Towards a learning experience other cultures or to cut household costs increasingly staying Uruguayan tourists; a practice which is common in Europe.
Each guest has his key.
02 feb 2014
Eleven years ago, Rosario felt her nest was empty. She had just separated and also one of her three children had become independent. But the call from a friend, a teacher at an American university, calmed her feeling: "There is an exchange student and they are looking for accommodation in Montevideo, do you have place?".
So it was that came Ana, a Bulgarian who was awarded a scholarship for academic merit to pursue studies in the United States who came to Uruguay to strengthen their Spanish. So much interest in learning about local idiosyncrasies that the first days traveling by bus just to chat with the locals. And shared with family rituals Rosario Creoles. She knows that: is the great-niece of Gerardo Mattos Rodriguez, author of La Cumparsita, and this first experience with a stranger at home found that likes to show Uruguayan culture to others.
Not only that, she also fell in love with the story of humility that brought her guest, the memories of the "milanesas" made with potato peels or bedroom she shared with her mother for lack of space. All stories that were teaching their children and "a way to travel without leaving home."
Since then, the house of Pocitos paraded guests from all continents. First, those who came for an exchange, were housed as if they were a son. "If my children could go dancing, guests also. If I washed clothes to one, to the other also," she says. She went on to a system less "attachment", where visitors share household expenses (not charge a flat fee like a hotel) but have full independence.
Reach it recommended by universities or academies teaching Spanish in Uruguay and, of course, the classic "word of mouth". Some stay a few days, others for months. "In February and July, when they are about to start semester in college, are the peaks of calls," she explains, "and sometimes derive to a friend's house to take place." So unwittingly were forming a network.
"It is an increasingly common practice, which is not regulated in the country but that long ago in Europe," said Benjamin Liberoff, director of Tourism. In fact, it is common to find "many Germans" because they are used there.
Systems accommodation in family homes are as varied as the diversity of guests. Some people choose to charge the price of the room, there are those who simply share household expenses, those who choose to participate in exchanges in which the guest pay absolutely nothing and becomes "a son's" or more sophisticated networks as Couchsurfing, which -has 9,500 members in Montevideo-, where travelers with people willing to offer "a couch" in their homes, or at least a walk through the city, provided they contact without paying. In embodiments in which no monetary exchange, host families receive an extra entry and a way to leverage the available space. For guests, it is a more affordable accommodation, as always be more affordable than a hotel.
"Generally come with romantic ideas. Early days want to know the basics of the city (historic sites) and rites. Prefer But then approach the family life, so choose this mode," says Rosario.
A German, not a student but retired, was the one who gave the name to the Bed and Breakfast (B & B) Una Noche Más. Such ventures, including bed and breakfast, is another type of accommodation that allows live abroad staying with a local family.
Benny, the name of this German, stayed three months at the home of Euduardo and Carla. Along with the host used to talk every day for two hours, drinking wine. He did not know Spanish and English, and she did not handle the German. "It was a genuine dialogue where communication transcends language," says Eduardo, who was watching from outside. Is that the possibility of these gatherings become attached to the host is dormant. "Every time someone comes is an expectation to see how will" admits Carla.
Una noche más emerged after the 2002 crisis. Eduardo had a big house, four bedrooms, in Punta Carretas, and could tell he was not giving proper use. Carla, her friend, had just separated from her partner. That's when the homeowner recalled that on a trip to Thailand he stayed in the house of a family. Over the day began offering his house in the tourist circuits and then on the Internet.
"Breakfast is always set. I prepared when I can mate and I like to tell foreigners all the myths and stories of this ritual," says Carla. She and Eduardo practice reiki, a practice that the duo applies in relation to its guests, understanding each conversation as a possible instance of growth.
"When I count that we never wanted for anything from home do not believe me, but more than ten years to share the bathroom with people from other places there never was a robbery," says Eduardo.
Except for the rooms of the hosts, they really share all with their guests: invite them to their friends home, to travel and to spend new year in community. Anyway, by its own diversity, "good first establish house rules," says Carla. "Hygiene is critical and if a party is with outsiders is always good warning." Although each has its own key.
Coincidence or not, both as Eduardo Rosario and Carla have the book to hand Sebastian Beltrame wrote about tourist destinations in Uruguay. He also knows what it is foreigners stay in their home. "Now is running a German I met in a shelter," says show host, and admits he has been in non-kinship homes in other countries.
"I can contact you with other ways of thinking and those who have children is a way to know another culture." In fact some of his guests have made him know rites and dishes that would never have tried otherwise. "Something for everyone" says. It's a matter of "stop thinking that those who get inside house make misconduct."