We wanted to share with our donors that even though we made huge efforts, negotiating with the owners of the building where we are located, it was impossible to reach and agreement and Volunteer Hostel Closes as of August 26. We will use the funds we collected to pay the employees' end-of-contract fees and to pay the costs of ending our social business.
Volunteer Hostels supported FEM in multiple ways during the past 4 years. We rented the space in June 2015 and will give it back in August 2019. It not only reduced our non-profit's operational costs to ZERO, it also geve us huge office space where Cartagena Insider, Ninha, Boromía, the indigenous communities, Burú and FEM could find workspace, a place to cook and learn, internet and AC. Our guests had the possibility to enjoy interacting with the people, experiences, food and issues of real Cartagena. Many of our guests, entered the hostel as tourists and left as lifetime volunteers for the organization. For all that we tahnk them all.
Yet, gentrification, a slow economy, corruption in public utility services, and price pressure from the platforms that "sell" us, have forced us to close. It makes no sense to deploy a small budget like FEM's, in sustaining the self sustainability strategy. We are all very sad, but there is always good news! FEM will move to a small office near the current office, as Cartagena Insider Tours has grown and can pay its rent. We will not be as surrounded or as comfy, but we will be able to maintain our work with the most vulnerable rural communities of the region. And THAT is our main mission. We hope you continue to support us!