We are travelling now in South America, enjoying very positive experience with WS hosts. However, we were surprised recently by a reply from some of the members to our enquiry about staying with them. We think this is something that touches one of the fundamental rules of this community and we would like to know your opinion whether it is acceptable or not.
The reply was:
"Para poder alojar a todos pedimos una colaboracion de XXX* que son approx. 5 dolares por dia para los gastos que cada uno hace de la casa... Electricidad, agua, internet, productos de limpieza y productos de uso comun.
Aquellos que no puedan pero consideren que pueden colaborar en otra cosa bienvenidos sean..."
Which roughly translates to:
"To be able to accomodate everybody we are asking for collaboration of XXX* which is approx 5 dollars per day for the costs that each one spends for the house... Electricity, water, internet, hygiene products and general use products.
Those who cannot, but are able to collaborate in other way, are welcome."
*XXX was an amount of the local currency.
We of course understand that hosts are in no way obliged to provide all the things listed there and in some places they could cost significant amount of money (to be clear, the place where those members live is actually expensive) but such outright asking for money seems to be against the rule of WS which says:
"Hosts are not allowed to require any payment for the hospitality that they offer other warmshowers members. Guests may help out of course; you can fix a meal, bring some beer, etc."
However the Spanish version of the rules sounds a bit more relaxed and could suggest that approximating the costs of living and asking to pay them in advance is a proper way of handling that:
"No se permite a los anfitriones exigir alguna cuota económica. Hoteles, hostales, etc., caen fuera del rubro de WS. Sin embargo, invitamos a todos los huéspedes a colaborar en la casa de sus anfitriones en lo necesario, preparar una comida o proporcionar alguno de los consumibles durante su estancia."
To spice things up, we sent our first request to people who had a family profile at WS and described themselves as cyclists wich quite a lot of experience. During the conversation which followed they changed their profile completely to one describing an establishment called "casa ciclista" and openly asking for the contribution on their main page.
Finally, we haven't visited them.