Have you ever driven past a parking lot full of old school buses and wondered what becomes of them in their old age? Well, they don’t just sit around in a junkyard forever. You might be interested to learn about what Guatemalans call “chicken buses.”
Once an American school bus has been shuttling kids around from home to school to soccer games for about ten years, or when they reach about 150,000 miles on their odometers, they’re resold to places like Guatemala where they’re prepared for their “second lives.”
After some engine rebuilds, seating reconfigurations, and some seriously cool paint jobs, these yellow student-carriers are turned into off-roading buses that carry Guatemalans and their belongings from rural areas into city centers, where they trade goods to make money, go to work, go to school and live their lives.
The name “chicken bus” may come from one of two places—some say that the buses are called “chicken buses” by the locals because they are so packed with people they look like livestock trucks. Others say that these buses earned their name because they are often actually used to transport live animals, like chickens.
Either way, these very special buses, are given colorful new lives in South America thanks to the efforts of their devoted drivers. Although if you take a look at the video below, I think you’ll agree our kids’ school bus drivers tend to play it a little safer when it comes to obeying the rules of the road!