Hi! I've just come back from my first Camino and I'm already planning my next one. I would also like to volunteer in one of the hostels, preferably in Galicia but anywhere really, next August. Can anyone advise on how to go about it? I live in London. Many thanks!
I don´t know where you live, so I can´t tell you exactly where to go to get training. Check your national pilgrim organization, as groups in Canada, UK, USA, Germany, Italy, France, and especially Spain all offer interchangeable training opportunities.
From the "American Pilgrims on the Camino" on the Via de la Plata:
Opportunities for American Pilgrims in Fuenterroble
Fuenterroble might seem like any other very small pueblo through which the Caminos pass . Here, as a result of our grant and our collaboration with Don Blas and his albergue, we have the opportunity to actually belong, to be welcomed, to participate with and be a part of not only the Camino experience, but the Spanish pueblo experience. We can give back to the Camino in a specific and personal way while broadening our horizons and enriching our personal lives. Work on your Spanish – the greater the effort you make to communicate, the more profound your experience.
Hospitalero – There is no organized program for obtaining or scheduling hospitaleros in
Fuenterroble; yet there is a great need. When I arrived last September, there was no hospitalero
in residence, only a couple of guys who live there for lack of other options. An Italian then arrived
to serve for a month. Again, when we arrived for Via Lucis and the dedication, there were local
volunteers, but no hospitalero. Blas was concerned that he was leaving for Rome in three days
and there would be no one to “mind the store”. It can certainly be a two-person job. You need
only to contact Ana (info provided below) and advise her of the dates you’d like to serve.
Group Activities – There are several planned throughout the year, such as Via Lucis, described
herein. See the website, http://www.viadelaplata-fuenterroble.com for a list with dates and degree of difficulty. Their most ambitious undertaking (which includes food and lodging in public places such as gymnasiums), many years in the planning, will take place 10-21 August. A walking pilgrimage, complete with wood statues, carts and burros, from Assisi to Rome. The cost is 300 euros, plus airfare. Our members are welcome to participate. Within the next few weeks, Ana will provide me a detailed schedule in pdf format which I will be happy to forward upon request. If you are interested, you should make a deposit and reserve space promptly. Participants are coming from all over Spain.
Projects, Ongoing, and Specific – Don Blas has indicated that he will always welcome and can
easily accommodate those who wish to share their talents within the rectory/albergue, on Camino clean-up or improvement, or restoration projects within his five pueblos. Whether a group of two, five or ten, again, via email to Ana, if you advise dates and areas in which you are able to
contribute, there will be work awaiting you when you arrive. Artistic pilgrims have often returned to decorate the walls with murals, stonemasons have endless work there, the many rooms and
common areas are always in need of a good cleaning, there are several areas to be cleared for
patios or gardens, lots of burro harnesses and leather equipment to be soaped, carts to be
repaired – opportunities for everyone to give back to the Camino.