A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Donativo - How much is enough/too much?

Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I am being amused by all the earnest attempts to calculate the value of a night in a donativo, and inspired by the spiritual and profound responses we are getting from those who serve in them. Yes, it may be worthwhile to consider whether you are taking the bed of someone who cannot afford to sleep anywhere else, if you are largely measuring your own worth in money. But when I read Robo's responses, and keeping in mind his many thoughtful contributions to this forum, I find myself thinking that it is not right that his sense of fairness should always deprive us of his presence at the donativo. You are worth much more to us than the money you might donate.
Ah. But you haven't heard my snoring!
Or singing! :eek:

I just genuinely worry about the owners not getting enough income. :(
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
Do you know how the donativo thing started?
Twenty five or thirty years ago a drunk english man arrived at Grañon; in the cold nigth he took shelter in the main door of the church, (there was not albergue there in those years) but the priest guided him to his house, gave him some soup and a bed to sleep. Next morning when the priest coked the breakfast found the bagabond had left the house. Ripped sheeds on the bed and... 1.200 pesetas ( 7.5 euros more or less) on the pillow. The priest searched for the man in the town, on the roads, asked at hospitals and towns near Grañon, asked the Guardia Civil... successless. He thougt to himself that maybe this man would return asking for his money, and put it inside a box.
Years later a group of volunters inspired for that priest (doctors, lawyers, salesmen, employees, etc) working with theirs hands, asking for donations, crowfunding, etc, restored the old building where today is Grañon´s albergue. The first of July of this year, they were commemorated that 21 years ago the first five pilgrims inagurated this place. From this very moment until today, in the box of donativos of this albergue there are 7 euros and twenty cents waiting for the man who generously paid for a bed and dinner in Grañon.
Sometimes (seldom) the hospitaleros find the box of donations empty. They immediataly deposit seven point twenty euros in that box.
Whith the "earnings" of this box along the years, they are subsidided the build of other albergues, they are helping to keep the Camino Spirit alive.
I´m talking about non private donativo albergues, but parish, municipal etc; usually, private ones have more or less the same spirit.
Donation dont mean free. Donativo Albergues never mean luxuries. A place to sleep, to rest, to have a hot shower. Maybe some food. Always a hug if we need it. That´s all.
Donativo albergues usually mean trust, joy, share, love, human heat. Nothing less.
We pilgrims will never receive so much at other acomodations.
They dont received other funding than the donations of pilgrims.
IHMO nobody knows what is the Camino joy if not passing some days in that kind of albergues.
Lets pay for it. With a smile, a thank you, a hug. If can afford it, with a bunch of euros.
Buen Camino to you all honest people.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
Do you know how the donativo thing started?
Twenty five or thirty years ago a drunk english man arrived at Grañon; in the cold nigth he took shelter in the main door of the church, (there was not albergue there in those years) but the priest guided him to his house, gave him some soup and a bed to sleep. Next morning when the priest coked the breakfast found the bagabond had left the house. Ripped sheeds on the bed and... 1.200 pesetas ( 7.5 euros more or less) on the pillow. The priest searched for the man in the town, for the roads, asked at hospitals and towns near Grañon, asked the Guardia Civil... successless. He thougt to himself that maybe this man would return asking for his money, and put it inside a box.
Years later a group of volunters inspired for that priest (doctors, lawyers, salesmen, employees, etc) working with theirs hands, asking for donations, crowfunding, etc, restored the old building where today is Grañon´s albergue. The first of July of this year they were commemorated that 21 years ago the first five pilgrims inagurated this place. From this very moment until today, in the box of donativos of this albergue there are 7 euros and twenty cents waiting for the man who generously paid for a bed and dinner in Grañon.
Sometimes (seldom) the hospitaleros found the box of donations empty. They immediataly deposit seven and twenty euros in that box.
Whith the "earnings" of this box along the years, they are subsidided the build of other albergues, they are helping to keep the Caminno Spirit alive.
I´m talking about not private donativo albergues, but parish, municipal etc. But usually private ones have more or less the same spirit
Donation dont mean free. Donativo Albergues never mean luxuries. A place to sleep, to rest, to have a hot shower. Maybe some food. Always a hug if we need it.
Donativo albergues usually mean trust, joy, share, love, human heat.
Usually we will never receive so much at other acomodations.
They dont recived other funding than the donations of pilgrims.
IHMO nobody knows what is the Camino joy if not passing some days in that kind of albergues.
Lets pay for it. With a smile, a thank you, a hug. If can afford it, with a bunch of euros.
Buen Camino for you all honest people.
Such an awesome story! Thank you! Now you made me stay in Granon when I pass by in late January!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Dear Robo, you are so kind.:)
I just can't help that feel the whole thing survives on hope and a fair bit of luck and a lot of stress for the Albergue owner.
Well, yes, that is true.
But the owner's risk and stress only belongs to him or her, not to you. So there is no need to carry them on your shoulder. A friend says it this way: "There are only three kinds of business in the world: our own business, other people's business, and God’s business. Only mind your own business.";)
So all you need to to is to remember to make an offering, any offering - one that you can afford and feel happy to make. And if the owner's risk and stress still weigh on you there is always well-wishing or prayer on their behalf.

You are worth much more to us than the money you might donate.
Indeed. Well spoken, @Albertagirl .
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
I've ended up staying at a few donativos simply by accident, the places having been the first ones I'd decided to walk into in a particular town (Viana, Belorado) or the only place available (Bodenaya on the Primitivo). The system I've used so far has worked well and that is to empty out my coin stash from my rucksack belt pockets and donate that. It's always around 10€ or so. I tend to break banknotes in cafes rather than dig around for change all the time so the coins build up! It's a win win too as loads of coins also weigh a fair bit! My donation at Bodenaya was hard to assess though because the place is fantastic with beer, wine, evening food and laundry all included!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Dear Robo, you are so kind.:)
Well, yes, that is true.
But the owner's risk and stress only belongs to him or her, not to you. So there is no need to carry them on your shoulder. A friend says it this way: "There are only three kinds of business in the world: our own business, other people's business, and God’s business. Only mind your own business.";)
So all you need to to is to remember to make an offering, any offering - one that you can afford and feel happy to make. And if the owner's risk and stress still weigh on you there is always well-wishing or prayer on their behalf.

Indeed. Well spoken, @Albertagirl .
I'm sure your friend meant well. But to think like that would create a very selfish World don't you think? :(
I suppose the context was just in a business sense, or you would not have mentioned it ;)

Rather than hope they survive on a 'wish and a prayer' I'll make sure I leave some extra Euros too ;);)
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@Robo I'm seeing a mis-read or, perhaps, I'm seeing into the core of this thread. I think I understand your concern amigo but its strange to me. And to avoid confusions about relative wealth or poverty I'm a retired civil-servant, in a second career and ' comfortable' as gran would have called it.

It is hard in this world of Mamon to imagine offering service without expectation of reward: monetary or spiritual. It's hard to imagine a 'start-up' that doesn't have an eye on the 'Market'. It's hard to get your head around the concept of something that exists only for itself. That shaggy shed in the arse end of nowhere and that lovingly rescued safe harbour in a parish hall, church tower or crumbled monastic ruin exist because the people who make them made them. They didn't respond to demand, or perhaps only the demand of their own hearts.

And as for the 'owners' and the volunteers.. It's hard to get your head around getting up every morning to change the beds and clean the bogs (rest-rooms) and budget the evening meal from a few coins and crumpled notes. Well I guess it's hard for most of us. It's hard for me.

But none of that, none of our problems: our guilt, self-doubt or bewilderment have anything to do with Donativo. If you really need to monetize the world of donativo the answer is the one that Douglas Adams reached almost 3 decades ago: 42. The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything...
Though disciples of Douglas will be aware that the only problem with the answer; 42: was that no one could quite remember what the original question was.

It is hard in this world of targets, measurements, success ratios and delivery impact to accept that some things just are: are there because that is the function they fulfil and so I'm with @VNwalking, and my own tribal traditions and dear old gran: "What they do is for them; what you do is for you; what we do for a stranger is what we would have done for us..." I think there has been a holy man or two who has made the same suggestion. "Mind your own business" translates badly into english from its Hellenic and Judaic sources as does την επιχείρηση του Θεού, God's business. And perhaps the root of all this confusion and bewilderment and confusion and embarrassment is in a confusion between business and busy-ness. Busy-ness, doing that which needs to be done because it needs to be done.

Buen caminos amigos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I think we are on the same page @Tincatinker.

Let's not over think it ;) Nothing about haves and have nots..........

I have obviously articulated this very badly :(

Lots of people don't understand that Donativo does not mean free.
Those you can't pay, don't. fine.
But many who can pay don't. Because they don't realise they are supposed to.
Increasing numbers on Camino, particularly CF.
Result may be that the Donativos cannot survive.

That makes Robo sad.......... :(

End of story ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
I'm sure your friend meant well. But to think like that would create a very selfish World don't you think? :(
Rather than hope they survive on a 'wish and a prayer' I'll make sure I leave some extra Euros too ;);)
No, not at all, Rob. What I wrote does not mean selfishness in any way. But what Tinca says so well:
But none of that, none of our problems: our guilt, self-doubt or bewilderment have anything to do with Donativo.
All our 'stuff' is ours alone. And taking on - shouldering - the owner's stuff is definitely extra. That is his or hers.
But empathy? That is really different, and essential.
Equanimity understands that difficulty happens but stays balanced. Compassion is the natural response from that place. And compassion in action definitely looks like making a decent donation.:cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Thanks for your excellent contribution. Genuinely. The discomfort around paying is woven throughout the question. Your post is a great addition to the pool of opinion.
Edit: i refer to Tincatinker a few posts up.
 
Last edited:
I am most pleased to see such broad participation in this thread. It means that people care about this and do wish to be informed, want to act properly in this venue.

For me, I know what I have spent in other venues for the services I will receive in a Donativo. If I have spent 15€ for a bed, shower and a meal, and I am getting the same services in a Donativo, then leaving 15€ is appropriate. If you wish to leave more to help with the maintenance of the building, that is certainly welcomed, helping to ensure that it will be there, hopefully, when you return.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
I read all of these posts,while lying in bed this morning! Whew! This seems all too complicated. Trying to change the behavior of others is a fruitless task.Trying to understand the behavior of others is also a fruitless task. When deciding what to put in the box,I settled on what I thought was a fair amount and gave a bit more, What others gave,or did not give,or if the place would soon shut down,was out of my hands. I can only worry about my own actions,and more importantly-BUEN CAMINO.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
Do you know how the donativo thing started?
Twenty five or thirty years ago a drunk english man arrived at Grañon; in the cold nigth he took shelter in the main door of the church, (there was not albergue there in those years) but the priest guided him to his house, gave him some soup and a bed to sleep. Next morning when the priest coked the breakfast found the bagabond had left the house. Ripped sheeds on the bed and... 1.200 pesetas ( 7.5 euros more or less) on the pillow. The priest searched for the man in the town, on the roads, asked at hospitals and towns near Grañon, asked the Guardia Civil... successless. He thougt to himself that maybe this man would return asking for his money, and put it inside a box.
Years later a group of volunters inspired for that priest (doctors, lawyers, salesmen, employees, etc) working with theirs hands, asking for donations, crowfunding, etc, restored the old building where today is Grañon´s albergue. The first of July of this year, they were commemorated that 21 years ago the first five pilgrims inagurated this place. From this very moment until today, in the box of donativos of this albergue there are 7 euros and twenty cents waiting for the man who generously paid for a bed and dinner in Grañon.
Sometimes (seldom) the hospitaleros find the box of donations empty. They immediataly deposit seven point twenty euros in that box.
Whith the "earnings" of this box along the years, they are subsidided the build of other albergues, they are helping to keep the Camino Spirit alive.
I´m talking about non private donativo albergues, but parish, municipal etc; usually, private ones have more or less the same spirit.
Donation dont mean free. Donativo Albergues never mean luxuries. A place to sleep, to rest, to have a hot shower. Maybe some food. Always a hug if we need it. That´s all.
Donativo albergues usually mean trust, joy, share, love, human heat. Nothing less.
We pilgrims will never receive so much at other acomodations.
They dont received other funding than the donations of pilgrims.
IHMO nobody knows what is the Camino joy if not passing some days in that kind of albergues.
Lets pay for it. With a smile, a thank you, a hug. If can afford it, with a bunch of euros.
Buen Camino to you all honest people.
Rich Camino history. I love this post. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Podiensis-Norte-Ingles-SdC; Francigena; Touron.; Bretagne; Lemovic.; Lana; Lusitana (Este)
[...] Trying to change the behavior of others is a fruitless task.Trying to understand the behavior of others is also a fruitless task. When deciding what to put in the box,I settled on what I thought was a fair amount and gave a bit more, What others gave,or did not give,or if the place would soon shut down,was out of my hands. I can only worry about my own actions,and more importantly-BUEN CAMINO.
I agree!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
It makes me a bit disappointed that many people on this forum seem to see the caminos in some kind of esoteric bubble, not as part of real life. Next time you pass a ruined or locked-up building on the camino, ask yourself where are those people? In an apartment in Madrid, most likely, because they couldn't afford to stay in their home.
Most likely is the original owners died and their inheritor who lives in an apartment in Madrid or wherever doesn´t want to live there and spend money in the building.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hope to walk the CF in Sep/Oct, 2018 with my wife
I lived in Santa Fe for years, and there was a regular homeless guy who would pay a young teenager $15 an hour to stand next to him with his sign seeking the generosity of others. The kid loved it of course, $15 an hour is pretty good money, but the homeless guy drank or drugged his way through the $300 or so every day. Responsible giving is a harder concept to grasp.
 

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
I have broken my rule of always reading all of the posts before commenting, as it is getting quite late here. However, I've participated in pilgrim training sessions for 12 years and have told them what others have posted, that their donativo will pay for the food and heating for the next evening's cohort of pilgrims-- an oversimplification, but...

At the workshops we are pressed by prospective pilgrims for a precise figure. They won't give up. When they insist, I suggest that the price of a first-run film is not a bad guide (here, it's about C$13-C$20, roughly 10-16euro), and always to round it up. If a pilgrim is prosperous, they should think of adding to that. If they are moved to do so, then they should pop an extra 10 or 20 in the box. And if Providence/karma/fate has been particularly good to them that year, they should leave an amount which reflects that. There's nothing like a 50 in the box. I remember a medical specialist come to me after one session and guiltily confess that he had rarely left more than 2 or 3 and had come back pleased as punch with his really inexpensive holiday. A year later, he told me that on his second Camino, he left donativos to take care of his previous shortfall and on Sundays doubled that again.

There are always pilgrims who would be hard-pressed to give more than a few euro (although they were rarely to be found in a room full of prosperous Canadian retirees) and they can perhaps contribute with volunteer labour. And all pilgrims should be really very ready to pick up a mop and to keep the bathrooms and kitchens clean as there will be no maid service the next day to do so.
 
Some of you know the Gronze website for great information on the various Caminos. In addition it publishes articles on Camino news. Today it published an article by Antón Plomb, journalist, historian and author of Camino guides. The article is quite timely as it discusses the future of donativo Traditional Albergues, something he believes represent the soul of the Camino:

https://www.gronze.com/articulos/ti...c46YH2birGqqJzD3NnP1ajZA9vZKCiY5JglGj97zTDDKs

A worthwhile read.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Some of you know the Gronze website for great information on the various Caminos. In addition it publishes articles on Caminos news. Today it published an article by Antón Plomb, journalist, historian and author of Camino guides. The article is quite timely as it discusses the future of donativo Traditional Albergues, something he believes represent the soul of the Camino:

https://www.gronze.com/articulos/ti...c46YH2birGqqJzD3NnP1ajZA9vZKCiY5JglGj97zTDDKs

A worthwhile read.
Very interesting and raises a lot of good points! Thanks for sharing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2011
Dear Robo, you are so kind.:)
Well, yes, that is true.
But the owner's risk and stress only belongs to him or her, not to you. So there is no need to carry them on your shoulder. A friend says it this way: "There are only three kinds of business in the world: our own business, other people's business, and God’s business. Only mind your own business.";)
So all you need to to is to remember to make an offering, any offering - one that you can afford and feel happy to make. And if the owner's risk and stress still weigh on you there is always well-wishing or prayer on their behalf.

Indeed. Well spoken, @Albertagirl .
When my late husband and I walked the Camino Frances in 2011 we enjoyed staying at the donativo albergues. The smiles, warmth and pleasant attitudes were the best. I decided to be a hospitalero at San Anton in 2016 and was on the other side of this donativo situation. Now it was my turn to give out hugs, smiles encouragement and hope. I did so gladly and prepared meals with delight. We could go to Casterogeriz 4km away by bike and buy provisions from the donations left by peregrinos the night before. It was such a rewarding experience for me when I made the morning coffee and put out bread, butter, jam and even some cheese for the breakfast and then the warm hugs as the peregrinos left the lovely ruins of San Anton. I hope that this cutom of donativo albergues never ends. The pigrims that came our way seemed to realise that their contributions helped feed he next visitors. There was always enough in the box for the next provisions. When I go on my next Camino, I shall be visiting donativo albergues and consider what it would have cost to go to another type of albergue and to pay for the dinner and breakfast provided and then add a little extra for the hospitality I receive. Let your heart guide you. God bless

Dear Robo, you are so kind.:)
Well, yes, that is true.
But the owner's risk and stress only belongs to him or her, not to you. So there is no need to carry them on your shoulder. A friend says it this way: "There are only three kinds of business in the world: our own business, other people's business, and God’s business. Only mind your own business.";)
So all you need to to is to remember to make an offering, any offering - one that you can afford and feel happy to make. And if the owner's risk and stress still weigh on you there is always well-wishing or prayer on their behalf.

Indeed. Well spoken, @Albertagirl .
 

OLDER threads on this topic




A few items available from the Camino Forum Store




Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 114 14.5%
  • May

    Votes: 191 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 30.0%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top