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Old 12-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #1
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Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

Last night I found an interesting documentary movie on Netflix. It's about the journey of a decommissioned school bus from the United States to Guatemala, where it's renovated and resurrected as a brightly colored vehicle that transports Guatemalans to work each day. It starts off with the purchase of the bus from 422 bus auctions, and goes through the entire renovation. If you have a Netflix streaming account it's an interesting watch!

The name of the movie is La Camioneta.
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

I saw the same thing the other night. I was in Guatemala a couple years ago building an aquaponics system and saw these buses firsthand. This is one of the things that sold me on the skoolie platform seeing how well they serve in very harsh environments. They really deck them out!! Very colorful and a total expressions of their individuality. It's kinda like what they do with their clothes. What looks like a random pattern to an outsider is actually how people know what family each other is from. It's like a visual surname. Seems their buses are kinda the same.
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

I was in Guatemala earlier this year.. I actually rode the "chicken buses" quite a bit ..from Guatemala all the way to Nicaragua. And I would recommend everyone on this site experience them at least once. I was told the name chicken bus comes from how they used to be used to transport chickens, then the seats were put back in and now they are used for public transportation.

It's quite a sight, they are all decked out like a Mexican low rider with all the bells and whistles (literally), and covered in looney tunes stickers as well as stickers about Jesus and Guadeloupe in Espinosa , always packed with way more than the max capacity. I've seen every seat with at least 3-4 people and the isle packed and at least 5 locals hangin off the back and sides, sometimes even riding on top with all the luggage. Not to mention the driver always has his right hand man who rides (stands) shotgun with the door always open half hanging out when they pull over to pick someone up, whistling and hurrying each passenger on to the bus (sometimes without even combing to a complete stop).

Yea, it's hard to really explain the feeling you get riding a chicken bus in Central America..

Google "chicken buses"
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:18 PM   #4
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Re: Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

I've been hearing for years about used buses being taken to South America, but I didn't realize they were using them in a transit type service once they arrived. I just assumed they were using them for schools. One of the things I'd been told was they were only interested in manual shift, not the automatics. If that's the case, they must be having a hard time these days finding a manual. I haven't seen a manual shift school bus in our area since the 80's. The bus they bought in the movie was a stick though, so I guess some localities still buy them.

I was also surprised to see they use the standard school bus seats. For adults, it's hard to get more than two people on one of those seats. And, there isn't much room between them either.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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Re: Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

Quote:
it's hard to get more than two people on one of those seats. And, there isn't much room between them either.
I take it you've never been to a developing country? I had a Mitsubishi Delica van once in Kenya. Cool little thing with a 2.5L turbo diesel and 4WD we named the little Rhino as it would climb almost anything. I was visiting a project and offered to allow a couple elderly people to ride rather than walk to a place we were going. Before I could get the door closed we had to have had at least 12 people pile into it!! I actually had to have a bunch of them finally get out because we were high centering!! Believe me, they can get 4 people in each seat in these places.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

Kinda puts life in perspective, eh?
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:48 PM   #7
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Re: Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

Thanks for the heads up, it was a very cool watch !!
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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Re: Documentary of a School Bus Renovation on Netflix

put into "my list"

Thanks
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