About us

Michael Wurster

Hey there, my name is Mike; after experiencing 17 countries and hosting on Airbnb for three years now, travelling and travellers are a part of who I am. PHI is the next level.

While hosteling out in Japan I met some of the most amazing people from Britain, Australia, Korea, Spain, Germany, and Japan (of course).
From our conversations we were all able to connect on different levels; creating the most unlikely of friendships. Continents away, and we are all still human. Hostels allow these conversations to happen, these friendships to occur, the spontaneous potluck dinners to form. That is the dream behind PHI, and the goal is to give that back to Chicago and the global community.

Jack Hicks

My name is Jack and I'm the resident nerd over at Peace Hostel. I got involved with this project because I think every culture has something to bring to the table, and I want to be a catalyst for them to come together and share this valuable information.

Every year PHI will host travellers in the beds, shuttle people to different city events at no charge, and send people abroad on travel scholarships. The dream is sending groups of four across the country and out of the country, where safe, in order to promote hostel stays and procure real life human connections. Groups will consist of four travellers in total, two guides, and two people who have never traveled before, gifting this experience will change the lives of those traveling and, hopefully, open their minds to possibilities they had never thought of before.

News and events

Interview with HuffPost

I recently sat down with Mike Wurster, Marvin Fourte, Jack Hicks and Brian Lopez, the team behind Peace Hostel International (PHI), a hostel that is much more than just a place to stay...

Read more


Any great idea starts with an experience. Mike had three successful years running AirBnB with his wife and many amazing trips at hostels around the world. After too many conversations with people who did not travel because of their financial situations, Mike took up the idea to create a safe environment where travelers could sleep, eat, work, and converse while also creating experiences for people to visit with different cultures across the United States and the world as a whole; we have a beautiful backyard in the U.S. PHI took the plunge in May 2017, incorporating and became the social enterprise that you see here today.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

-Margaret Mead.

For a more indepth look at how we plan to accomplish this, check out our business plan.

Right now, we need financial backing more than anything. If you know someone who may be interested in helping or if you would like to help yourself please reach out to us at mike@peacehostel.org for an investor package. We are also seeking volunteer workers to help with tours of the city and other programs, and eventually staff once the building actually opens.
PHI is presently working with a real estate agency in Chicago, and we are looking to open our first hostel in the West Loop area of Downtown in the Fulton Market district sometime in April.
We are aware of zoning and other compliances within Chicago (fire codes, sector codes, electrical codes, building codes etc.). PHI is actively seeking a zone of B2.(3, 4, 5) or C2-3.(3,4,5). These types of business and commercial zones promise the usage of our space in the way we see fit for a hostel and co-working space. We are also in contact with union representatives, of 6 years’ experience or more, to assure that before closing a deal and beginning buildout; CO can be achieved. Legally speaking, any agreement with a landlord will include contingencies upon all proper certification acquisition.
One third of what we raise goes into securing a location, taxes, and other fees associated with the real estate aspects (NNN). One half of funds are reserved for buildout of the facility and include furnishings, union installations, and CO approval. With our NFP values, no money is paying board members before the hostel is open.
Because each hostel impacts the community around them specifically, the plan is to never stop building. PHI is currently looking into naming rights for investors, due to its social initiative, and our 10 year plan is to incorporate different chapters within the organization that also promote the mission of inspiring peace through a greater understanding of the world. That’s right, NFP. Want the first PHI hostel to carry a name of your family or loved one? Please contact us.
Peace Hostel was founded in Bloomingdale, IL.
PHI is accepting resumes and cover letters for “staff” (which is loosely defined), tour guides, security personnel, and volunteer staff or tour guides. However, as we have not yet met our funding goal, we are not generating any positions just yet. Every PHI intern and internal help is here for the perks and the mission. It is never a bad thing to apply, and if you decide to do so, please send any CL’s and resumes to mike@peacehostel.org.
Simple: if you are an experienced traveler please let us know that you’d like to lead for us and submit your qualifications to one of our team members.

Interested in supporting us?