Not Your Typical Hostel

Warm Heart Guest House in Mexico City

When I tell people that I plan to be traveling solo for 8 months, one of the things people will ask me is “won’t you be lonely traveling by yourself?”

That’s certainly a possibility and I will no doubt miss my family and friends, but traveling is what you make of it. One way to be lonely is to get a hotel room every night and not talk to anyone. Personally I think you miss out on so much by doing that. Traveling solo doesn’t mean you’re always solo.

I’ve written about Couchsurfing on here but I wanted to write about the gem of a place I found in Mexico City and the amazing people who live there. Through the blog and the Places Beyond Facebook Page I have been asking people for suggestions for places to stay, if they have family or friends I could stay with or even just meet along my route. When I asked about Mexico City I got connected with a friend of a friend of a friends guest house called Warm Heart. I looked at their Facebook Page and it sounded like the kinda place and people I would enjoy spending time with.

Warm Heart Guest House is located in the village of Coyoacán, which is one of the oldest areas of Mexico City. Close to the metro, great restaurants, museums, and anything else you could want, it’s the ideal place. Away from the chaos of centro Mexico City but if you want it, you’re only a few minutes away.

As soon as I arrived I knew this place was different. Warm Heart was started by Cynthia a little over a year ago. She wanted to open a hostel that provided a place for people to experience life in Mexico City and if they wanted, get connected with different opportunities to help the local communities. With the energy, ambition, skills, and support from family and friends, her dream became a reality.

Working along side Cynthia are three other equally amazing staff to work on the day to day operations of the house. I met Edgar, Isabel, and Chelsea the first night I arrived and enjoyed the next few days with them.

The guest house has a couple of dorm rooms with bunk beds, a shared bathroom, and a community kitchen. The tiles of the kitchen and bathroom walls are covered in quotes and messages.

Hostel wall wisdom. So True.

Hostel wall wisdom. So True.

Forget the stale bread and cheap juice that every other hostel gives you, Warm Heart serves up french toast or eggs, coffee, tea, and fresh bread.
Tuesday night is Waffle Night. I made sure to be back in time to not miss out. I was glad I did because on the night I was there it was pumpkin waffle night.

Edgar preparing for the famous Waffle Night

Edgar preparing for the famous Waffle Night

IMG_0388

Chelsea does everything with a smile. Even while washing dishes.

The first thing that stood out to me about being at Warm Heart was how caring the staff was. I don’t mean they just cared after me and the other guests, but outside their jobs they cared about the people in their communities, especially those in need. An example is every week the staff organizes an art therapy workshop at a nearby home for young girls and women with mental challenges, many of whom have been physically and sexually abused.

Isabel and Chelsea asked if I would like to come help and even though I know nothing about painting, I wanted to at least pass out paint brushes and hang out with the people who lived at the home. I didn’t know what to expect from the night but by the end I was so thankful they invited me. For the few hours we were at the home, the room was filled with laughter. Looking around as Chelsea led the workshop, the girls smiled as they painted scenes of birds, the sun, and flowers. Just as the sun always shines again and flowers grow after winter, we can all have new beginnings after going through different storms in life. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve been in a room filled with so much joy. Just being around that is infectious.

IMG_7093

IMG_7090

IMG_7096

On my last night in Mexico I walked into the living room where I was surprised with a choir of 10 people singing happy birthday. I blew out my birthday candle and made a wish. Thanks Warm Heart friends!

My pumpkin muffin birthday muffin. Complete with both the Mexican and American Happy Birthday songs.

My pumpkin muffin birthday muffin. Complete with both the Mexican and American Happy Birthday songs.

Afterward, we played Monopoly and nothing can prepare you for how the game is played here. Alliances, backdoor deals, shifty property sales, and high interest loans make Monopoly here unforgettable and if you’re competitive, extremely frustrated.

Anything is possible when playing Monopoly in Mexico City

Anything is possible when playing Monopoly in Mexico City

Monopoly

Monopoly in Mexico City knows no rules

On my last morning at Warm Heart I was going to leave early to drive to Oaxaca, but Isabel made french toast, so obviously I stayed a few more hours and enjoyed the morning chatting with everyone. If I had stayed at a hotel or anywhere else I would have missed out on meeting these amazing people and experiencing a different part of life in Mexico City. So while I’m technically traveling solo, I’m making new friends along my way. Your travels are what you make of them.

Edgar, me, Isabel, and Chelsea

Edgar, me, Isabel, and Chelsea

warm heart 3

Loaded up with my rain gear just behind me because it’s Mexico and apparently it loves to rain when I ride.

And I'm off to Oaxaca!

And I’m off to Oaxaca!

Just relying on word of mouth, Warm Heart gets a steady stream of people from all over. If you’re passing through Mexico City or maybe you’re already there but looking for a place to stay or get connected with volunteer opportunities, contact Cynthia at cynthia.ramirezmartinez AT gmail DOT com. Once again this isn’t your typical hostel, it’s so much more. Thanks Will R. for connecting me with your friends in Mexico City.

Comments

  1. Betsy Ifuku says

    Cynthia is my cousin’s daughter and I am so proud to claim that!!! I’ve had the opportunity to visit twice and they are phenomenal!!!

  2. Nadia says

    Thank you for this article about warm heart Hostel. I dont know you, I even don’t know where you are from. But the experience you made in the hostel and you positive descriptions were helpful for me. I’m from germany and I’m thinking about volunteer work there. regards from nadia

Trackbacks

  1. […] Among the hilarious, intelligent, and loving guests we have had here are our recent highlights: Dan Ford On an 8 month motorcycle from California to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina our new friend is stayed with us while in Mexico City for a few days. Determined to cross this daring feat of his bucket list, raise money against sex trafficking for IJM, and have a powerful encounter with God we were honored to host him. Pray that he would find what he is looking for and that the Lord would protect him on this dangerous trek. Check out what Dan wrote about us on his website “The first thing that stood out to me about being at Warm Heart was how caring the staff was. I don’t mean they just cared after me and the other guests, but outside their jobs they cared about the people in their communities, especially those in need.” http://placesbeyond.com/typical-hostel/ […]

Leave a Reply to Betsy Ifuku Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>