You never tried ride the US school bus? Did you ever thought about trying it one day? Than go to Guatemala and give up on US… Why to Guatemala? In US you will try only “new” version of this bus (if you can call these buses new…). On the other hand in Guatemala you can see only old ones. These buses are here regular public transport in cities and between the cities as well. Because they “play” a bit with the engines buses can go faster, as well they are incredibly packed with people (even 8 people in raw when should sit max 2 people is common thing) and are lovely pained. I think they can even compete for “Most packed public bus” awards in the world. I think that even India would have problem to compete here.
If this is not good enough for you to visit the country than you can be sure that this country has much more to offer. From nice colonial cities, plenty of volcanoes to see or climb (most of them active), strong indigenous culture, in jungle hidden Maya ruins / jungle itself or you can find here even small part of Caribbean coast.
For me the country has special feeling, because except passing by / travelling around I spend here 3 months in school studying Spanish language. Thank to that I had a chance to live with local family and experience a bit different life than I would normally. The country for me is now a bit like second home.
People here are in first contact a bit shy, but if you are open enough and speak some Spanish they are happy to talk with you, share their thoughts, culture or invite you to any celebration which is just taking place close by.
To be honest some people told me that the country is not save, but I never had a problem during my stay. True, first impression when you see cops with gun basically in front of all ATM is not so appealing, but you get use to it and this is what you can see in more countries within Latin America than just in Guatemala.
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