Part of what makes HI USA hostels such amazing places to stay is the huge variety of common spaces you’ll find there. From shared guest lounges, to industrial kitchens and cozy libraries, to full-fledged community event spaces, our hostels have a room to share. And while you might think those spaces are only for our overnight guests, in HI USA’s gateway cities across the country, we’re working with local organizations big and small to host some pretty amazing events.
The best part? For organizations that are helping our mission of creating a more sustainable, tolerant world, use of our spaces is always free of cost! Here are some of the unique organizations partnering with HI USA hostels across the country.
HI New York City Hostel
HI NYC is lucky to have some big, amazing spaces for its guests to enjoy. But in addition to hosting HI USA events like scholarship celebrations and guest mixers, the hostel opens its doors to other community organizations through its Space Exchange program.
The hostel’s grand ballroom, in particular, is a hit with organizations like Performing Arts Mosaic, a Muslim performing arts organization that hosts a regular storytelling night at the hostel. In exchange for use of the hostel’s space, PAM teaches educational programs on food and culture for hostellers and local New Yorkers at HI NYC. Other local groups using the hostel’s community spaces have focused on issues including environmental sustainability, transgender rights, and immigration.
HI Boston Hostel
Though it’s housed in a historic building, HI Boston hostel opened in 2012, so it’s full of modern, environmentally-friendly spaces for guests and community members to share. At the top of that list are the hostel’s library and community room, where Boston-area non-profits can connect with their local communities, as well the hostel’s community of travelers. Currently, the hostel co-hosts storytelling evenings and other events with the local chapter of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers association, national service organization City Year, and more.
HI San Francisco Hostels
Our San Francisco hostels don’t have dedicated community rooms, but that doesn’t stop them from using the spaces they do have for the community good! Local storytelling organization Beyond Borders, which was started by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to share tales of cross-cultural growth and understanding, holds its story jam practices at HI San Francisco City Center. And Simply the Basics uses HI San Francisco Downtown’s guest dining room for packing parties, putting together bundles of hygiene supplies to take to local community members who are experiencing homelessness.
HI Los Angeles Santa Monica Hostel
HI LA Santa Monica is fortunate to be home to the oldest standing brick building in Santa Monica: the historic Rapp Saloon. While the Rapp hosts tons of events for hostel guests, including weekly comedy nights, its role as a community gathering place is just as important. The local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental organization dedicated to preserving the health of oceans and beaches, holds its regular chapter meetings at the Rapp. And for the past two years, Kizomba Dance has been holding Thursday community dance nights at the Rapp, inviting locals and hostellers alike to join in and learn this popular style of dance from Angola.
HI Washington D.C. Hostel
Each May, HI Washington D.C. partners with Cultural Tourism D.C. to host a multicultural open house in celebration of International Awareness Month. Cultural Tourism D.C. is dedicated to introducing locals and visitors alike to the huge diversity of cultures and experiences in the District’s neighborhoods, so a partnership with HI USA is a natural fit.
Recently, the hostel partnered with World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization founded by chef José Andrés to create solutions to hunger and poverty. Using the hostel kitchen and common spaces, WCK put on a fundraiser dinner featuring Puerto Rican food, wine, and music. Proceeds raised went to fund both WCK’s work and HI USA's Explore the World Scholarships.
HI Chicago hostel
From monthly meetings of the Chicago chapter of Rotaract (Young Professionals of Rotary International), to workshops hosted by the Peace Corps, HI Chicago uses its spaces to welcome local organizations dedicating to making the city and the world better. This large hostel has available spaces ranging from big and open, to small and intimate, so it’s a great fit for all sizes of community gatherings.
HI San Diego Hostels
Between HI San Diego Downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter and HI San Diego Point Loma in a more residential neighborhood, our two San Diego hostels have a wide range of unique spaces available. From spacious dining rooms, to cozy libraries, to an outdoor patio, these two hostels offer great options for small- and medium-sized groups. The two hostels have welcomed events from travel industry groups including Travel Massive and Impact Travel Alliance, hosted storytelling workshops for the San Diego Returned Peace Corps Association, and hosted regular meetings for the Ocean Beach Main Street Association.
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Edible Education: Cooking as a Second Language
From San Francisco to Richmond, Virginia, travelers and community members have been coming together to learn about different cultures by preparing and eating delicious food. Through Cooking as a Second Language, one of HI USA’s growing signature programs, our hostels are using food to help break down barriers and educate people about each other.