Field report


You can't describe Antigua in words. My subjective experiences were so varied and intense that I can only say about Antigua what others have said before me: The city is incredibly colorful, in architecture, people, cuisine and culture.

November 2018 - January 2019

In November 2018, I traveled to Guatemala with WanderWorld Travel and stayed in Antigua until January 2019 before continuing my journey to Mexico. WanderWorld Travel took care of my accommodation and my new workplace, and I was able to bring in my own wishes regarding my time in Guatemala. My job at the hostel was exactly the right place for me. I would like to tell you about my time at the hostel in Antigua and perhaps inspire you to take a closer look at working in a hostel in Latin America.


My preparation time

Before I became aware of Wanderworld Travel, I was more or less focused on my A-levels. After that, I traveled a bit in Europe, worked a bit and flew to Australia for a month. As part of my professional orientation and the detailed planning of my gap year, I discovered the Wanderworld Travel website by chance and came across the unbeatable offer to come to Guatemala and Mexico.

Before my departure, surprisingly trivial things kept me busy. Firstly, I became more aware of how and in what way the trip could change me - let's say in my personal environment; I automatically began to appreciate everything that was previously commonplace and taken for granted. Among other things, I doubted my material and mental preparation for the trip. And before I set off for Hamburg, I was filled with excitement and uncertainty. However, as soon as I was on the plane from Amsterdam to Panama City, the uncertainty disappeared and excitement about my new life spread. And I felt that the first plane in Hamburg was the moment when I was faced with the decision to jump or not. And in the end I jumped - I wouldn't be myself without this experience. And it's important to take the plunge and fully embrace the anticipation. The mindset is everything. Traveling has its low points and you may have to struggle through a lot, but it's worth every single one of those amazing experiences and people you have and meet.

The first days

My arrival followed a relaxed flight via Panama City. When I passed through immigration in the evening, my Guatemalan contact, Alejandro, was already at the terminal and took me to Antigua in his private car. Our conversations were thoroughly open and cordial, informative and he provided me with the most important information. In the following days of my introduction, I took part in a six-day private language course. My teacher was very friendly and our class discussions covered not only grammar and fluency but also personal anecdotes, excursions into Guatemalan history and much more. During my first few days at Selina Antigua, I had enough free time to explore the city on my own.

A day in the Hostel Experience project

The hostel chain of my new workplace is currently only represented in Latin America, but the first hostels are soon to be opened in Europe. Originating in Panama City, the chain grew rapidly in Latin America and is now unique in its size with over 20 locations worldwide. Almost two thirds of the hostel employees are volunteers - young people who work for their accommodation and meals. Volunteers have a wide variety of tasks. From customer service at reception to bartending, everything is included. You work eight hours a day, five days a week. You are rewarded with free drinks, three meals and comfortable accommodation in shared rooms with the other volunteers.

My favorite place

You can't describe Antigua in words. My subjective experiences were so varied and intense that I can only say about Antigua what others have said before me: The city is incredibly colorful, in architecture, people, cuisine and culture. Coffee, the smell of roasted vegetables, fresh air and a blue sky. There is a lot of traffic and there is always an immense background noise - but the hostel garden is like an oasis compared to life in the city. At night, there are parties, long evenings with wine and local food and ultimately always an incredible starry sky.

Why I love Latin America

I really liked Antigua and I can definitely recommend Guatemala as a travel destination. The tourist centers and backpacker strongholds in particular can be visited during the day without any problems or worries. At night, you are well advised as a group and you should always pay attention to your gut feeling. But, and this is particularly important for parents at this point, the people down there are all helpful and open. They are not at all threatening. You are treated with respect and no matter where you are, it is safe. Guatemala has changed a lot since the war - and a curious and open generation of Guatemalans is meeting a wave of cosmopolitan, interested and travel-loving backpackers. If you haven't seen Guatemala in your life, you've missed out.

Would you like to find out more about our programs?



Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

Lisa, Coordinator & Participant Support 

Amanda, Support and advice before departure


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