Each and every morning I got up and walked the streets of Antigua. Antigua is not a large city by any means; it’s about 1K on a side, or about 6/10 of a mile. I would walk around the perimeter than snake my way through the streets to get my 5 miles. Each morning from 6 until about 7:30, I was walking. I got to see some of the same people each morning … more familiar strangers, but not all. A few, I recognized, like the couple that I stayed with back in the summer. I stopped and had a chat with them. They were surprised to see me! 🙂
Around 3:30 AM, the buses heading to Guatemala City, or Guate, start moving through the streets. There is an ayudante on each bus. His job is to hang out of the door of the bus and announce, at each block, where the bus is headed. By far, the most popular destination is Guatemala City, the capital. Many folks work there each day. The cost of a ticket is Q10 each way, or about $1.25, but for most Guatemalans, that’s pretty darned expensive, but completely necessary as owning a car is not must of a reality.
Every morning I heard the sounds in that sound bite as I walked. I could even hear, in the early morning, like 5:00 AM, the calls to ride all the way in my room.
It got to be quite comforting to hear this every day … the sounds of normalcy. 🙂 BTW, the very strong-sounding voice is of the lady pictured above. She turned her back on me when she saw me taking pictures, but it was too late! 🙂
All of the buses in Guatemala are tricked-out, former American school buses. For the most part, they have video and/or music on board.