Dirty Hot Dogs, Weapon Shipments, and Gothic Churches

Armed Men Protect Guns
Automatic Weapon Shipment Convoy

Four of us packed into a tiny car for a driving tour around Guatemala City. The rules for auto travel in the city are: lock your doors, roll the windows up halfway, and don’t stop too close to the car in front of you.

These rules are to protect against possible dirt-bike bandits. I’m not trying to scare anyone, the city is much safer than the press makes it out to be. Odds are good that absolutely nothing bad will happen. But “Be Prepared” is a fantastic motto that should be practiced at all times.

I could shoot them, but I’d have to do it quick.

The men in the photo above were part of a 3 truck police convoy that was delivering guns to some unknown location. The truck in front of this one had a blue tarp covering the bulging cargo. You could see the guns under the tarp. I wasn’t sure if I could take a photo of them without getting in trouble, but our guide Manuel said it was fine. I could shoot them, but I’d have to do it quick.

Gothic Yurrita Church Guatemala
Yurrita Churc

We parked the car and walked to a gothic looking church up the street to take some photos. The cross at the top was having some issues, which just added to it’s character. But now everyone was hungry, and it was time to eat.

Our destination was an area known for it’s shuco or “dirty one”. Hotdog vendor gangs stand in the middle of the street, running after cars to sell them the delicious treats. Every street corner has it’s own team of vendors trying to outdo each other. We pulled over and ordered 3 Schwarzeneggers, for $20 Quetzales ($2.50 US) each. But you really get two hot dogs, not just one.

Shuco Hot Dog
Manuel Showing Off His Shuco

Despite its name, the hot dogs are amazing. After stuffing ourselves, we headed to a supermarket so I could pick up some toiletries that I was missing due to the checked baggage predicament. At the supermarket, we ran into a group of women walking inside.

All 5 of them had fake a**es! I’m not lying. They had butt implants, and it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. I was told they were models that were working at an auto race that weekend. Unfortunately, I wasn’t brave enough to whip out my camera, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Travel Planning Resources

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera gear, and other useful travel accessories.

Book Your Flight

Book cheap flights on Skyscanner, my favorite airline search engine to find deals. Also read my tips for how I find the cheapest flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Book Accommodation

Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. Or rent local apartments on Airbnb ($35 discount!). Read my post for tips on booking cheap hotels.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance.

READ NEXT: Exploring Mexico’s Secret River


Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 10 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, beautiful photos, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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