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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.