Guatemala: Suddenly hostel manager in Semuc Champey

Sometimes it’s really funny what happens when you are travelling without a fixed plan. Arriving in the jungle of Guatemala, becoming friends with the Israeli hostel manager and out of a sudden I am managing the hostel for 1,5 weeks together with his friend Mike while he is on holiday – the first time in ages.

Semuc Champey in Guatemala - awesome hostel, scorpion spiders in the cave, stunning countryside and friendly people
Semuc Champey in Guatemala – awesome time

At the beginning of my trip I never thought that I would manage 30-40 employees, coordinate bookings and deliveries, create working schedules for volunteers and supervise the construction work for the new rooms in a Guatemalian jungle paradise. Most of the work even in Spanish!

Amazing hostel in the jungle
Amazing Greengo’s hostel in the jungle with puppies, homemade pita, hammocks, nice guests and employees

The lovely hostel Greengo’s is located in the middle of the jungle – there is no WiFi – but a bunch of hammocks to chill and relax – if there is time.

Even in paradise the working days as a hostel manager are exhausting with a lot of hours. At 6:15 a.m. I am checking out the first guest as at 6:30 our one and only shuttle bus starts to bring the travellers out of paradise and back to civilization. After a quick shower the restaurant starts with it’s breakfast service which has to be coordinated. Around 9 am our guests are usually starting their trip to Semuc-Champey – an amazing turquoise water paradise.

Semuc Champey and the cave tour
Semuc Champey and the cave tour

After the crowd has left the place I am coordinating the bookings for the following days – as there is no WiFi, no computer, no printer everything with paper and pencil. At 1 p.m. the crowd is coming back for lunch, targeting the reception with numerous questions like cuts at the foot, the right shoes for the afternoon tour or giant spiders in the rooms.

When they are happy after the homemade food of our chef Freddy, the second part oft he tour starts to the nearby caves – a really cool Indiana Jones experience with candles, jumping into waterfalls and swimming in the cave.

Private cave tour with guide and giant scorpion spider
Private cave tour with guide and giant scorpion spider

After having checked that the construction work is all right and the cleaning of the restaurant is in progress it is time for a little nap in the hammock with my favourite dog Charlie.

My favorite dog Charlie
My favorite dog Charlie

At 5 p.m. the busy time of the day starts as all the shuttle busses from Antigua, Flores and Guatemala City are arriving. Up to 25 people want to be checked in at the same time, others want to book a tour, charge their phone in the office, exchange books or rent a volleyball or the Hebrew scrabble game. Besides all that the dinner service is going on.

At the beginning of the evening you never know if it will be a crazy night with beerpong, jenga and 18-year old Australian twins running nacked around the volleyball court or a relaxed night to shut down at 10 p.m. One of us has to stay awake and check in the people of the last shuttles – after midnight without energy with headlight – creative hostel management under jungle conditions.

Hiking with my friend Golan
Hiking with my Israeli friend Golan

What a great time in paradise – when the next WiFi is 45 minutes away, the power does not work 24/7 and the next proper supermarkt can be reached after a 2-3 hours drive on a bumpy road everything works differently – but it works. What an incredible experience for me!

After around one month in Guatemala I had to change my travel plans – instead of Belize I am heading via the Mexican east coast to Cuba. I am curious about the pace over there.