This is how I was greeted, after climbing a Mayan pyramid ruin in Copan/Honduras and looked through the forest. Makes me remember the Fawkes, the Phoenix, from Harry Potter series, especially when they were gliding through the air with their long tail. They live around 60 years, with only one mate, which they also share food together. Quite inspirational, that they’re flying freely over the lands of their ancestors, where they were considered sacred by Mayans
Happy new year from Honduras with the mascots of the country 😇Such an ending to a year to watch these birds fly freely in their own nature in forest, whose presence fill me with great amount of peace and hope.
This is how I was greeted, after climbing a Maya pyramid ruin in Copan/Honduras and looked through the forest. Makes me remember the Fawkes, the Phoenix, from Harry Potter series, especially when they were gliding through the air with their long tail. They live around 60 years, with only one mate, which they also share food together. Quite inspirational, that they’re flying freely over the lands of their ancestors, where they were considered sacred by Mayas.
But nobody told me that 5 chickenbus/minibus (dolmuş) changes, then a pickup rear deck, transferring to Guatemala again from El Salvador before Honduras, for only 180 km, 7.5 hours of travel.
It was so fearful to pass the border at night alone and seeing there’re no busses, just some mafia looking police officers who wants to overcharge you in the middle of darkness to transfer you with their cars for only 10 km. Luckily miracles happen, like a Guatemalan international truck driver that I’ve met on the route in a minibus, who arranged me a free ride with his excellent local skills from a passing pickup in the darkness.
As soon as i reached my hostel, quickly bought a Hondureño rum and a cigar to relax and forget everything, which stole 10 years from my heart&life xD
Ogulcan Temiz El Salvador coffee, dance of the hammocks, distant brothers, el baile de las hamacas, el salvador, fast food, gangs, guatemala, hermanos lejanos, honduras, narcos, nicaragua, protection, wage 0
What I learned from El Salvadoreños in a few days:
-Their friendship is without benefits. They are one of the people that affected me most with their gracious, helpful and pure soul, talking naturally.
-No, El Salvador isn’t really dangerous if you don’t act dumb.
-80 percent of agriculture come from Honduras and Guatemala. Because agriculture producers doesn’t want to take risk in sudden weather changes, where their 3-4 months of effort sinks in 1 day. Meat comes from Nicaragua, fruits&veggies from Guatemala.
-There’re 1.5 mil of them in US; they send about 4.2 billions $ per year to El Salvador to their families. (233$ per person per month). It’s much in here.
-Coffee values ~8$ per 50 kilo by worker. The owner of farm sells it for 130$ to New York City. Coffee shops in NYC sells it for 800-1200$.
-Farms produce 100 bags of 50 kilos coffee per year.
-9 coffee trees produce 50kg coffee.
-From Nicaragua and Honduras, people come here to collect coffee. Because El Salvadoreños in US send money to family.
-Young people don’t go to school or educate themselves; just wait for money from US every month. So they join gangs in their free times.
-Because people send many dollars from US, in 2001 El Salvador changed currency to USD, as the banks were continuously exchanging money.
-Min wage is 8 $ per day.
-People can’t read coins of USD. There aren’t significant numbers on coins. They understand from size of the coin.
-Everywhere is filled with fast food restaurants from USD. Compared to wages in here they are very expensive. Even expensive than US. You can get same things from street for 6-7 times cheaper.
-But those US fastfood restaurants are full of people inside. Because people like to live US life they see in movies. So, natural fruits&veggies are seen as poor people’s food. Exactly opposite to Europe: Natural food in markets are very valuable. Fastfood is poor people’s food.
-Hermanos Lejanos (Distant Brothers): The nickname of the best quality coffee in El Salvador. Because best quality of coffee is exported to US, then sent back to here. Like El Salvadoreños living in US are sending money to here.
-El Baile de las hamacas (Dance of the hammocks): San Salvador is always shaken by small earthquakes in surrounding volcanos. This’s it’s nickname.
-Source of the gangs in here is US, the 2nd gen El Salvadoreños. They join street gangs in US. Polices catch them between gang fights, sending illegal El Salvadoreños to their home. The bus they take after they arrive to the airport, ends in central plaza of the San Salvador…
-They create their own gangs/groups in here, slowly expanding, continue fighting against each other and to the police.
-In Mercado, sellers pay about 5$ “protection money” to gangs. That’s why, they don’t oftenly write names&signs of hostels (small businesses) on walls and normal people don’t know about them. You need to know their address and push the bell.
-Companies can’t grow large. If they do, they take attention, paying high rates of money to gangs.
-%90 of murders can’t be solved, because people are feared to witness. This country needs more dedectives. But even they have a family that they have to look after…
Ogulcan Temiz Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras belize, bus, chicken bus, drift, drifting, el salvador, fast and furious, fast&furious, guatemala, honduras, maya, modification, modify, need for speed, nicaragua, panama, reggaeton, school bus, villager 0
Do you want to experience “Fast&Furious” movies in a more realistic way, instead in front of TV screen?
In the place of sending retired US school buses to scrap, they are driven to Guatemala (or various Latin American countries like Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama) for less than 2000$ USD at auctions.
Drivers modify interior and exterior of them, adding extra seats, painting colorful decals, stickers and lighting, like you would do in “Need for Speed” games.
Then it’s time to open full sound Reggaeton inside that will pump you with energy and the macho soul of Fast&Furious. We are now ready to go full speed in the road, overtake normal sedan cars, corner sharply that you’ll think you’re actually drifting.
The most important thing is, people use it ecologically, by filling 2 person seats with 3 people. Villagers can carry their living chickens, or they can fill the bus with people like packed chickens. But be careful with your belongings, that it’s fairly easy to get your things stolen in this bus; or sometimes in big crazy cities (like Guatemala City), gangs stop these buses in their gang territory and take valuables of people like you’re in 1800s Wild West. In this case, may the Biblical writings near the driver window may help you.
After 3 months in Antigua, I have to say “Adios” to Guatemala, but after visiting a few more places. I feel delighted to be able to create connections confidently to people in streets in Spanish, after reaching intermediate level (like to doctors while i was under serum treatment today in hospital, a few minutes before writing this😂).
Needlessly to say, i have to come back again to Guatemala in future, the land of eternal spring. But this time, spending more time and interest in its diverse indigenous communities scattered around the country; and of course filling my luggage with their colorful traditional handcrafts.
Now, it’s time to open doors to Belize-> El Salvador-> Honduras-> Nicaragua-> Costa Rica-> Panama, for one of my greatest life education contrary to an university with colorless laws and orders which actually took years away from my life under stress, far away to my nature at least, under the promise of that they tell me “but you’ll be happy in future”, when i won’t have time to be independent or have energy. Let’s be happy now, i don’t know what future will bring. The memories of today will provide me the strength I will need for tomorrow and give me a happy life instead of far away doubtful promises.
This journey actually started as a protest by me, against me