Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22 - Bus Strike

On this day, I was going to travel to Lake Atitlan, my plan was to study Spanish for five days while sitting beside the lake, I was also going to visit the surrounding villages. During the 36 year civil war (1960 - 1996), which is Latin America’s longest civil war, much of the struggle occurred in this area where Mayan people still wear their traditional costumes and eke out a meagre existance.

Civil war is over, but civil unrest continues. I couldn’t leave for Lake Atitlan because Guatemalan bus drivers held an illegal strike, blocking the road to Guatemala City's airport, also the road to Lake Atitlan.

In Guatemala, as in Mexico, a strike cannot take place without the permission of the government. Soldiers were called in, a bus driver was shot dead, the roadblocks removed, and by afternoon traffic was back to normal.

People trying to get to Guatemala City to catch flights missed them. Tour operators were frantic. I went to the tour operator I used to get back my $25 guide fee, and to book a spot on a collectivo for the next day.

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