic journey through the dangerous mountains of Guatemala, the smuggler’s jungles of Nicaragua, the islands of Honduras and more.
Meeting a wonderful and eclectic cast of characters along the way, Simon eventually links up with Jonah, a young survival expert with a plan as bizarre and terrifying as anything Simon could have ever imagined. Inspired by real places and stories from the road, The Travelers Within is told with intrigue, suspense, humor and insight, capturing a visceral spirit of adventure and bringing out the wanderlust hidden deep within all of us.
“Into The Unknown is an enthralling combination of thriller and travelogue. It’s packed full of incident and exotic scenery, and, as you’re reading, it feels like you’re right there—in every stunning new location, on every new adventure.”
-Sue Paulson, U.K. Readers Digest