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Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Interviu magazine, publication, Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
Interviu magazine, publication, Inout Hostel, Barcelona, May 2014
College of Journalists of Catalonia, Barcelona, November 2014

A 45 STAR HOTEL


INOUT HOSTEL, the first hospitality service in Europe where 99% of its workforce is made up of disabled workers, runs the risk of closing due to lack of treasury.



INOUT HOSTEL is a special hotel and catering work center opened in 2004 by Icària Iniciatives Socials, a non-profit organization. The charm of this hostel lies in its endearing workers and its surroundings, as well as its atypical decoration, which has made it the first European tourist complex of these characteristics. Of the 45 hired workers, 44 have disabilities, mostly intellectual, and perform tasks in reception, restaurant, cleaning and gardening. The environment consists of three buildings located in five hectares of garden and forest within the natural park of Collserola, Barcelona. The complex has accommodation for almost 200 people in shared rooms of 4, 6 and 10 beds, multipurpose rooms, swimming pool, sports court, space for playground, library, computers, parking and free Wi-Fi, as well as a restaurant with windows to the park of Collserola and spacious terraces. “There is a lot of peace in this place. I have been traveling through many European capitals and I was already tired of people. This is like an oasis in the middle of the desert, ”says Agustín, an Argentine tourist. All the material of the hostel is recycled (it comes from other hotels or individuals) and it is the workers themselves who are in charge of the decoration. Also, the facilities and colors are not randomized but are for the staff to be better oriented. Some relatives work as volunteers in INOUT in restaurant, gardening or maintenance tasks.

The objectives of INOUT HOSTEL are to offer the best service and generate a sufficient level of resources to obtain benefits, obtaining customer satisfaction scores above 80%. Webs like Hostelword, Booking, Hostel Bookers or Hosteling International, give them an 8.2 out of 10 (four stars). Users highlight the cleanliness and good treatment of the staff. In addition, INOUT HOSTEL has the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and this year has received the Hoscar Award, which recognizes the quality of the best hostels worldwide. Another challenge of INOUT HOSTEL, already achieved, is that the client does not realize the disability of all workers. “We are very happy to be here. I had not realized that all staff are disabled. Now that I know ... there is no problem. It is something big. There is no difference. The people are very nice ”, explain Rafael and Enmanuel, French tourists.

Currently, due to the crisis and the cuts, INOUT HOSTEL runs the risk of closing due to lack of liquidity. On June 9, a crowdfunding (collective financing) was opened to raise the 130,000 euros needed to reach December without suspending payments. They have obtained something more than 70,000 euros, which allows them to arrive until September. As explained by Mª José, founder of Icària Iniciatives Socials, an entity to which INOUT belongs, “Since 2010 all revenues have fallen. After four years of losses, this 2014 the hostel will be in positive numbers but there is a lack of cash to continue paying employees until the end of the year. In 2015 the situation would stabilize significantly. ” INOUT has 3 types of income: public subsidies, business donations and own invoicing. Monica, a morning waitress for 10 years, has been deaf since she was 18 but speaks perfectly because she has an auditory memory. She studied Art History, although he wanted to study Fine Arts. She worked in the exhibition hall of Caixa Forum Tarragona but the work did not fill her and she left for Barcelona. FUNDOSA (Disability Job Board) sent it to INOUT. She almost refused to work because she had nothing to do with his studies but she met his disabled colleagues and they became his family. Monica acknowledges that “it would be a shame if they had to close the shelter because the psychically disabled would not have other opportunities. Who was going to hire a 30 or 40 year old woman with Down syndrome? If this closes it would be impossible to relocate them. The work that is done here with the boys is fascinating. They are perfectly capable of working and organize very well with each other. On a personal level, the contribution is fascinating. ” Some workers, such as Ivana, an intellectual disabled person who works as a waitress in the late-night service, remain optimistic about it: “I would be very sorry if this was closed. With how good we are here! We are not going to unemployment because this is going to go forward ”

The physically disabled workers of INOUT HOSTEL are more concerned with their intellectual disabled colleagues than themselves if the shelter had to close. Busian, of Berber origin, married with 4 children, has been working for 6 years in the night shift performing multiple tasks as a waiter, guard and cleaning. He has a recognized disability due to severe allergic asthma that developed the chemicals of the textile factory where he was working for 25 years. FUNDOSA sent it also to INOUT. "It's great to work here," says Busian. “They see me come in and they are already hugging me. The children love me very much, the only thing is that you have to be very patient. I would be very sorry that INOUT had to close ... for the boys. They must be given many facilities. At home the world would sink over them. For them it is like being from colonies, they are among friends and it gives them life.” Some intellectual disabled employees stay as clients at INOUT HOSTEL when they have vacations. Although, "I'm better working here than on vacation," says Sergio.

These 44 disabled employees are an example to society for the value and courage they show. Alex, night waiter, was born with a malformation in his hand. He studied Renewable Energies but has never dedicated himself to it. He worked at the CARES Foundation with children with intellectual disabilities in his charge. But, he had a friend working at INOUT and decided to change jobs for the environment. “People are great. I love the surroundings. Working here heals everything. My physical deficiency has never limited me, vice versa: I have always looked forward and searched for new ways out. I have many ideas that I want to put into practice. I love climbing and, although it was hard, I am now federated. I think that any person's disability may be more psychic than physical. With willpower, everything can be overcome. If you want to pull forward, you just do it. ” Abderrahim has been working as a morning waiter at INOUT for 9 years. Following an accident he lacks half an arm. “People are not valued until this happens (disability). We are all the same: we do not lack the strength or desire to carry out any task. It is difficult to work with Down Syndromes but it is admirable to give them this opportunity. It's hard to teach them, sometimes you lose your temper ... In spite of everything, I wouldn't trade it for any other job. ”

The work that these disabled people do in INOUT HOSTEL is essential for them because it helps them feel useful. Nacho and Laia are Down Syndrome and a partner for 8 years. Nacho has been working at the hostel for 10 years. Previously, he participated in the Catalan TV3 series Secrets de Família. And, Laia, his girlfriend, has been cleaning at the lodge for 6 years: "I fell in love with him at age 11 when I saw him on the series". “We are a team, a family. If they closed it would be a shame, I would go to the unemployment line and who would give me work? ”, Declares Nacho. Likewise, Mireia, an intellectual handicapped person (Williams syndrome) who has been working in cleaning for 10 years in the shelter, affirms that “It is beautiful to work here because I am facing customers. Work for me is essential since it helps me to grow as a person. I feel a great sadness for what is happening. If they close the shelter my life would be a bore. I could not be at home. Here we are all like family. The work of MªJosé and the whole team is very beautiful ”. INOUT HOSTEL is, in short, the way intellectual disabled people have to relate to the world.

Text: Eva Rubio | Photography: Michel Martinez B.