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Advice on a respectable Donativo

Seabeggar

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe
#1
What would be a respectable/reasonable donation at hostels using the Donativo system for a pilgrim in employment?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#3
At least the 'going rate' for a private albergue, if not more (to make up for those who do not have either the means or the generosity genes). How much more is up to you. A good question for reflection is what would you pay for a night's lodging elsewhere? If you have more give more - because you're making an offering so the pilgrims coming after you will have a meal and a place to stay.
And really the sky's the limit. :cool:
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Spring 2010), Frances (Spring 2016), Portuguese (May 2018)
#4
My husband and I have been hospitaleros at 3 different donativos. 2 served dinner and breakfast and 1 served only breakfast. We were happy to get an average of 10 euro per pilgrim. So if you can give more please do because some have less to give. As previously stated, what you donate provides the meal for the next group. These donations also cover cleaning supplies, toilet paper, utilities, etc. I remember reading posts in the past that some donativos may be converting over to fee based because donations don't always cover the costs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
#6
Similar to other replies, I would suggest that you consider what you would be paying if you were staying at a private albergue and try to leave a donation equal to that amount or more.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#8
When the Camino is busy and there are queues to stay in the municipal or donativo albergues, I always diverted to a private one as I could afford it. Leaving a spot, perhaps and hopefully for someone that could not.
 

spagirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#9
When the Camino is busy and there are queues to stay in the municipal or donativo albergues, I always diverted to a private one as I could afford it. Leaving a spot, perhaps and hopefully for someone that could not.
My thoughts exactly!

Most of us westerners (particularly if you are from North America ) can afford to be generous if you can afford the flights and costs associated with the Camino. Over the entire cost of your stay in Spain....whats an extra 20-40- 100 euro??? Be generous! You don't know the circumstances of the person coming in behind you.

I was SO angered to hear my lawyer neighbour and his doctor wife bragging over a $100 bottle of wine about how cheap it was to stay in donative albergues!!! Spain's economy is struggling as are many people. There are many pilgrims walking after losing their jobs, farms and businesses. Please be generous. Consider dropping a hundred euro note in one of the boxes. We spend....$200 backpack, $ 100 merino wool icebreaker t-shirts, $ 100 macabre skirts......include a 'gift" of a large donation in your budget.

Be generous!!!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#10
I stayed at the donatives in Najerra, Sto. Domingo, and Astorga. At each one those who were taking our money would not permit us to go over a certain amount -- to avoid ostentation. I recall being quite concerned that the price was far too low (brought 5-7 euros max in 2014), and I stayed only because those were the last beds in town those nights. But generally, I decided to leave the donative's for those who really could not afford higher prices (the youth, some limited income elderly who had really scrimped to get there).
But that's me... and certainly the hospitalieros did not say that those of us who could afford other places were obliged to stay there.
It's a very interesting "exchange" and philosophy ... and suddenly I am thinking about the anthropology of hospitality and exchange.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Second camino Summer 2018. First camino Aug/Sept 2014.
#11
My thoughts exactly!

Most of us westerners (particularly if you are from North America ) can afford to be generous if you can afford the flights and costs associated with the Camino. Over the entire cost of your stay in Spain....whats an extra 20-40- 100 euro??? Be generous! You don't know the circumstances of the person coming in behind you.

I was SO angered to hear my lawyer neighbour and his doctor wife bragging over a $100 bottle of wine about how cheap it was to stay in donative albergues!!! Spain's economy is struggling as are many people. There are many pilgrims walking after losing their jobs, farms and businesses. Please be generous. Consider dropping a hundred euro note in one of the boxes. We spend....$200 backpack, $ 100 merino wool icebreaker t-shirts, $ 100 macabre skirts......include a 'gift" of a large donation in your budget.

Be generous!!!

I agree with you but with one caveat-- some pilgrims from places like North America have saved for years to go to the Camino. They may have borrowed packs from friends and truly are going on a shoestring. While that isn't my reality ( I do have to work serious amounts of overtime for 6 months to get close to covering my costs!), I think we need to be careful about assuming that North American pilgrims are all affluent.

I know you get that, but it's always nice to remind people that the USA of the films is not often reality!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#12
I agree with you but with one caveat-- some pilgrims from places like North America have saved for years to go to the Camino. They may have borrowed packs from friends and truly are going on a shoestring. While that isn't my reality ( I do have to work serious amounts of overtime for 6 months to get close to covering my costs!), I think we need to be careful about assuming that North American pilgrims are all affluent.

I know you get that, but it's always nice to remind people that the USA of the films is not often reality!
True. I met several Americans, mostly in the younger pilgrim set, that were walking the Camino on a tight budget. Staying in the municipals and preparing their meals from things they bought at the market, as it is very much less expensive to do that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#13
When the Camino is busy and there are queues to stay in the municipal or donativo albergues, I always diverted to a private one as I could afford it. Leaving a spot, perhaps and hopefully for someone that could not.
That was exactly my reason for staying in several pensiones towards the end of my Camino last year. Nothing to do with my own comfort, just a selfless act on my part. :p
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#14
My thoughts exactly!

Most of us westerners (particularly if you are from North America ) can afford to be generous if you can afford the flights and costs associated with the Camino. Over the entire cost of your stay in Spain....whats an extra 20-40- 100 euro??? Be generous! You don't know the circumstances of the person coming in behind you.

I was SO angered to hear my lawyer neighbour and his doctor wife bragging over a $100 bottle of wine about how cheap it was to stay in donative albergues!!! Spain's economy is struggling as are many people. There are many pilgrims walking after losing their jobs, farms and businesses. Please be generous. Consider dropping a hundred euro note in one of the boxes. We spend....$200 backpack, $ 100 merino wool icebreaker t-shirts, $ 100 macabre skirts......include a 'gift" of a large donation in your budget.

Be generous!!!
I think if you can afford it than it is great to be generous. I have walked 3 Caminos and I am starting my 4th this year. I try to spend no more than 25 Euros a day, but actually shoot for less. I shop for food and make sandwiches and buy fruit and a candy bar for the next day's walk. I try to eat in Albergues when possible. I leave 7 euros at donativos and I try to stay in them as much as possible. I don't have merino wool or icebreaker t-shirts ( don't even know what icebreaker or macabre skirts are) I am wearing almost all the same clothes I have worn on all three caminos. I wore the same trail runners for the last two caminos that equal about 2000Kms of walking. I did buy new ones for this camino. I have received looks from people when they have seen what I donate and they were not cool! I am retired and on a fixed income and have to cut corners to make sure I can do Caminos which are so important to my mental, physical and spiritual health. Remember what Felix Unger said on the Odd Couple many years ago regarding assumptions!!!! Buen Camino and have a nice holiday.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#15
I think if you can afford it than it is great to be generous. I have walked 3 Caminos and I am starting my 4th this year. I try to spend no more than 25 Euros a day, but actually shoot for less. I shop for food and make sandwiches and buy fruit and a candy bar for the next day's walk. I try to eat in Albergues when possible. I leave 7 euros at donativos and I try to stay in them as much as possible. I don't have merino wool or icebreaker t-shirts ( don't even know what icebreaker or macabre skirts are) I am wearing almost all the same clothes I have worn on all three caminos. I wore the same trail runners for the last two caminos that equal about 2000Kms of walking. I did buy new ones for this camino. I have received looks from people when they have seen what I donate and they were not cool! I am retired and on a fixed income and have to cut corners to make sure I can do Caminos which are so important to my mental, physical and spiritual health. Remember what Felix Unger said on the Odd Couple many years ago regarding assumptions!!!! Buen Camino and have a nice holiday.
I try and advocate on the forum as much as possible that one does not need to spend much money on equipment to walk the Camino, especially the Francais. I do not want any potential pilgrims that come to the forum to have the false impression that they do. You do not need expensive clothing and equipment. You do not need to eat at restaurants or cafes every night. One can easily purchase everything they need to walk the Camino at a discount store. Even order it all online through places like amazon and probably get free shipping. The big outdoor chain stores are great, but can be very expensive. I often see on threads on this forum members discussing backpacks and sleeping bags that cost in excess of 300 euros apiece. The first time I walked the Camino I do not believe my entire kit, including what I was wearing cost 300 euro total. If one can borrow equipment, or buy used equipment that is even better.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#16
My advice, when training or advising prospective pilgrims, was much the same as that given by others-- roughly the same as a private albergue and, if you can, be generous a bit; if money is really tight, then give what you can and pick up the mop! Donativo is not the Spanish word for Free. I suggested as well to a very very prosperous pilgrim that, every now and then and when he feels grateful for his experience that day, he should pop a fifty into the box.
 

spagirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#17
I think if you can afford it than it is great to be generous. I have walked 3 Caminos and I am starting my 4th this year. I try to spend no more than 25 Euros a day, but actually shoot for less. I shop for food and make sandwiches and buy fruit and a candy bar for the next day's walk. I try to eat in Albergues when possible. I leave 7 euros at donativos and I try to stay in them as much as possible. I don't have merino wool or icebreaker t-shirts ( don't even know what icebreaker or macabre skirts are) I am wearing almost all the same clothes I have worn on all three caminos. I wore the same trail runners for the last two caminos that equal about 2000Kms of walking. I did buy new ones for this camino. I have received looks from people when they have seen what I donate and they were not cool! I am retired and on a fixed income and have to cut corners to make sure I can do Caminos which are so important to my mental, physical and spiritual health. Remember what Felix Unger said on the Odd Couple many years ago regarding assumptions!!!! Buen Camino and have a nice holiday.
I guess these are very first world problems.
Being able to have taken 4 walking holidays in Spain is a blessing. I have been saving for thirty years but don't intend to leave a smaller donation than would be required as payment for an Albergue. I believe there is an obligation of stewardship on the Camino. If we want this ancient Way of Saint James to be viable for years to come we need to protect it.
I spoke with a young 20 year old man from New Zealand who put less in the box as a donation but stayed behind to help clean. I think this is an honourable compromise.
 

spagirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#18
My advice, when training or advising prospective pilgrims, was much the same as that given by others-- roughly the same as a private albergue and, if you can, be generous a bit; if money is really tight, then give what you can and pick up the mop! Donativo is not the Spanish word for Free. I suggested as well to a very very prosperous pilgrim that, every now and then and when he feels grateful for his experience that day, he should pop a fifty into the box.
How right you are!
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#19
I guess these are very first world problems.
Being able to have taken 4 walking holidays in Spain is a blessing. I have been saving for thirty years but don't intend to leave a smaller donation than would be required as payment for an Albergue. I believe there is an obligation of stewardship on the Camino. If we want this ancient Way of Saint James to be viable for years to come we need to protect it.
I spoke with a young 20 year old man from New Zealand who put less in the box as a donation but stayed behind to help clean. I think this is an honourable compromise.
I do not think of it as a first or second or any world problem. As each person walks for their own reason each person’s economic or ability to walk is based on factors and situations that have brought each person to this moment is unique. I do not consider, for me, walking for a 4th time a blessing. I had to completely abandon my past work and economic life 7 years ago because I could not live another moment in that world that so many live in. I went from a very comfortable and secure existence to a much more precarious economic reality. But now I have far less economic freedom and virtually little material possessions. But now my life is my own and walking is part of it. I do wheat I need to do. That old world is far away and never missed. So we all should do what we can to give back. Maybe it is cleaning up Albergue or doing something unseen and untold that brings love or support or even a new idea for living or coping in the moment that we quietly share with a friend or stranger. It matters little and is worth even less to verbalize your giving or your contribution. When you’re silent and you look into the eyes of a stranger you’ll know who the true givers are .
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#20
Albergues need money to pay for the water, electricity, gas, maintenance and repairs, cleaning supplies, food if they serve meals. I remember seeing a post that Granon couldn't serve dinner one night because they didn't have enough donations from the night before.
Hopefully pilgrims that have the means and stay at donativos think about the bigger picture about what it takes to keep an albergue running.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#21
Consider dropping a hundred euro note in one of the boxes. We spend....$200 backpack, $ 100 merino wool icebreaker t-shirts, $ 100 macabre skirts......include a 'gift" of a large donation in your budget.

Be generous!!!
I love the idea of dropping a hundred euro note in a particularly nice donativo.
I also love that you misspelled it "macabre skirt." That's what I'm calling them from now on. :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#22
I love the idea of dropping a hundred euro note in a particularly nice donativo.
I think we need to be careful about assuming that North American pilgrims are all affluent.
Both true.
If you can be especially generous, great. If you can't can't, you can't - but do give what you can.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#23
It’s my opinion…the Donativo model of accommodation should not be looked at by a pilgrim as bargain pricing to take advantage of or an opportunity for saving money here to put toward other non-essentials later (more chocolate bars, $100 bottle of wine, beer, souvenirs, etc…)

If you get pleasure from giving (without recognition) then you will know what to give and if you are unsure of the amount, your guide can be the average costs of other Albergues plus dinner (15 – 23 euros). If you stop and think about your donation in purely physical cost/benefit terms, you could probably get a lot more “value” from staying somewhere else. But the biggest benefits or value you get from a donativo are not at all economic. The donative will take care of your most basic physical needs and offers the potential to fulfill some of your non-physical needs.

If you do not get pleasure from anonymously giving but you do love recognition for charitable contributions, please stand up at the end of dinner and announce your donation. Take out a 50 or 100 Euro note and pass it to the host so you can be publicly recognized for your wealth and generosity.

If you are truly unable to afford 5 or 10 euros for accommodation only, then you are the reason that the donativo exists. Give something if possible, even 1 Euro and offer to help the staff if you are physically able to. But don’t feel guilty if you cannot. Contribute by generously spreading your love and humanity among the pilgrims surrounding you, because that is the essence of the Camino…in my opinion.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#24
My thoughts exactly!

Most of us westerners (particularly if you are from North America ) can afford to be generous if you can afford the flights and costs associated with the Camino. Over the entire cost of your stay in Spain....whats an extra 20-40- 100 euro??? Be generous! You don't know the circumstances of the person coming in behind you.

I was SO angered to hear my lawyer neighbour and his doctor wife bragging over a $100 bottle of wine about how cheap it was to stay in donative albergues!!! Spain's economy is struggling as are many people. There are many pilgrims walking after losing their jobs, farms and businesses. Please be generous. Consider dropping a hundred euro note in one of the boxes. We spend....$200 backpack, $ 100 merino wool icebreaker t-shirts, $ 100 macabre skirts......include a 'gift" of a large donation in your budget.

Be generous!!!
Yes, by all means be generous. However I would not limit this to just North America. Yes, we, and many non-european countries i.e., Australians, Koreans, and many others, pay much more to get there. It costs pilgrims from European counties with a good standard of living much less to arrive. No matter...No matter where one comes from remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch when staying at a donativo. For those with limited income, remember the widows mite.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#25
At each one those who were taking our money would not permit us to go over a certain amount -- to avoid ostentation.
All the donativos I have stayed at have a box where the donation (of lack thereof) is anonymous and no one knows what anyone has put in. Also, it is too bad if generosity is equated with ostentation!
 

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