The second in my series of articles for The Noise can be found here, on their newly-redesigned website.
We get on the bus before the sun gets on the earth. It’s 4:15am in the dusty Guatemalan city of Santa Elena in El Petén, best known as the service city for the Tikal ruins tourist trade. The bus appears: another big, busted-out old school bus painted in bright colors, which under the bus station’s yellow lights make it look like part of an evil circus.
A man starts calling out its destinations as it coughs and sputters, backing up to the curb. “La Técnica!” is last, it’s the one I’m waiting for along with most people out here, breathing exhaust. The back door is thrown open, the same door I used to practice emergency exits from in elementary school. I grab hold of the bars on either side and pull myself up, my bag and guitar bumping against the sides. (...)