Black woman-owned hostel, Ackee Pousada, founded by Carol Damiá, offers an Afro-Brazilian experience in Brazil’s capital, São Paulo.
Damiá opened Ackee Pousada in 2008 and was inspired by the experience of staying in an Afro-Brazilian guest house in São Paulo. It’s located in the city of Olímpia, also known as “The capital of Folklore” for its yearly folklore festival, which celebrates Brazilian folklore traditions. Olímpia is also reportedly considered one of the most important tourist areas in São Paulo, welcoming over two million visitors per year since it became a tourist municipality in 2014.
“Ackee is a place where you can go and feel like family instantly. We created a place that is exciting, special, luxurious and also affordable,” Damiá told Travel Noire. “We also wanted to create a place that supports our Black community and showcases all the beautiful landscapes that Olimpia, known for its complex of parks with thermal waters, has to offer.”
She described the dreamy hostel’s accommodations, which include minibars, swimming pools, an orchard, and much more.
“The hostel has 19 accommodations, all equipped with air conditioning, minibar, TV and individual bathrooms,” Damiá said. “In our living area, we have swimming pools, a whirlpool, a pantry, hammocks, and an orchard that provides us with delicious fruits that are served for our breakfast. The colorful plants and design make the hostel a happy and lively environment that connects with our ancestry.”
She added that Ackee Pousada initially received a small percentage of Black guests, so she made it her duty to change that by ensuring Black travelers are aware that the hostel is safe for them.
“I noticed that we were receiving a very low percentage of Black guests, and this situation bothered me a lot,” Damiá said. “I started to promote the hostel on social media so that I could align my personal values with the hostel…Here, they can relax, interact with each other and connect with the values linked to our Black roots. It is beautiful to see this space filled with children, adults, and elderly people sharing their leisure time.”
She also pointed out that despite the racism in Brazil, she managed to become a Black woman business owner and maintain success throughout the years.
“There aren’t many opportunities to stay at Black-owned businesses in Brazil…We can’t wait to welcome members of our community with open arms.”
Ackee Pousada’s Instagram indicates that the hostel is LGBTQ and pet friendly.
View this post on Instagram