Chaos in Guatemala

Driving in Guatemala is extremely difficult. In comparison, driving in the United States is like driving go-karts. There are many deep-rooted issues that prevent Guatemala from having a working traffic system. Guatemala City was not designed to grow at the rate that it did. It was originally designed as a town where everyone would walk, but the world evolves. Now the roads are filled with cars that struggle to move because of the poor city planning.

The most noticeable aspect of the Guatemalan road system is the traffic. All major roads are connected, and when one gets backed up it causes a city-wide blockage. Every day in the mornings and afternoons, it is nearly impossible to get anywhere. There is always traffic. The rise in traffic over the recent years has caused some people to start driving motorcycles. which has caused many car accidents.

Roads are constantly being redesigned or fixed as well, which adds to the traffic. The constant car accidents cause traffic. Virtually any slight issue causes traffic. It is extremely difficult to get anywhere in Guatemala. But hopefully with time and improvements, the roads will clear up.

The legal age to access the jungle that is the Guatemalan road system is sixteen. You must be sixteen to get you Guatemalan license and it is not very difficult to acquire. All that is required is to take a simple driving exam with a stick shift car. You can learn to drive with your parents, a guardian, or a legal instructor.

The speed limit on major roads is always around 60 kilometers per hour (usually cars don’t reach this speed because of the traffic). Less traveled roads range from 20-40 kilometers per hour. The roads curve and rise because the city of Guatemala is built over mountains. Having a limit that is not too high helps reduce the amount of accidents that occur in this extreme environment.

Overall it’s an interesting driving experience.

written by Isaac R. – edited by Myia M.