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Donativos - Time for a gentle reminder

2020 Camino Guides

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
As more pilgrims then ever prepare for there first Camino, I thought a gentle reminder of what Donativo albergues are and aren't might be timely. Here the full post, history and all included: http://egeria.house/what-is-a-donativo-albergue-anyway/

If you don't have the time to read it, here the most important bits:

"Donativo Albergues are maintained exclusively with donations and don’t receive any public funds. They are a work of love by veteran pilgrims and locals to help the pilgrims currently on pilgrimage to Santiago.

If you can, leave:

… the place better, cleaner and tidier than you found it.

… a generous donation, think what was offered to you freely (not for free!) and respect the hospitaler@s, as they are donating their precious vacation time, to help you, the pilgrim.

…, as a rule of thumb, and if you can, the same amount that you have left in a previous albergue where you had to pay a fixed amount for everything you received.

… or 5 Euro (or even a bit more) each for the following: a place to sleep, clean bathrooms and showers, dinner and breakfast.

… nothing, if you have nothing, but always, always leave a smile and a Thank You!"

BC SY
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Sept-Nov 2016)
Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
CF (Oct 2019)
Norte (post covid)
YES. I’m always on a budget but if I can afford a plane ticket to Europe, you bet your a$$ I can pay for a bed and shower. I make it a point to donate whatever I paid for other albergues (usually an average of €10-€12).
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Dear friend Sybille, you are so right. Will share a glass and a few tapas with you in May in SdC: I will be walking from Pamplona, atleast thats my plan.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Dear friend Sybille, you are so right. Will share a glass and a few tapas with you in May in SdC: I will be walking from Pamplona, atleast thats my plan.
Looking forward to it! Make sure to tell me a few days in advance when you will be in town, so I can make time! BC SY
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Looking forward to it! Make sure to tell me a few days in advance when you will be in town, so I can make time! BC SY
Will do, and a (few) glass of wine and tapas will of course be donativo on my part! :D :cool:

Do Bispo, here we come!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
My preference is to leave a donation not according to what I have received but according to what I would like future pilgrims to receive. After all, that is what it is enabling. If we give according to what we receive then some stingy pilgrims can send the albergue on a downward cycle, where the small donations do not allow the albergue to offer much which leads to small donations and so forth. If we give according to what we want other pilgrims to receive then we enable an upward cycle that allows the albergue to flourish. For in my experience, pilgrims generally want the best experience possible for their fellow pilgrims. These albergues are not for profit. Any extra you leave will be used to improve the albergue and the experience for future pilgrims.
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
People should only pay what they can afford. A donation is just that.

I remember one albergue on the VDLP that insisted on €12 but still claimed to be a donativo! That's not right really.
 

Ellann

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino 2016
People should only pay what they can afford. A donation is just that.

I remember one albergue on the VDLP that insisted on €12 but still claimed to be a donativo! That's not right really.
I agree that donativo is donate, not stay for free, but I also agree with you. I contacted a particular donativo albergue in Portugal recently to enquire about staying more than one night and I was quoted a set price per night, that didn't reall ring true for me that it was a donativo. My question is - is this word still relevant today?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
My question is - is this word still relevant today?
Yes. Perhaps more than ever in a world where charity "Directors" claim salaries far higher than that of the Prime Minister; where National Lottery funding subsidises seats at the Opera to the tune of £300 per bum and local Arts Centres can't even get the salary of one administrator paid; where the only way a Donativo Albergue can get new mattresses is through the amazing generosity of a bunch of Canadians and others who will probably never stay there.

And why the hell would you want to "book" two nights in a Donativo? Get a room.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
But unless you have excellent foresight I still not sure why you want to "book" in advance of arrival ;)
Just the day before? And because you are a second language English speaker you use 'book' instead of 'ask if possible' ;-)
BC SY
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2020"
I always give E10. I figure that I will probably get the facilities that I would normally get for that price and if I don't, then they need the money to upgrade. I did give more last year to an albergue on the Frances (I can't remember the name). I think it was a very old nunnery and was run by volunteers from South America. It is the place where everybody helps with the meals and they take you to watch the sunset. I was just so taken by the friendliness of the staff and their willingness to provide you with a great experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
I am not sure that my principle is uniformly applicable so take this for what it is worth....

"Donativo" : what it means to me in a practical sense is that I need (explicitly) to pay for my upkeep. If I am "above water" economically then, it means (to me, anyway), that my contribution should take care of those souls who are NOT "above water" so that the donativo can remain in business. So, I add another night or so, at 12-20 euros/night (location dependent) to help out.

"Your experience may vary."

B
 
Camino(s) past & future
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
I am going to give the point of view of a hostel, not a donation, but a private one.

I leave the basis of my sympathy for donation shelters, and that I do not try to defend anything personal, only the justice that can sometimes be forgotten. It may even happen that my post is not nice, I'm sorry.

There is the possibility that someone wants to have a shelter, small, sufficiently profitable and without administrative problems. The donation hostel is the ideal solution.

Very few rules, no taxes, minimum services, no administrative expenses ... and the sometimes very generous generosity of the pilgrims, who automatically feel generous very often.

This, it seems, exists. And, I can imagine that with the uncertain economy we suffer, it will increase. Many people, pilgrims or especially villagers, may think it is easy money. A small house that you own, or that is very cheap to buy, and is almost enough, the rest is easy.

I know some and, I insist, I don't care, the few places they can occupy are not a matter of great concern. And I prefer a donation hostel set up as a business rather than a private one full of expenses but that treats pilgrims badly, and there are too many of them.

On the other hand, there are private shelters, with very strict administrative rules, taxes -invitable- that are between 25 and 40%, frequent controls, minimum facilities, building renovation works much stricter than donations ..., and this It can be added that some private hostels welcome pilgrims without money, that we sometimes pay them the menu in a restaurant or other expenses, as they are considered part of the pleasure of having a shelter to help the pilgrims in need, and this is perhaps the best to have a shelter, feel useful and not be a cash register. For this, a hostel is set up on the beach, never on the Camino de Santiago.

This is one of the luck of the donation hostels, which are always seen with sympathy, while the private ones are seen with a critical look, all, without knowing or just seeing what really happens inside, there are pure business, and there are very human and generous.

The danger that I see, because I begin to see it in reality, is that donation shelters as a business start to exist, because they really can be. Imagine ..., the 10 euros of a private at the end after taxes and investments of building and facilities become very little, much less than 10, less than five ... the pleasure of living (with financial problems) remains in cash way, almost just that. But it is enough for those of us who open a private shelter on the Camino de Santiago, we simply aspire to survive and feel that we give something to the pilgrims, we count on it.

As an example of a non-donation, non-private, but municipal “sui generis” and very generous albergue, it is one of the best hostels on the French Way, San Esteban de Castrojeriz, with Paco and Antonio as hospitaleros, with very cheap beds (therefore not of donation but almost) but with donation breakfast, with the best milk and the best bread, personally bought by Paco every morning, and with a semi-donation system better than many donations. I hardly know Paco personally, but I've been hearing wonders for more than a year than he gives pilgrims every day. And nobody talks about him or others like him that are sure to exist. And I mention it here for what you have as a donation and generosity with the pilgrim, which is the essence of the donation.

I think this opens a variant in the post, very cheap hostels with partial donation services. Always forgotten for not being one or the other ...
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
People should only pay what they can afford. A donation is just that.
Absolutely! But in considering this, it is good to remember a couple of things:
1) Most of us walking Caminos can afford to contribute as much as is needed towards the operations and hospitality of albergues. If we can afford to fly to the Camino, that speaks volumes. And if we are walking to the Camino, most of us are coming from relatively wealthy countries with strong social nets. I'm not saying that there is no one who is walking the Camino absolutely penniless, but they are very few. (And in my experience, those who are poorest tend to give the most from what little they have).

2) True, it is a donation and people can leave nothing at all, if that is their desire. They should know that, in doing so, they are contributing to the decline and disappearance of these marvelous donativo albergues. If that sits well with them, perhaps they need a Camino more than most.
 

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