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18-Wheeler Wisdom

The use of the side of an 18-wheeler or bus as a message medium has generally been limited in this country to "Show Me Your Hooters"-type sentiments or bland advertising. There's probably a reason for this. While I'm sure there are plenty of deep-thinking long-haulers out there, for the most part, well...I've seen the kinds of things truckers write on the bathroom walls at Love's. In parts of South America, however, truck and bus drivers are seen as some sort of renegade philosophers, passing wisdom down to the people on the roads through dichos, which translates as amusing expressions or sayings. Dichos are generally hand-painted on the side of trucks or buses by the drivers and impart simple truisms that address love, loss and life in an unlikely but highly visible way. Sadly, this folk art tradition is being phased out by corporate trucking, and the humble dichos will likely be replaced by the scrawled "wash me" directives and mud flap girls that we're used to here in the States. Catch a glimpse of this charming tradition while you still can at Dichos: Words to Live, Love, and Laugh By in Latin America, an exhibition that gathers examples from drivers in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and Panama. Learn more about the dichos and share your own Saturday at noon during the Dichos Exchange in celebration of the exhibit, which runs from Thursday until April 25 at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Visit
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: March 26. Continues through April 26, 2009


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