Ellen Kok

Photographer and Writer
  
With God and Ayudante Across Guatemala
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Nationality: Netherlands
Biography: Ellen Kok is a photographer and writer from the Netherlands, who combines photo essays with written stories. She builds long-lasting relationships with her subjects, often following them for years. Her photography is based on trust and intimacy.... MORE
Public Story
With God and Ayudante Across Guatemala
Copyright Ellen Kok 2024
Date of Work Feb 2007 - Feb 2007
Updated Feb 2007
Location Guatemala
Topics Belief, Christianity, Culture, Culture stories, Documentary, Editorial, Faith, Guatemala, International Stories, Latin America, Personal Projects, Photography, Transportation, Travel
The bus is the most important means of public transportation in Guatemala. Often these are retired American school buses, which are auctioned off after around 10 years or 150,000 miles.There’s an entire enterprise of people who travel to these auctions to acquire them for $2000 or less, then drive them back to Guatemala or other Central American countries, where their familiar yellow paint is replaced by colorful decorations and windshields and backsides are adorned with Christian slogans.

Locally, the buses are called camionetas, but tourists know them as Chicken Buses, modified to be able to transport people as well as goods – and chickens. The bus driver, the pilote, is mostly also the owner of the vehicle. He is assisted by an ayudante, who sells tickets and loads goods. The bus is also a kind of mobile store. In exchange for a free lunch, the driver allows all kinds of vendors to peddle their merchandise during the journey from one town to another. Even a preacher boards to preach the gospel.


With this photo story a longer written text is available.
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With God and Ayudante Across Guatemala by Ellen Kok
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