I believe that I do tend to be a voyeur or obsessive observer when it comes to capture the most natural street life scenes. My goal is to capture the intriguing split-second scene. I do not like posed photograph, especially posed street photos because once the subject is aware of the lens the natural feel is lost; the window that I open for you into the daily life of La Antigua Guatemala is broken.
Like Manolo said, with Marimba music as the background for many parties and celebrations around La Antigua Guatemala and the rest of the country, I can almost smell the pine needles under my feet and the tamales and ponche (fruit punch) in the air. Oh what memories… sometimes I even wish I could like this type of music. 🙁
Well, well, what we have here… what’s up with that, why are Guatemalans so enchanted with the infamous chicken bus. I mean what makes Guatemalans take on the crappy junk and retired school buses from up north and give them a second life as public transit chicken bus, mobile libraries chicken bus and now as a marimba orquesta mobile unit chicken bus.
Unless you have taken the path of La Marche de l’empereur, you haven’t heard about how everyone is living a virtual second life through a community web site. Well, old and retired school buses from the U.S. get to live a real second life as camionetas (the street name for public transit buses in Guatemala). Revue Magazine had an in-depth article about The Birth of a Camioneta (available as a PDF download) which detailed step-by-step how an old retired school bus became a powerful camioneta ready for the curvy roads of the mountain ranges of Guatemala.
Guate, Guate, Guate… vamos vaciooossss!
That is what you hear the chicken bus driver’s helper yell out as the omnibus makes its way back into Guatemala City. But there are all kinds of yellings: Antigua, Antigua, Chimal, Chimal, Chichi, Chichi, Xela, Xela and so on.
Guate, Guate, Guate… vamos vaciooossss! Guatemala, Guatemala, Guatemala, we are empty is what the driver’s ayudante (helper) would yell out if they are full, like this.