A chicken bus (Spanish: “camioneta de pollos” or “trambilla”, the latter a hypercorrection of “tranvía”) is a colloquial English name for a colorful, modified and decorated bus that transports goods and people between communities in various Latin American countries, especially Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.
How does this work?
Often two young men will partner in the operation of a bus, one of whom will have his license, while the other dubs himself the ayudante or “helper”. The ayudante is responsible for passengers and luggage, collecting money, and organizing the suitcases, livestock, or produce, etc. onto the roof of the bus–often while in motion. Loudly announcing destinations the bus is reaching is also a responsibility.