So I just got back from Guatemala, a couple of weeks ago (for the 2nd time in a month) and Honduras and wow is all I can say. Talk about an awesome journey that came together serendipitously! After catching an overnight flight, using miles mainly, from LAX I landed in Guatemala City at 6am. From the airport I headed out to catch a cab to the nearest bus station that had buses leaving for the Honduras border. As we traversed the Guatemalan City streets to the bus depot the sights and sounds were quite familiar as I just was in Antigua, Guatemala in October; women along the roadside making fresh tortillas and the hustle and bustle of people starting their day. After arriving to the bus depot, I went in to inquire about the next bus to Honduras only to be told that it had already left for the day and the next wouldn’t be leaving until 6am the next day. Not deterred, I asked where another a bus station was and was told that there was a main line approximately 40 minutes outside of the city so I asked the cab driver to take me there.
Once we arrived at the next bus station I found a bus that had buses leaving for the 6 hour journey that would take me to the Honduran border. So I snapped up a ticket and proceeded on my way. Along the journey to Entre Rios we passed throughout the countryside and made stops at various cafeterias and the food in quintessential Guatemalan style was ‘rico’ and ‘sabroso’. Eating and taking pics along the way, I nodded off and woke up in a small town near the border named ‘Puerto Barrios’. This was let’s just say, an “oh crap where am I at?” kind of moment. Once I got off the bus I asked the driver how I can get back to Entre Rios and he directed me to a van stand that surely went there, but the following morning. Calm, cool and collective (swear, no freak out) I grabbed my phone and began to look up where I was and caught up on my social media.
While scanning through Facebook, I noticed a friend Amy, a black Latina, from LA reached out and said, “Hey if you get a chance to make it to Puerto Barrios, look up my family”. “What the hell are the odds of this happening?” I thought to myself. So as it began to pour down rain outside, I Facebooked her on Messenger and that led to a call asking about her family? As I was talking to her, I thought to myself, "Can this be really happening? What are the odds I have a friend in LA who just happened to see my post, who has family in the town I randomly woke up in?" It was true! Fate had my back (thanks fate, owe you one)! Turns out Amy’s cousin lived a few blocks up from the bus stop I was at and was willing to pick me up and take me to a hotel. It was as though the travels Gods were looking down on me at that moment! After a 15 minute wait, I look outside and low-and-behold her cousin was pulling up and waived with a huge smile. After a brief introduction and conversation, in Spanish of course, I hope in the ride and rolled around Puerto Barrios, checking out the sites, which included some of the familiar sites Amy and her family once lived. As we drove around, I thought to myself this can't be really happening. It was so unplanned, yet so perfect. Tune in later for the rest of the trip, it gets even better :)