We speak English, German, Chilean (Spanish), Portuguese, Swedish and French.
When I met Franz from Austria in 1991 while we were both working for the tour operator “Wikinger” in Germany, we immediately knew that we would go some day together to South America. I had been living abroad for many years, first in Sweden and then in Brazil. After finishing my tourism studies in Germany I planned to go back to my favorite country, Brazil. However, now I had met Franz the plans changed: the Brazilian mountains were far too low for him to climb… so we ended up traveling to Chile for 6 months.
I studied Chemistry, but as an enthusiastic mountaineer I soon changed my mind about the kind of job I wanted to do. I traveled for over 10 years as a tour guide to more than 40 countries on all continents. I then decided to specialize in one country instead of continuing to travel. This one country could only be Canada, New Zealand or Chile because of their wonderful natural environments!
So in 1993 together with Kati we came to Chile where we have lived happily right up until now..! That same year we founded our tour operator company, Turismo El Caminante. At first we traveled with all our groups, until we deciding to find our own place to settle down. Our new home was to be what is now the Casa Chueca Hotel.
Michay is our second youngest member of the staff. After learning for a couple of years about tourism, he is already able to lead tours on the property of the Casa Chueca and this in two languages. Further more he is specialist in sweets, animal petting and animation of kid´s.
The origin of my name comes from the Chilean Highland and means in Aymara language the "thought" and "without limits". My job includes the development of a child friendly accommodation and like my name says I already have unlimited ideas.
We met our tour guide Olaf some years ago in Samaipata, where the Austrian owns his own travel agency. Today Olaf forms part of our family and travels as our main tour guide through several countries such as Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. We can not imagine our business without him as our main tour guide.
Frankiboy startet his Chile career with an internship in the Casa Chueca. Now he is running his own company, showing with his tours the most beautiful spots around our accomodation.
Pato came to us as a driver when he was 22 years old. Amazingly, by that age he already had 12 years of driving experience… Over the last eight years he has been able to prove his safe and careful driving abilities on many of our trips from Northern Chile to Patagonia. Nowadays he also takes our groups throughout the continent with our special truck– bus. Our guests also appreciate his abilities as a guide on our day tours which leave from the Casa Chueca Hotel. Pato has learned fluent German from our guests.
Karin Arcos Flores
She is in charge of the administration of the Casa Chueca. Karin also attends our clients, giving explanations about the excursions and being in charge of whatever happens in the hotel and kitchen.
Our Chilean cook Marcia first had to get used to the mainly vegetarian cuisine at our hotel. Thanks to her enthusiasm and talents, many guests prolong their stay for a few more “gourmet days”.
Lucía has been responsible for the cleaning at our home and hotel for several years. Especially in high season this requires a lot of effort from her and her team. Soon she will have a new job, helping to look after our newborn baby.
Yolanda having a lot of work to do keeping the rooms tidy, she decided to live next to the Casa Chueca. So she is not only a room maid but also our neighbour.
Originally he lived as a cowboy up in the Andes mountains, running our mountain lodge for a couple of years. Now he enjoys working in the Casa Chueca in a team and improves his english by chatting with the guests.
Cristián, our gardener, has moved into the first house we built in 1997. At that time we (Franz and Kati) were still sleeping in a tent in our garden, and Cristian was already taking care of all our flowers and trees.
Miguel is actually english teacher but in our Casa Chueca he is teaching spanish to our visitors. Speacially for this lessons we designed a manual for beginners, which is proofed with many satisfied students.
We got to know Sergio as a taxi driver. He is the most punctual person we have met in Chile and provides transport services for our guests between 6 a.m and 2 a.m. He is always in a good mood and very reliable. A real example for our team!
Buff Loca loves bones and every guest arriving at the Casa Chueca. She is an original Andes-dog, came to us a few years ago and is part of the team and familiy despite her escapades.