Why are the buses called “guagua” in Canary Island?
As Canarian Transfer we are experts in excursions and transfer in Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. Even if the word guagua is really common for us, it always sounds curious to the tourists. Today we are going to explain different theories about the word guagua.
A foreign word
Even if is very common in these islands, the term guagua doesn’t come from the guanche language. Every theory tells the word cames from Cuban lands. The word guagua has been used in Cuba since the 19th century, despite the canarian registers started to use it after another century.
Many theories regarding the word guagua
Many theories tell about the canarian emigrants who were looking for a better life in Cuba from where they took the term guagua.
One of the theories says the word guagua is coming from quechua and means “baby” or “very little child”. It seems that in Cuba they could travel for free on the public transports. This habit is very popular all over the world. So the Cubans coined the term “travel by the guagua” when they were travelling for free or almost for free. That’s why the word guagua is used to talk about a very cheap buses or free ones.
The second theor talks about Americans, who brought some vehicles very similar to the current buses, during the war in Cuba. The english word used to define them was wagon, which became guagua thanks to the phonetic similarity.
A third theory tells there was a transport company for people called “Wa & Wa Co.Inc”. Always because of the phonetic similarity, the company started to be called guagua. Nevertheless, there is not evidence enough to support that theory.
Why the buses in Canary Islands are called guagua
Even if there are many theories nobody knows which one is the most correct. Nevertheless, what is really clear is that is almost impossible to visit Canary Island without hearing the word guagua.
As Canarian Transfer we have modern buses or guaguas, in order to organize all the transfers from/to the airport and the best excursions on the island. What are you waiting to book yours?