My Week: Jorge Silva, hotelier in Mexico City

As the number of swine flu cases rises, a hotelier in Mexico City describes how he and his guests have been coping in this rapidly emptying capital


Monday


I wake up, have some coffee and go to the office in my small hotel that I run in Colonia Condesa in Mexico City. I receive a lot of emails with concerns about the swine flu and people cancelling their trips. I tell them that I understand the situation and we are happy to refund their deposits.

We have about 25 guests staying. As all the restaurants are closed, including ours, we allow the guests to bring back food from the supermarket and cook the food in our restaurant's kitchen. We try to make all the guests feel welcome and comfortable. We play music and games and we all have a drink. Some of the guests put on masks when they leave the hotel but we're certainly not wearing them here. A lot of our guests' flights are being cancelled.

Tuesday

I go to the market and buy all the flowers, fruit and meat for the house. The city is a lot quieter: there's less traffic, fewer people on the streets. My friends come over after work and we order pizza, open a bottle of wine and all chat and entertain the guests. We talk about the flu virus; it's affected everyone's lives but everyone is very cool about it. No one feels in danger. Despite living in Mexico City I don't know anyone who has actually got the flu, so I don't feel worried about it.



Wednesday

I serve breakfast to all the guests. I haven't changed my routine. The only thing is every day we get less and less busy. I'm a bit worried about business. Last week we were in the process of hiring a manager, but I wondered if I should wait. I hire him anyway; it's a good time to reorganise the hotel and it's so quiet he can learn how to run the place. We will be ready to go when people come back to Mexico. As everything is closed, people are spending more time at the hotel so we have to entertain our guests. The precautions the government has taken is creating a little paranoia. Of course the government would rather do too much than too little, but sometimes I feel that closing the museums and restaurants is definitely scaring people. The tourists are disappointed too.



Thursday

We only have three guests left now. I have to tell the cleaning lady that as we're getting so few customers she should take some time off and see what happens. We cook a pasta dinner for the final guests and we have some wine and a chat.



Friday

I wake up early and watch the news to see what's going on but it's pretty much the same. My last three guests leave today. The new manager is starting so I show him the ropes. We think we might throw a party tomorrow night as the place will be empty. Besides, there's nowhere to go – everything's been closed down. I think it will take a couple of months to get tourists coming back to Mexico. But I'm not worried about the situation; it will all be over soon.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower