Panama City: A Ride on a Diablo Rojo (Red Devil)

Apparently, old American school buses are shipped over to Panama and used for public transportation. This is the most sober specimen of such a bus I could find.

Red Devils (Diablo Roho)

Most of them are brightly coloured and decorated. I rather liked the art-work on them.

Panama City Red Devils (Diablo Roho)

There is even a gallery in Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo neighborhood called Diablo Rosso gallery that sells painted bus doors by one of the more popular red devil artists.

I wish I’d taken better pictures of them. They are not only done up on the outside but also decorated inside with all sorts of coloured tape and some sort of furry banners. They also play incredibly loud music inside these buses, mostly spanish hip-hop and Reggae-tone.

I think they’re unique and an interesting addition to the roads, so much better than the usual boring buses we see on the streets. Unfortunately, these red devils are apparently extremely dangerous and have caused many accidents. Not only this, they cause a lot of pollution. As a result, they’re on their way out, being replaced by Government owned, clean, modern new buses.

While these new buses are more environmentally friendly and less likely to causes accidents, I think phasing out the red devils entirely would be a travesty. Perhaps the solution is clean, environmentally friendly buses, driven by well-trained, careful drivers, which are also decorated creatively with wild colours. It isn’t my place to say though. I don’t live in Panama and know very little on the subject, it’s just that I thought they were full of character and quite iconic even.

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