Living in Honduras and Guatemala is sometimes hard, mostly fun but never boring. Here some of my musings on life in this colourful part of the world where you can always expect the unexpected. Hence Serendipity, the gift of finding without seeking…

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Puma, Nike and Jesus

Whereas buses in Guatemala are beautifully decorated in vibrant colours, the Honduran transporters prefer a different style: slogans! And it’s not just the slogan that matters, the font is just as important! Sticky letters have taken over painted texts. The Coca Cola font is very popular, as is any letter type that appears to melt or has blood dripping from the letters. Spelling is not a big issue and often words are creatively adapted to the space they need to fit in (or maybe to save on a few letters). Who cares that “Río Amarillo” is being spelled as “Río Amarío”? You save two letters and the pronunciation is the same!

Here some slogans that I’ve seen driving around town:  

I’m on my way, cry-babies!

You suffer just watching me

Losers, here I come!

Only God knows if I’ll come back

May God give you what you wish to me

I trust that God will protect us on the road

I love the odd combination of macho flirtatious show-off behaviour with religious awe, often decorated by logos of well-known sport brands, Puma and Nike being the most popular. I’m not sure what the connection is between Puma and God, or Nike and Jesus for that matter, but they often go together. “Jesus loves me”, it says on the window of a big bus, in funky graffiti-like letters. In the corner the Puma logo.
Or another intriguing one: a Nike swoosh with above the words ”Jesus live”. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be English (Jesus lives, maybe?) or that it refers to a live performance of Jesus in a Nike commercial. Or maybe it is simply misspelled Spanish, meaning to say “Jesús vive”.

Silhouettes of shapely naked ladies are popular too, of course, as are Playboy bunnies. But religious imagery predominates. Apparently you can now order any image you like and have it printed at any desirable size. Even if the proportions of the window or door that needs to be covered are a far cry from the original image. Hence the many very broad-faced Jesuses and Marias stretched out over the whole width or length of a car. It looks a bit silly to me, but I seem to be the only one to notice anyway. 

The slogan thing is not just limited to buses, coasters or vans. The moto-taxis in town are covered too, so are many personal cars. I even noticed that my assistant Toño covered the front of his motorbike with inspiring lecture. It almost makes me wish I had a car of own.

You’ll cry when I leave!

No capacity . I believe in God - Because you'll grow - If only God is Great - Obsession (Photo by Gustavo Poublanc)

Matter of Faith (Photo by Gustavo Poublanc)

Who better than Adam, who had no Mother-in-law (Photo by Gustavo Poublanc)