In Guatemala we do a lot of recycling, not out of conscience, but rather out of necessity. We recycle retired school buses and turn them into colorful and powerful public transit buses known in derogatory terms as chicken buses. Some of these recycled buses have become mobile libraries or marimba orchestra buses. In other words, retired school buses from up north get to live a second life; a more productive life, down in the Guatemalan jungles and hi-lands.
The same goes for many retired vehicles from the rich north which are rodados (rolled) across the U.S., Mexico and Guatemala to live a second life. Rodados is the term used in Guatemala to designate old vehicles or crashed vehicles which were driven or towed all the way south into Guatemala.
The same goes for books, magazines, computers, and a very long et-cetera all the way to second or third hand clothes known as pacas for clothes that come in pallets.
If it wasn’t for all this recycling, sometimes, it feels like we are the big backyard dump for our neighbors from way up north; sort of a black hole where you can throw away all your trash, never to be seen again.
Out of sight, out of conscience!
Heck, sometimes we even do some local recycling too. For instance, all those empty hard liquor bottles can have a fulfilling second life as salt and pepper shakers.
What I like about the people of Café No Sé is that they know when they are onto something; at once they apply the Café No Sé branding, and just in case, they make sure it is registered. These are my kind of hippies! ;-)
For all those Guatemalan ex-pats out there in the world, what kind memories do you get from seeing these Venado bottles?
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