Honduras vs. Guatemala

After spending almost 6 months in Honduras I feel I have gotten to know it pretty well… and after just 4 days in Guatemala I have already noticed there are a lot of differences between the two neighbouring countries… 

 

  • In Anitgua, you can actually walk into a corner shop (pulperia), rather than talk through bars to order what you want. It was so nice to walk into the shop and choose things, rather than guess as what they have. 
  • The police; they obviously looked different in their uniforms and they were also a lot more approachable. First lesson in Tegus is to not always trust the police… 
  • In Antigua there were families on holiday, rather than just backpackers 
  • The chicken buses are red in Guatemala City, rather than yellow… they also seat a lot less people and feel much safer 
  • Guatemala doesn’t have rapiditos (sob!) but it does have proper buses you would find in Europe, all modern and nice! 
  • The infrastructure of Guatemala is sooo much better, the roads were smooth and the pavements weren’t covered in rubbish. It is really easy to see that Guatemala has a lot more money than Honduras (or at least, less is stolen by it’s government)
  • The buildings in Guat City were generally just a lot better well kept and the new buildings, a lot more modern 
  • Guat City had a lot more statues also 
  • Guatemala was colder!! 
  • Obviously, Guatemala had different brands of beer so while it was scary going from my favourite Salva Vida, it was fun to try the Guatemalan brands, Gallo was niceee! 
  • It was also confusing getting used to the new currency, as 1 Guatemalan Quetzal is about 2.5 Honduran Lempiras… so when it came to paying, we kept forgetting to make calculations and everything seemed like a bargain! 
  • Guatemala has a lot more street lighting 
  • There also seemed to be more small towns in Guatemala, if you drive from Tegus to a smaller place, you won’t really go past towns or villages, whereas Guatemala seemed to have more villages inbetween
  • Moving around Guatemala City was a lot nicer – the roads were organised, without people cutting across suddenly and there was NO CAR HORNS PEEPING!! WOW! 
  • A lot less rubbish in Guat City… there were even people cleaning the pavement when we walked through downtown 
  • People were a lot more friendly generally in Guatemala 
  • The men stared and said things to us a lot less 
  • The taxis – sooo different, every taxi ride in Tegus, you think the car is about to fall apart. The Guatemalan taxis were new and clean! 
  • There was also a lot less guns to be seen which was a nice change
  • And no stray dogs! 
  • The guys who collect money on the chicken buses, weren’t shouting constantly the destination of their bus which can get really annoying in Tegus 

So… it kind of sounds like Guatemala is a lot nicer than Honduras from those few days! And while there are a lot of things that I preferred about Guatemala (particularly no stray dogs and the men being a lot less annoying), Tegus is Tegus and I love it as it is. It is just very clear that Guatemala has a lot more money to invest in its roads, buildings, transports systems etc. Hopefully Honduras will follow eventually… 

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