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Hospitaleros & The Pilgrim

Have you, or would you consider serving as a hospitelero following your Camino?


  • Total voters
    119
  • Poll closed .
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
SJPP to SdC, 2023
CF, 2024
Would you consider helping in an albergue following your Camino? If you have, what were your experiences like?
Especially interested in hearing from those who stayed on in Spain or France, or Portugal immediately following your pilgrimmage...
Thank you all for "your humble opinions"!!
 
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I voted 'been there, done that' and 'no'. That is my story in a nutshell.

It was 2017 and I was walking on the Camino del Norte. I had walked for about 2,5 weeks and for some reason I was losing the spirit to move on. As I didn't really know what to do I walked on for another day and arrived in albergue El Reposo del Andayón in Cuerres (doesn't exist anymore).

It was a donativo albergue that had opened only a couple of weeks ago. At dinner the owner told us that she considered working with hospitaleros. I saw it as a sign and as a 'the Camino provides', so after dinner I asked her if I could stay and work as a hospitalera. The next morning I was serving breakfast to my fellow pilgrims.

I stayed for another 2,5 weeks and then gave up. It was exhausting. Not the work itself, but to be around people almost all the time. I happened to be a much bigger introvert than I thought I was.

I had a full schedule 7 days a week: getting up at 6.45am to prepare breakfast, waking up pilgrims, serving breakfast, trying to get everyone out of the door by 9.00am and then cleaning and making the beds until 12.00am. Then I got my holy hours of free time. If it wasn't raining I went out with the dog or walked to the closest beach.

I had to be back at 3.00pm to receive pilgrims, registrate them, show them around, explain them the (many) rules and from then on I just had to be present. Around 6.00pm I would start helping cooking and we would have dinner at 8.00pm. After dinner I would clean up before I could retire to my room around 10.30pm. I then still had to listen to the chatting of my roommate, a friend of the owner who didn't stop complaining about her.

It wore me out to a point that I locked myself up in the bathroom to read a book. So, yes been there, done that, learned a lot about myself and no, wouldn't do it again. Well, at least not under the same circumstances.
 
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One of the best things I’ve ever done, even more rewarding than walking the Camino. We’ve done it three times. The pilgrim associations in each country run courses, check out their web pages eg AFotC in Australia. This year we are training 65 would be hospis. I think Rebekah Scott of FICS is now looking for volunteers for Najera, they will train on the job. CSJ also run albergues.
 
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I have been considering it for many years. I worked as a volunteer in the Pilgrim Office in SdC for 2 weeks in June 2019. It was very rewarding. But being a hospitaler@ in an albergue will mean a completely different workload. However, I am still considering it, since I live on a good pension, can afford it, and have no time constraints.
 
Step right up, Alex. It's about time you graduated to the other side of the desk!
Hospitalero-ing is not brain surgery, but it does require a lot of flexibility, hard work, and common sense. Like pilgrimage itself, it is not for everybody, but it is a logical next step for many pilgrims -- especially those who've done multiple caminos. The old stand-by volunteers who've been running the non-profit albergue network for decades are now aging out of the role. It is time for new people to step up and give something back to the non-profit community that makes this whole Camino thing work.
 
Am thinking about it... not for this year, but maybe for next. This year I am hoping to be able to help in the Pilgrim Office. I'm waiting for their forms to open for the 2024 season. I do very much wish to volunteer in a donativo location, or in one of the association locations (for example in Grado, or perhaps in a location that the CCoP coordinates). First I need time to be able to get to a training site. I don't live close to any in particular.
2025 I have a significant chunk of time to myself so hoping for that to be my year of opportunity.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
While I enjoy walking the various camino's ... being a hospitalero has become my real passion ! I've been lucky enough to spend time in various albergues over the past few years, and my only regret is I didn't start volunteering earlier ! Hard work, and worth every minute ! Pilgrim's from all over the world that need a break, a bed, and a warm smile. 2024 will be a time for 3 more times as a volunteer ... Villadangoes, Salamanca and Grado. Would be more if Canada wasn't to far away (and a bit pricey with travel).
 
While I enjoy walking the various camino's ... being a hospitalero has become my real passion ! I've been lucky enough to spend time in various albergues over the past few years, and my only regret is I didn't start volunteering earlier ! Hard work, and worth every minute ! Pilgrim's from all over the world that need a break, a bed, and a warm smile. 2024 will be a time for 3 more times as a volunteer ... Villadangoes, Salamanca and Grado. Would be more if Canada wasn't to far away (and a bit pricey with travel).
Would love to hear about your Grado experience!
 
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Would love to hear about your Grado experience!
I was a hospitalero in Grado in 2022 and enjoyed it … very nice albergue and Grado is a lovely town. There were two of us for the 2 week period, it was busy, but certainly not overwhelming. I become very proficient in cooking eggs, sunny side, over easy or however a pilgrim wanted 😃. Will be back there in May … looking forward to it !
 
I was a hospitalero in Grado in 2022 and enjoyed it … very nice albergue and Grado is a lovely town. There were two of us for the 2 week period, it was busy, but certainly not overwhelming. I become very proficient in cooking eggs, sunny side, over easy or however a pilgrim wanted 😃. Will be back there in May … looking forward to it !
I’ve stayed in the Grado albergue… we had two very nice Dutch hospitaleros when we were there… I forget the details of breakfast, but I loved arriving to ice-water with lemon, biscuits and a very warm welcome. Lovely setting, nice dorm and facilities… and I quite like Grado… I also really liked the monastery albergue in Campiello. Was it Campiello? Ugh… I’m tired… but the monastery was lovely. I deliberately took a short day from Grado to be able to stay In the monastery.
 
In 2002, I was a hospitalera at San Nicolas del Flüe albergue in Ponferrada.

I volunteered with a Spanish guy. At night we two hospies would escort pilgrims to the graveyard next to albergue. We all stood under the tree while my fellow hospie would chant the quemada as he stirred the cauldron with the blue flames rising against the inky black sky of night. Once chant was over the priest, pilgrims, and we hospies would imbibe: Fun.

In 2004, I volunteered at Rabanal del Camino with two others, one from USA, other Britain. Because there were three of us each hospie had two mornings a week to sleep in, take a walk, or whatever. On Tuesday, we’d catch a bus to Astorga for market day to shop for albergue necessities.

Also, most often hospitaleros don’t meet one another until day before or day of their shifts. You have to run a albergue with a stranger.

The work is hard and long. The days begin a bit before dawn to serve breakfast then usher out pilgrims. Once last one leaves around 8am cleaning begins, including bathrooms. Day ends around 10 or 11pm after the last pilgrim is abed.

Once the albergue opens hospitaleros check-in pilgrims, listen to their concerns, direct them to nearby sights, churches, mercados, and more.

Every now and then hospies mediate pilgrim problems at times requiring a rearrangement of sleeping quarters.

I loved it.

Once time and circumstances again allow, I wish to both walk and volunteer again.

There’s something quite fulfilling staying in one spot on camino for several weeks.

By the end of my hospitalera stint I felt a bit like a local.
 
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I have volunteered as a hospitalera half-a-dozen times, including twice at Najera and last spring at Easter at Calzadillos de los Hermanillos. I found it both challenging and rewarding, and quite different, depending on which albergue I was serving at. Last spring was both the first time that I served alone and the first time that I was responsible for opening up an albergue for the season. I found myself concentrating on my duties, and with less social interaction with the pilgrims. By the time that I moved on, I was more relaxed and more confident. Nonetheless, I am getting weary and don't know if I shall volunteer to serve again.
 
I voted 'been there, done that' and 'no'. That is my story in a nutshell.

It was 2017 and I was walking on the Camino del Norte. I had walked for about 2,5 weeks and for some reason I was losing the spirit to move on. As I didn't really know what to do I walked on for another day and arrived in albergue El Reposo del Andayón in Cuerres (doesn't exist anymore).

It was a donativo albergue that had opened only a couple of weeks ago. At dinner the owner told us that she considered working with hospitaleros. I saw it as a sign and as a 'the Camino provides', so after dinner I asked her if I could stay and work as a hospitalera. The next morning I was serving breakfast to my fellow pilgrims.

I stayed for another 2,5 weeks and then gave up. It was exhausting. Not the work itself, but to be around people almost all the time. I happened to be a much bigger introvert than I thought I was.

I had a full schedule 7 days a week: getting up at 6.45am to prepare breakfast, waking up pilgrims, serving breakfast, trying to get everyone out of the door by 9.00am and then cleaning and making the beds until 12.00am. Then I got my holy hours of free time. If it wasn't raining I went out with the dog or walked to the closest beach.

I had to be back at 3.00pm to receive pilgrims, registrate them, show them around, explain them the (many) rules and from then on I just had to be present. Around 6.00pm I would start helping cooking and we would have dinner at 8.00pm. After dinner I would clean up before I could retire to my room around 10.30pm. I then still had to listen to the chatting of my roommate, a friend of the owner who didn't stop complaining about her.

It wore me out to a point that I locked myself up in the bathroom to read a book. So, yes been there, done that, learned a lot about myself and no, wouldn't do it again. Well, at least not under the same circumstances.
What a pity that this albergue has closed It was , together wit O Xistral my favourite albergue on the Norte. Interesting to see "the back of the medal" ( like we say in dutch) via the experience of a hospitalero
 
What a pity that this albergue has closed It was , together wit O Xistral my favourite albergue on the Norte. Interesting to see "the back of the medal" ( like we say in dutch) via the experience of a hospitalero
To her defense, I was her first hospitalera and she had no idea. Afterwards I explained to her that you can't let hospitaleros work that many hours on their own (we prepared dinner together, but I did the breakfast, the cleaning and the reception on my own 7 days a week). She seemed to understand me, so it is very likely that other hospitaleros got a better experience. Besides, my biggest problem was not the work, but the constant human interaction that I couldn't cope with.

On a different note, I agree with you that the albergue was very special to stay in as a pilgrim. At least in the beginning. It was a big and beautiful building, with beds instead of bunks, a great vegetarian dinner and a good breakfast. But the owner was also a bit neurotic. That got quite far later on. To the extent that pilgrims had to leave their backpacks on the porch, had to shower outside and wear special clothes in the albergue that were handed out to them.
 
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To her defense, I was her first hospitalera and she had no idea. Afterwards I explained to her that you can't let hospitaleros work that many hours on their own (we prepared dinner together, but I did the breakfast, the cleaning and the reception on my own 7 days a week). She seemed to understand me, so it is very likely that other hospitaleros got a better experience. Besides, my biggest problem was not the work, but the constant human interaction that I couldn't cope with.

On a different note, I agree with you that the albergue was very special to stay in as a pilgrim. At least in the beginning. It was a big and beautiful building, with beds instead of bunks, a great vegetarian dinner and a good breakfast. But the owner was also a bit neurotic. That got quite far later on. To the extent that pilgrims had to leave their backpacks on the porch, had to shower outside and wear special clothes in the albergue that were handed out to them.
I stayed there two years in a row. The first year the procedure was like in many albergues, to leave your backpack downstairs and take the things you need up in the basket. The next year we had to shower outside and change clothes into things provided by them. It was peculiar and unique on the Camino but I understood the motivation they gave. 5 times they had bedbugs and it is very difficult to cope with the problem if you don't want to use a "chemical" deterrent. I don't know when they changed from beds to bunks,both times I stayed there I slept in a bed. I don't know why it is closed and if it will reopen sometimes as an albergue
 
I stayed there two years in a row. The first year the procedure was like in many albergues, to leave your backpack downstairs and take the things you need up in the basket. The next year we had to shower outside and change clothes into things provided by them. It was peculiar and unique on the Camino but I understood the motivation they gave. 5 times they had bedbugs and it is very difficult to cope with the problem if you don't want to use a "chemical" deterrent. I don't know when they changed from beds to bunks,both times I stayed there I slept in a bed. I don't know why it is closed and if it will reopen sometimes as an albergue
The beds were never changed to bunks. She quit when turning 70, because she wanted to travel and have more freedom. The building (albergue and casa de aldea) is for sale now. Asking price is €1.590.000.
 
change clothes into things provided by them. It was peculiar and unique on the Camino but I understood the motivation they gave.
This is something I have never heard of! What kind of clothes did they provide that would fit each person? And when did you get to change back into your own clothes...before bed, or in the morning?
The hospis would be washing loads of laundry each day, especially in summer.
 
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I have served as a hospitalera so far 4 times, Zamora, Miraz, Grado and Sahagun. All different but in principal the same. Very rewarding, and I loved the daily rotation of pilgrims. The hardest part for me was saying good bye the next morning. Serving at the pilgrims office equally rewarding, however with a different focus and living in Santiago for 2 weeks or more is the best.
 
The beds were never changed to bunks. She quit when turning 70, because she wanted to travel and have more freedom. The building (albergue and casa de aldea) is for sale now. Asking price is €1.590.000.
Wow, must be a big place! In some places in Asturias you can buy whole villages for less than half of that!
 
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White Tyvek decorators/scene of crime suits might work. Cheap. Bedbugs would be pretty visible with that background. And the fabric is quite slippery so the little buggers might just slide off....
hazg-blue__24252.1644526659.jpgJust found this photo from the last trip advisor review (4.5 stars).
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Wow, must be a big place! In some places in Asturias you can buy whole villages for less than half of that!
Very fancy (biopassive) building. Expensive location. But I wonder if anyone would buy it for that price.
 
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To her defense, I was her first hospitalera and she had no idea. Afterwards I explained to her that you can't let hospitaleros work that many hours on their own (we prepared dinner together, but I did the breakfast, the cleaning and the reception on my own 7 days a week). She seemed to understand me, so it is very likely that other hospitaleros got a better experience. Besides, my biggest problem was not the work, but the constant human interaction that I couldn't cope with.

On a different note, I agree with you that the albergue was very special to stay in as a pilgrim. At least in the beginning. It was a big and beautiful building, with beds instead of bunks, a great vegetarian dinner and a good breakfast. But the owner was also a bit neurotic. That got quite far later on. To the extent that pilgrims had to leave their backpacks on the porch, had to shower outside and wear special clothes in the albergue that were handed out to them.
Interesting. I’ve done the Norte (parts) twice (2018, 2019). In 2018, I stayed there. But I don’t really remember anything “off.” In 2019, I was a passerby looking for something to eat. In order to enter, I was told that my small daypack had to be left outside. It was not up for discussion. I refused and moved on.
 
Would you consider helping in an albergue following your Camino? If you have, what were your experiences like?
Especially interested in hearing from those who stayed on in Spain or France, or Portugal immediately following your pilgrimmage...
Thank you all for "your humble opinions"!!
I am planning to take the hospitalero training this spring, and I’m really looking forward to it! I hope that it will bring an opportunity for me to volunteer in 2025. Not sure where I would be inclined to volunteer, but I welcome suggestions!
 
If I had 1.5 mil lying around I buy it in a flash. I've always wanted to run and albergue and I have great ideas about how to run it: the food, the music, the registration, the furnishing, the ambience, the volunteers, the regime (or absence of one) ...

It's a nice way to while away the idle hours when there's nothing on Netflix, spent staring at the base of the bunk overhead, thinking how I might do it better. San Anton meets Granon meets Peaceable Kingdom ...

Luckily for me and my fellow pilgrims my albergue dream, like many others, will never come to pass. I've learned by now quit while I'm ahead, and that means before I even start. And of course there's the minor matter of the 1.5 million euro. Not to mention I'd have to give up grousing about the amazing people who're actually doing the job. Better not.

As TS put it (before we found out he was nasty to his wife and couldn't read him any more) "I am not Hamlet, not was meant to be". Not even an attendant Lord. So while they say every private has a swagger stick in his knapsack, mine is staying firmly in the old Lowe Alpine.
 
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Step right up, Alex. It's about time you graduated to the other side of the desk!
Hospitalero-ing is not brain surgery, but it does require a lot of flexibility, hard work, and common sense. Like pilgrimage itself, it is not for everybody, but it is a logical next step for many pilgrims -- especially those who've done multiple caminos. The old stand-by volunteers who've been running the non-profit albergue network for decades are now aging out of the role. It is time for new people to step up and give something back to the non-profit community that makes this whole Camino thing work.
Thank you for your service to the Caminos. My wife, Pamela Grubaugh-Littig and I have had the joy of being Hospitalero and Host and would welcome the opportunity again in 2024. We are on a fixed budget so finding an appointment in September or October would give us the advantage of finding cheaper LOL airfares. Let us know if we can help...... Pam & Willy
 
I have volunteered as a hospitalera half-a-dozen times, including twice at Najera and last spring at Easter at Calzadillos de los Hermanillos. I found it both challenging and rewarding, and quite different, depending on which albergue I was serving at. Last spring was both the first time that I served alone and the first time that I was responsible for opening up an albergue for the season. I found myself concentrating on my duties, and with less social interaction with the pilgrims. By the time that I moved on, I was more relaxed and more confident. Nonetheless, I am getting weary and don't know if I shall volunteer to serve again.
Do you have any feedback on volunteering in Nàjera? My husband and I are going to volunteer there as first time or hospitaleros this summer.
 
I volunteered at Nájera, after walking the Portuguese from Lisbon, in November 2021. It was such a valuable experience serving the pilgrims, sharing Camino stories and doing what I could to help them on their Camino.
This year I will be serving at San Nicolas del Flüe albergue in Ponferrada, after walking the Camino Invierno, in May. I plan to spend my first night there to experience it as a pilgrim then return two weeks later as a hospitalero. If I have time I hope to walk a stage or two before Ponferrada to get an idea of what our guests had just done.
 
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Step right up, Alex. It's about time you graduated to the other side of the desk!
Hospitalero-ing is not brain surgery, but it does require a lot of flexibility, hard work, and common sense. Like pilgrimage itself, it is not for everybody, but it is a logical next step for many pilgrims -- especially those who've done multiple caminos. The old stand-by volunteers who've been running the non-profit albergue network for decades are now aging out of the role. It is time for new people to step up and give something back to the non-profit community that makes this whole Camino thing work.
I may have to pay a visit to you & Patrick (say hello) this spring to talk it over. :) Plan is to leave from Pamplona 1st week of April.
 
I’m another person who has volunteered at Refugio Gaucelmo - in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The albergue is very beautiful and the facilities are top knotch. The CSJ have taken a great deal of time, effort and finance over many decades now to make Gaucelmo as lovely as it can be - IMO it’s one of the best albergues on the CF.

I too found it a rewarding experience each time but as @nycwalking mentioned above, you have to run the albergue with strangers and this, on a couple of occasions, presented difficulties for me - not quite bullying but down that path. Each volunteer needs to remember they are volunteers and be respectful of their fellow volunteers. Good communication from the outset is essential. Even if situations become stressful, stay kind and focus on the solution.

I’m now volunteering at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago after hearing of @t2andreo and @IngridF ‘s experiences there (discussions off Forum - we’ve been friends for years thanks to the Forum) - thank you both so very much for your recommendation to do this wonderful work. First up was the two weeks over the Feast Day last year and I’m volunteering again in May this year. It’s the most fantastic experience. To be the person who issues a pilgrim’s compostela was often a very moving experience and always a huge privilege. I loved each and every day working there.

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Do you have any feedback on volunteering in Nàjera? My husband and I are going to volunteer there as first time or hospitaleros this summer.
Najera is a large albergue and has undergone various changes over the years. My first visit was as a pilgrim. As an older woman, I was given a lower bunk to sleep on. In those days, hospitaleros sometimes decided who got which bed, in what was then a large room crowded with numerous beds and pilgrims. I guess that the young men got there first and would choose the lower bunk if given free choice. At any rate, I went to sleep to wake late at night and discover that an older man had been given the bunk adjacent to mine, and had rolled over halfway into my bunk. I did my best to ignore him and go back to sleep.
Later, that large room was divided into walled cubicles open to the central floor, with space for four pilgrims in each cubicle but less total accommodation. There were two small rooms with doors for the hospitaleros/as, and men's and women's bathrooms. Near the entrance was a laundry and a kitchen. I understand that further renovations have happened since. The changes, which provided more comfort but fewer spaces for pilgrims, seemed to happen at the same time as new private albergues were opening in town, so spaces and choices were available.
I remember one event which showed that our guests were not always respectful of the other guests and hospitaleros/as. Several young men had gone out for an evening of drinking and arrived back to a locked entrance. One was boosted in a window by the others and then opened the door for them. I heard about it in the morning, as I slept through it. The boys were scolded for their behaviour, but allowed to return to their beds and not otherwise punished.
If you volunteer there, you will have to keep your eyes open and there will be a fair amount of cleaning to share among the hospis. Whatever it has become, it is an historic albergue and an interesting place to serve.
 
Step right up, Alex. Hospitalero-ing is not brain surgery, but it does require a lot of flexibility, hard work, and common sense.
Am I a brain surgeon? No. But my son is, so I am pretty close.

I am flexible.

I have been married twice, have raised (partly alone) two children, and currently have housed a new woman for 15 years, and that's my destiny running indefinitely, it seems. I also have a family of complete morons. Am I flexible? Yes. Can I cook? Yes. Also for large audiences. Do I know other languages? Yes, 6 European/US, including basic Spanish.

Do I know about hard work? Yes. Just look at my CV above.

Do I have common sense? Yes. Just look at my CV above. I would never have survived 70 years in that hostile enviroment on Earth without a solid portion of it. I think I need to break free and relax in a, for me, tranquil atmosphere of a busy albergue... :cool:
 
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I volunteered at Nájera last November. Relentless but not especially hard work—“on” 24/7 except for a few hours in the middle of the day, when I’d grab a coffee, chat a bit with locals, and walk, usually the path toward San Millán. Mostly amazing pilgrims; the occasional troublemaker. Hardest part for me was staying awake until 10:00pm every night, to lock doors, and make sure everyone and everything was ok for the night, after being awake since 5:30am. Best part was listening to the stories, so many beautiful stories.

Love it so much I can’t wait to go back…will be there in March for the month! Nájera needs support. It’s not the prettiest or the most exotic albergue. But it’s situated at a bit of an internal turning point in the pilgrimage for many. (And at 48 beds, it’s far more manageable than it was in the past.) I was honored to accompany pilgrims. I remain grateful to the hospis who came before and were so generous with their advice and support. For me it’s a whole ‘nother way of experiencing Camino culture; I feel like I am connected to the long history of hospitality that defines it.

Contact Rebekah Scott here on the forum and /or FICS if you’re interested specifically in Nájera.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I volunteered at Nájera last November. Relentless but not especially hard work—“on” 24/7 except for a few hours in the middle of the day, when I’d grab a coffee, chat a bit with locals, and walk, usually the path toward San Millán. Mostly amazing pilgrims; the occasional troublemaker. Hardest part for me was staying awake until 10:00pm every night, to lock doors, and make sure everyone and everything was ok for the night, after being awake since 5:30am. Best part was listening to the stories, so many beautiful stories.

Love it so much I can’t wait to go back…will be there in March for the month! Nájera needs support. It’s not the prettiest or the most exotic albergue. But it’s situated at a bit of an internal turning point in the pilgrimage for many. (And at 48 beds, it’s far more manageable than it was in the past.) I was honored to accompany pilgrims. I remain grateful to the hospis who came before and were so generous with their advice and support. For me it’s a whole ‘nother way of experiencing Camino culture; I feel like I am connected to the long history of hospitality that defines it.

Contact Rebekah Scott here on the forum and /or FICS if you’re interested specifically in Nájera.
I’ll be there in May!
 
I volunteered at Nájera last November. Relentless but not especially hard work—“on” 24/7 except for a few hours in the middle of the day, when I’d grab a coffee, chat a bit with locals, and walk, usually the path toward San Millán. Mostly amazing pilgrims; the occasional troublemaker. Hardest part for me was staying awake until 10:00pm every night, to lock doors, and make sure everyone and everything was ok for the night, after being awake since 5:30am. Best part was listening to the stories, so many beautiful stories.

Love it so much I can’t wait to go back…will be there in March for the month! Nájera needs support. It’s not the prettiest or the most exotic albergue. But it’s situated at a bit of an internal turning point in the pilgrimage for many. (And at 48 beds, it’s far more manageable than it was in the past.) I was honored to accompany pilgrims. I remain grateful to the hospis who came before and were so generous with their advice and support. For me it’s a whole ‘nother way of experiencing Camino culture; I feel like I am connected to the long history of hospitality that defines it.

Contact Rebekah Scott here on the forum and /or FICS if you’re interested specifically in Nájera.

Enjoy your time volunteering.

I was last there winter 2014 in the large dorm.

Please post pics of the new layout.
 
I am planning to take the hospitalero training this spring, and I’m really looking forward to it! I hope that it will bring an opportunity for me to volunteer in 2025. Not sure where I would be inclined to volunteer, but I welcome suggestions!
If it is HosVol, they prefer you to say when you are available and they will assign you to where you are needed.
 
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I’m now volunteering at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago after hearing of @t2andreo and @IngridF ‘s experiences there (discussions off Forum - we’ve been friends for years thanks to the Forum) - thank you both so very much for your recommendation to do this wonderful work. First up was the two weeks over the Feast Day last year and I’m volunteering again in May this year. It’s the most fantastic experience. To be the person who issues a pilgrim’s compostela was often a very moving experience and always a huge privilege. I loved each and every day working there.
Jenny, that is kinda what I'm hoping to do, as I start my hospitalero lifestyle...lol...
I would love to make a request of you...if you might...
I would LOVE to work at the Pilgrim Office when I finish....but therein lies the challenge! I purchased a one-way to Biarritz, starting in SJPP, but don't have a "hard stop" ....although it is likely that by June sometime I'll have some idea when my this part of my journey will be complete. Do you think we could get my information to the right folks there with a few of helping there, or in the 2nd floor decompression room, or with Father Manny(?) the priest that was there this past July, or at the Pilgrim House? I just wonder if I might be a + 1 somewhere as I don't have a firm ending date yet?
Thanks for contributing to the thread! (and everyone else too! I'm taking notes for sure!)
Buen Camino!
 
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Thank you for your service to the Caminos. My wife, Pamela Grubaugh-Littig and I have had the joy of being Hospitalero and Host and would welcome the opportunity again in 2024. We are on a fixed budget so finding an appointment in September or October would give us the advantage of finding cheaper LOL airfares. Let us know if we can help...... Pam & Willy
I would love to make a request of you...if you might...
I would love to serve somewhere, but I purchased a one-way to Biarritz, starting in SJPP, and don't have a "hard stop" ....although it is likely that by June sometime I'll have some idea when my this camino will be complete. I just wonder if I might be a + 1 somewhere as I don't have a firm ending?
thanks so much for contributing and the offer of assistance, Pelegrinos!
 
#1 is the new configuration of the dorm. #2 is the main room temporarily configured for dinner one evening. (All pilgrims in this photo gave permission to post on FICS website.) Please note: making/serving a communal dinner is NOT required at this albergue…it just sort of…happened…most nights 😉🥰
 
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#1 is the new configuration of the dorm. #2 is the main room temporarily configured for dinner one evening. (All pilgrims in this photo gave permission to post on FICS website.) Please note: making/serving a communal dinner is NOT required at this albergue…it just sort of…happened…most nights 😉🥰

Oooh!

Thank you so much for posting pictures.

I love the new configurations.

Gosh!

Do I wish I were there.
 
Mostly amazing pilgrims; the occasional troublemaker.

Love it so much I can’t wait to go back…will be there in March for the month! Nájera needs support.

Contact Rebekah Scott here on the forum and /or FICS if you’re interested specifically in Nájera.
@Rebekah Scott has asked me to be a hospilalero there this year. Seems I will be working there 15-30 April...
 
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I would love to make a request of you...if you might...
I would love to serve somewhere, but I purchased a one-way to Biarritz, starting in SJPP, and don't have a "hard stop" ....although it is likely that by June sometime I'll have some idea when my this camino will be complete. I just wonder if I might be a + 1 somewhere as I don't have a firm ending?
thanks so much for contributing and the offer of assistance, Pelegrinos!

This is a tough request. We really need volunteers for Najera this summer, but we need to know who is coming and when. People who are serious about helping out should get in touch with me soon, (use the private message feature, or email me at rebrites @ gmail. com) we can work things out. If the trends continue, we are going to see some non-profit albergues closing without notice this summer due to lack of volunteers.
Everybody wants to do the camino, often multiple times. Evidently, not enough want to take the next step, and help us keep it going into the future.
 
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We volunteer somewhere different every year. Only twice have we asked to be at certain locations. Phil has done 6 albergues and I have done five. We really love it, but won't won't be able to volunteer again now until 2025. We'll do one albergue together that year and then I will walk a long Camino while Phil either volunteers some more or goes to language school.

It really is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in a community and also be a part of the Camino.
 
Hi, I worked in the pilgrims office last year for 2 weeks. You apply for a place, then fill out an application, which includes your reasons and previous experience. If you are accepted, the 2 week sessions begin on a Tuesday. I have also worked in Najera in 2013, and Alfaro in 2019. Each time, it was necessary to make a commitment to my exact dates at least 6 months in advance. You might consider making the commitment to the dates and location you are needed, and work your own Camino around that. I like to walk before or after my placement. I can laugh now, but it did'nt feel funny at the time, walking into Najera in 2013, hot and tired with my little 7kg. pack, to be told it was 'completo'. It took me ages to persuade them that no, I was the new hospitaleria!
Buen Camino, whatever you decide to do
 
This year I was in Najera, Grado and Najera and walked in Between. Not in very busy weeks. So it was very nice. Hard work sometimes but also some free time to enjoy Spain. And pilgrims all over the world are awsome! Also interesting encounter with other Hospitaleros! I recomment!
 
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Hola from Najera - your current hospitalero! I have served as a hospi in all the seasons at Najera, Grado and Canfranc plus a private albergue near Muxia and that's something you might want to consider--serving in winter, if you are open to being by yourself. The winter is definitely quieter but not as quiet as I expected. More people seem to be walking in winter now, as several of the peregrinos have expressed due to it being quieter than other times, which they prefer.
I know the need is great for year round so if you have any specific questions, feel free to msg me through the Forum. And when serving with others, flexibility is key! Buen Camino!
 
I had never heard of Camino until a place I volunteered for in Amsterdam suggested instead Oasis Trails (Villamayor de Monjardín). I wrote to family “Who’d have thought I’d be learning Dutch in Spain?” It had been almost exclusively Dutch till then. But since, they’ve had volunteers from many countries.
 
Hola from Najera - your current hospitalero! I have served as a hospi in all the seasons at Najera, Grado and Canfranc plus a private albergue near Muxia and that's something you might want to consider--serving in winter, if you are open to being by yourself. The winter is definitely quieter but not as quiet as I expected. More people seem to be walking in winter now, as several of the peregrinos have expressed due to it being quieter than other times, which they prefer.
I know the need is great for year round so if you have any specific questions, feel free to msg me through the Forum. And when serving with others, flexibility is key! Buen Camino!
Hi Laurie, can you tell me some more about volunteering in winter please?
I was a hospitalera in 2019 at Viana, absolutely loved it and would love to do it again this year but am only available in winter. Thanks. Pam
 
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Hi Laurie, can you tell me some more about volunteering in winter please?
I was a hospitalera in 2019 at Viana, absolutely loved it and would love to do it again this year but am only available in winter. Thanks. Pam
Hi Pam—Main difference is that there are less people and maybe a little different vibe but the hospitalero experience is pretty much the same. Every day the energy is a little different based on the group. Contact Rebekah Scott to let her know you’re interested.
 
Hi Pam—Main difference is that there are less people and maybe a little different vibe but the hospitalero experience is pretty much the same. Every day the energy is a little different based on the group. Contact Rebekah Scott to let her know you’re interested.
Thanks Laurie.
 
This is a tough request. We really need volunteers for Najera this summer, but we need to know who is coming and when. People who are serious about helping out should get in touch with me soon, (use the private message feature, or email me at rebrites @ gmail. com) we can work things out. If the trends continue, we are going to see some non-profit albergues closing without notice this summer due to lack of volunteers.
Everybody wants to do the camino, often multiple times. Evidently, not enough want to take the next step, and help us keep it going into the future.
Rebekah!
Thanks so much for your reply. Please forward some contact info. I've set up to take the hospitelero training in May, and I know that it seems more folks are wanting to help.
I "should" be done sometime in early July. Do you want to book something a little later? Note: you are the ONLY person here that is actually sounding like you want to book some time for me! I really appreciate that! Gary
 
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Rebekah!
Thanks so much for your reply. Please forward some contact info. I've set up to take the hospitelero training in May, and I know that it seems more folks are wanting to help.
I "should" be done sometime in early July. Do you want to book something a little later? Note: you are the ONLY person here that is actually sounding like you want to book some time for me! I really appreciate that! Gary
You can email me at rebrites @ yahoo.com. I am pretty short on Canadian hospitaleros this year, it would be cool to have more than just one!
I am currently focusing on staffing our busiest months, but Najera is also open year-round. If you'd like to serve then, by all means get in touch. You don't even have to be Canadian.
Laurie above is our first long-term winter hospitalera -- she is a special breed.
 

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