La Casita del Chato & what it's all about
Long time no news from CConTheRoad – but we’re still in South America. Not so much on the road anymore though. After visiting Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley around Cusco, we returned to this beautiful city one more time… at least that’s what we thought! We found a small, basic hostel in the historic city center. We actually only wanted to rest for a couple of days before hitting the road again – but of course it came different! The family that ran the hostel showed us around in their house and we ended the ‘tour’ in a small juice bar, which at this point was shut down. They told us that they built everything themselves and that the previous tenant left just a little while ago – so everything was in place, they just needed someone to run the juice bar. Chris was joking around that we could do it and all in a sudden they got serious After sleeping over the idea once, making some calculations, and talking a lot – we simply said ‘YES!’.
Us not having a clue about fresh fruit juices, the project was not very successful in the beginning. But we set up our own menu, creating some great recipes, and got better and better in making really good juice! Meanwhile we were still living in the hostel, which was pretty empty – as we were a little bored not having too many customers we decided to help out in the hostel. And after a few days the hostel was booked completely, which pretty much stayed like this since this point in time.
Well to cut the story short: Now we own and run a juice bar and manage a small family style hostel in the historic city center of Cusco. We grew closer and closer with the family – we became God parents of their older son, and their newly born baby son (28th of February, 2013) was named after Chris!
So now that everyone knows what we’re doing – there is one more thing we’ve started just a little while ago: a Crowdfunding project. A short explanation about Crowdfunding: one has an idea – can be anything, in our case it is our hostel ‘La Casita del Chato’ – and looks for some people that would like to invest a into that project. The idea is not to find a few investors with a lot of money, but to find a lot of investors with a little money. And the intention behind investing is not getting the money back, but to receive some benefits once the project is carried out.
So check out our project – and watch the video, it was taken by some of our guests! And maybe you would like to contribute as well (bank info and benefits are listed below).
La Casita del Chato – A backpacker’s home
Since the very beginning our hostel has always been a place where everyone feels welcome, where everyone feels comfortable, where everyone feels a bit like – home. The guests enjoy the relaxed atmosphere; they like to chat with us, hang out, and get information from other travellers. To put it in a nutshell – they love it! And this is what drives us, what tells us that we’re doing a great job and that we started an amazing project – and what makes us want to move on. But therefore, we need your help.
The idea of Crowdfunding
The concept of crowdfunding was actually brought to us by one of our guests – he told us about it and immediately convinced us that it would be perfect for our project. And that’s the great thing about our place: The travellers who come here want to participate, they want to help, they want to contribute. And they already did – so many people helped renovating, painting, they played concerts and showed their magic tricks at our place, or simply helped us cleaning the dishes when we were in a hurry - and even the video above was made by and with our guests, and is accompanied by the music of a Columbian band who played a show at the hostel. With crowdfunding, we would like to take this approach a step further – giving everyone who likes our project and would like to contribute, the opportunity to do so.
What we want
With the money raised through crowdfunding, we would like to make improvements in the hostel, while at the same time allowing us to maintain the economic price for our guests. We do not want to use it to make the hostel bigger or increase capacity, neither to increase our profits, but to improve the quality of our services. What we want is to make La Casita del Chato more comfortable, prettier, safer and greener.
We want to be safer
We are going to invest the money in a new entrance gate to the hostel’s patio, allowing us to lock the hostel properly during the night. Furthermore, we are going to change all doors of the dormitories, which are going to be equipped with security locks instead of the padlocks we are using now. And we’re going to buy personal lockers for the dorms, so every guest can store his or her backpack in a safe place. Last but not least we want to fix the stairs, because right now they’re really steep and we don’t want anyone to get hurt.
We want to be more comfortable
With the money raised we want to build a proper reception and also a common area where people can hang out, relax or chat with other guests. We’re going to renovate the bathroom and also build a second one, in order to increase the convenience and comfort for everyone. We also plan to invest in a washing machine – at the moment the cleaning lady still has to wash the sheets of 20 beds by hand!
We want to be greener
One of the major investments will be the solar panel shower that we’re going to install. This way we’re not only eliminating our emissions, but are also able to offer hot showers 24 hours a day. In addition, we want to set up a water purification filter, so people can fill up their bottles with clean water instead of buying bottled water.
We want to be prettier
The renovations will include new painting of the outside walls and the fixing of the floors of the walkways. Furthermore, we would like to transform the patios into a garden or terrace where people can hang out and enjoy the sun.
If you would love to help make the story of La Casita del Chato a success, this is your chance to do so. Not only will we share the progress of the project with you, we also invite you to come to Cusco to have a look. Words cannot describe what La Casita del Chato feels like – you have to experience it yourself.
How to contribute
If you would like to contribute to the success of La Casita del Chato, you can make your donation to the account below. The amounts afterwards are suggestions and offer you the respective rewards in exchange, but feel free to contribute as little or as much as you want. Very important: Please write your email-address in the "purpose/comment" section while making the transaction, in order to keep you updated about the progress of the project!
Note: Our crowdfunding project is running until May 31, 2013.
Account holder: Conny Schmutzer
Bank institute: UniCredit Bank Austria AG
Purpose / Verwendungszweck: Your email address
Please consider that this is an Austrian bank account, regarding possible banking fees. If you would like to make your contribution via other channels (e.g. WesternUnion, PayPal) see below, or please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you wish to make your contribution via WesternUnion, please send the money to Conny Schmutzer in Cusco, Peru. Afterwards, please send us an email to email@example.com including the transaction number, so we can retrieve the money.
Please send your payment via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be aware of possible small fees for international transactions (the account is from Peru).
Thanks you very much for your support!!!
All rewards are transferable!
Your name on the “supporters’ wall” in the hostel; regular email update including the progress of the project, pictures, videos, recipes from our juice bar or the Peruvian cuisine, stories and more… until the termination of the crowdfunding project
Same rewards as € 10 contributors; 2 overnight stays at the hostel including breakfast
(can be 2 nights for one person or one night for 2 persons)
Same rewards as € 10 contributors; 6 overnight stays at the hostel including breakfast
(can be 6 nights for one person or three nights for 2 persons)
Same rewards as € 50 contributors; + full day excursion in or around Cusco with one of the hostel staff members
Same rewards as € 100 contributors each year life long
(valid as long as the hostel is running, maximum 20 years)