Gertrud's Work & Travel in Arica
Work & Travel 2016
My Working Holiday in the Hostel in Arica in February/March 2016 was totally awesome! Both owners - Ross from New Zealand and Beatriz from Arica – about myage and were very nice and relaxed, even though it was high season and there was really a lot of work to do.
The Hostel was close to the bus terminal,so many guests came spontaneous to ask for rooms,, although most had a reservation. The Hostel consisted of two merging houses with a total of 32 beds, 3 four-bed-rooms, 3 three-bed-rooms, and the others were doublerooms with- or without bathrooms. Guests were free to use the equipped kitchen to cook their meals and since the Hostel lay very close to a market, this was really convenient. My double-bed-room was upstairs, and my bathroom was downstairs - no problem for me, I had a good shower and always hot water.
My daily work started at 6.45 in the morning, when I was in charge of preparing the breakfast. . In the evenings before, we used to set the table and in the mornings, we put the fresh things on the table: milk, yoghurt, cheese, fruits and freshly baked bread. I also cooked coffee and heated the tea water. Breakfast was from 7 o clock until 10 o clock – but some guests stay longer at their tables. There were tables for 10 persons and it rarely happened that guests had to wait. Afterbreakfast,we had to clear away and wash the dishes..
I also did the check outs and when Ross and Beatriz were away, I was in charge of everythingThursdays was my day off, then I used to go onexcursions or just discovering the neighbourhood. So I was able to advise the guests about what to do and where to go very quickly, which was also one of my tasks. The advantage was that I had already worked in San Padro de Atacama – a main destination for many of the guests - s – and also had done the journey to Arequipa / Peru,. The guests always had a lot of questions about the which routes to take or the excursion to the Bolivian border. One of the mostly booked day trips was the excursion to Lago Chungara at 4600 m of altitude. They also had meny questions about how to deal with altitude sickness. For stomach problems I made them some Muna tea. For my boss Ross, communication with the guests was very important, that’s why we offerd a rich breakfast that everyone loved.
The were two other women employed at the hostel, who did the cleaning and washing.
In the middle of March, Beatriz and Ross went on a short holiday and I was left in charge for four days. This was very exciting for me, and I managed it very well. In a hostel, you get to know many different people and their idiosyncrasys. There were a lot of young people but also some older people. For example, there an English-Chilean couple who lived at the hostel for several weeks. I got such a great diversity of experiences and made a lot of friends, it surely was not my last time to be in Chile!
Would you also like to join a Work & Travel program in Chile? Dare yourself!