Chiva bus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Chiva Buses)
Jump to: navigation, search
Chiva Bus
Colombian chiva bus.svg
Overview
Also called Escalera Bus (Ladder Bus)
Production First modification 1922
Designer Luciano Restrepo, Roberto Tisnes
Body and chassis
Class Bus
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout
Platform Blue Bird, Dodge, Ford, among others
Powertrain
Engine Diesel
Transmission Manual transmission
Culture of
Colombia
Sombrero vueltiao stylized.svg

Art
Cinema
Cuisine
Dance
Folklore
Literature
Music
Radio & Television
Sports
Theater

A chiva (Spanish for goat) or escalera (Spanish for ladder and stairs) is an artisan rustic bus used in rural Colombia and Ecuador. Chivas are adapted to rural public transport, especially considering the mountainous geography of the Andean region of these countries.

The buses are varied and characterized by being painted colorfully (usually with the yellow, blue, and red colors of the flags of Ecuador and Colombia) with local arabesques[disambiguation needed] and figures. Most have a ladder to the rack on the roof which is also used for carrying people, livestock and merchandise.[1]

They are built upon a bus chassis with a modified body made out either metal or wood. Seats are bench alike, made out of wood and with doors instead of windows. The owner or driver usually gives the vehicle a unique nickname.[1]

History[edit]

Chivas were first introduced in the Antioquia Department in the early 20th century. Peasants of the region usually relied on horse-drawn vehicles for the transportation of goods and themselves. In 1908 Colombian engineer Luciano Restrepo and Colombian mechanic Roberto Tisnes imported a chassis from the United States. In Medellin they built the first body. This first bus was used in a route between downtown Medellin to the town of El Poblado. The first models were very basic, with a canvas-made roof and four benches. The body of newer models were modified with a roof rack so peasants could transport their goods.

There is no official account of when this kind of bus first arrived in western Antioquia. In the book 'Memories of my land' (Memorias de mi tierra), Colombian writer Alirio Diaz tells about the first vehicles ever to arrive in Antioquia through the Las Palmas Road. The most reliable account is found in the book 'Notes for the History of San Vicente' (Apuntes para la Historia de San Vicente) where Colombian author Ricardo Zuluaga Gil narrates the arrival of the first chiva:

Rear view of a Chiva

The term escalera (ladder) was coined because the buses have a ladder, usually located on the rear of the bus. This ladder allows people to put their belongings and goods on top of the bus. The bus became a rural solution to the need of moving both cargo and passengers simultaneously. The most particular and substantial feature of this buses is the combination of wood and metal. However, the aesthetic interpretation given through the years to this buses became the most cultural trademark of rural Colombia in the early 20th century. This aesthetic approach to a tool that became of utmost importance to the peasants developed naturally and some of them have as of today evolved into actual pieces of art.[2]

Symbol of Colombia and controversy[edit]

Parts of a chiva

Chivas are recognized nationally and internationally as a symbol of Colombian culture, in particular of rural Colombia. On the other hand, they have been controversial and a subject of criticism. The main reason being that chivas rather than being a symbol of Colombia's diverse urban and rural culture, they are instead a symbol of underdevelopment and of the rustic hacking of a machine intended to be used in urban areas.

Today[edit]

Chiva as athem for tourism, entertainment and culture, has designed programs education, for poor children also can be used not only for fun, if not, to learn like a classroom, there, children and know their city travel, learning, mathematics, social, Spanish, standards citizen behavior, driving laws, among others.[3]

The "Jeepao" is a similar version of the chiva, but in a Willies Jeep.

Other locales[edit]

Not only can these unique buses be found in South America, but also other locales including the United States. As the population of Colombian Americans and Ecuadorian Americans has risen in New York City; so has the use of this customized bus. Developed into party buses equipped with their own bar, these can often be found carrying partygoers around the city. Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz arrived in a Chiva for the New York premiere of Charlie's Angels.[4] The party buses are also used in Panama with the term Chiva Parrandera.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (Spanish) Revista Semana: La chiva semana.com Accessed 16 September 2007.
  2. ^ http://www.rldiseno.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=606 Carrocerias de los Buses y el diseno industrial.
  3. ^ http://www.tuschivas.com/index.php?option=com_expose&Itemid=8 Nelson Quiroga, Guia turistico
  4. ^ Vega, Tanzina (2008-03-02). "A Taste of Colombia Rolls Through New York’s Streets". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 

External links[edit]