Sunday September 17, 2017
Life inside a travelling school bus powered by vegetable oil
more stories from this episode
- Put him on trial or send him home: Michael Enright on the appalling treatment of Hassan Diab
- A scathing indictment of Canada's prisons, after 30 years working 'down inside'
- 'Excommunicate me from the church of social justice': an activist's plea for change
- Landing pages, overlays and sticky bars — a bluffer's guide to 'tech talk'
- There is no such thing as the 'white race' — or any other race, says historian
- What's causing Canada's housing crisis?
- Life inside a travelling school bus powered by vegetable oil
- Full Episode
Nestled between rows of lush coffee plants, just outside a village in the Chiriqui mountains of Panama, there really is a magic school bus.
Not the one from the beloved children's story.
There's no Ms. Frizzle, and this bus doesn't go on science expeditions.
But it is a wildly colourful 1979 supercoach with the name Soulfire painted across the front.
It has travelled over 30,000 miles — from Oregon to Colombia — with an engine that runs on vegetable oil.
And its denizens do have adventures.
Over 200 artists and musicians have been part of its mission to promote environmental change and sustainability. They support themselves by performing — cumbia, afro-latino, and reggae music.
But at the heart of Soulfire is a mother-son team, Andrea and Cooper Morgan.
Backpacker and producer Brittany Amodeo encountered them in Boquete Panama, where they were preparing to leave for a new continent: South America. They'd been parked in Boquete for the better part of a year, next to the home of an Indigenous family who worked on a coffee plantation.
Click 'listen' above to hear Brittany's documentary "The Magic School Bus."