Message sent to volunteers confirmed for the WSF.
We would like to explain the current situation regarding housing. We know you all are interested to know where you will be staying during the WSF in POA.
First, we must give you a little historical background on hotels in POA.. In April of this year, two large travel agencies of Porto Alegre booked almost all the hotels rooms in Porto Alegre, and they are now selling the reservations at outrageous prices. For instance, the daily fee of a double room late January in a two-star hotel was USD20 in May, and now it is being sold for USD80!
We were able to book a small number of double rooms in some hotels, but we will mainly rely on solidarity housing, as we did in the ESF 2003 in Paris, for most of the volunteers.
Solidarity housing means that people from Porto Alegre will be welcoming one or two interpreters in their homes. You will have private rooms in which you will be able to rest after work, as well as breakfast. You will be put in contact with the person with whom you will be staying later in January.
We have also secured a number of beds in collective housing in a calm place in the middle of the woods with a swimming pool nearby.
We are also looking at other alternatives: we are trying to rent apartments which can house 5 to 6 people in neighbourhoods close to the WSF territory.
As you know, the WSF does not have millions to spend in hotel rooms that are being rented at four times their normal price. By relying on solidarity housing and collective accommodation, we are showing hotels and travel agencies who try to milk tourists and activists from around the world that another world is possible.
You will receive more detailed information on housing later in January.