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Camino Forum Donation

How much should your donation be ?

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
imagine ! You are walking and arrive at a "private" albergue that seems to be the house of a private family who open their house for pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
You get a clean bed in a common room, you share with 10 or more others. There are hot showers ,toilets, room to wash and dry your cloths . There is wifi to get in contact with your dear ones.
If you are a couple they provide you a room with double bed and private bathroom.
In the afternoon the lady of the house offers you something to eat and a drink, e.g. a glass of Wine

In the evening the family prepares to all a common diner, soup, main course , wine and some stronger stuff to have a good night sleep. They give you a good feeling, being together with different nationalities, common singing etc.

The next morning they prepare all a good breakfast.
After you want to go for your next stage you find out that your stay was "donativo"
You can put money in a bottle.
Reading this all above being offered ,what should be your appreciation , translated in €?

Why my question? The other day I was hospitalero in the house, mentioned above for some days and I was bewildered finding out that some "pilgrims" sneaky tried to walk away without paying or paid 2 to 5 €! While they told me during a good glass of "free" wine that the day before they stayed here, they stayed in a hotel (30-45€ per night) or asked me to phone to a hotel or B&B to reserve a room (30 to 45€ per night)

The owners of the house offer their services out of a great and warm heart and not because of any commercial purposes. They have offered this for many years, day in day out all year round

Curious about your comments.

Members of this forum who know me, know about who I am talking !
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
That is what I do:
€8-10 for clean bed and hot shower.
€8-10 for dinner with wine.
€2-5 for breakfast.
But if a house is donativo then they have to accept less.

Set prices are better for everyone.
But it excludes the pilgrims who do not have any money.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Pretty much agree with @anniethenurse . I usually make a donation of whatever an equivalent simple menu del dia might have cost plus 10 euro or so. From what you describe probably about 25 euro. I am not wealthy but I am not poor by any sensible measure either. I do not think that others - no matter how generous and hospitable - should have to subsidise my wanderings.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Donativo is donativo - no set price. You pay what you can/ want and so on.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
Albertinho, I am so sorry that you felt the need to post this but understand why. Of course I know the private albergue you refer to. Prior to staying there, I asked you, as someone who knew the place, what would be the appropriate donation, and I left a little more than that. In conversation with other pilgrims prior to the meal, the question of what would be an appropriate donation was raised and I told the others what you had told me. A young man who was obviously travelling with limited resources visibly quailed when I said this, so I hastily added that of course this amount also took into account that there would be others who would give less because that was what they could afford. On that afternoon pilgrims were given wine and bottles of cool beer without being asked for payment, and it is my feeling that very generous donations were made the following morning. So it upsets me that the very generous hospitality I and so many others have received is being exploited. perhaps it is a question of ignorance that some pilgrims do not understand that donativo doe not equate to 'free'. I am not money-rich by the way, but recognise that I am privileged in having the time and sufficient money to walk the Camino. I do not expect the good working people of Spain or Portugal to subsidise me in that endeavour.
On the positive side, the person who owns that private albergue must have experienced that attitude from some pilgrim guests many times over the years so it is a wonderful testament to her and her husband's commitment to the Camino and its pilgrims that they continue to open up their homes to complete strangers and feed and water them regardless of whether the donations cover their outlay.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
Bradypus, I think (but might be wrong) that Robo's 'why?' was in relation to anniethenurse who wrote at the end of her post

But if a house is donativo then they have to accept less.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Bradypus, I think (but might be wrong) that Robo's 'why?' was in relation to anniethenurse who wrote at the end of her post

But if a house is donativo then they have to accept less.
Correct .....
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
"That" donativo place on the CP is a 5 star accommodation and should get at least 40 to 50 Euros/person/night.
We never knew how much someone put in the jar at San Anton, but some morning you heard only coins being dropped into the jug and sometimes nothing was donated. We only knew if we had done well by the smile on Ovidio's face when he collected the donation once a week and by what he brought back from the store for us to cook for the next week.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I also enjoyed a warm welcome at this accommodation, and left what I hope was an appropriate donation. I do however prefer a set charge to be made. I do not from choice stay in hostals of hotels because funds are limited, so I compare my donation to a night in an albergue and a menu del dia, and on special occasions as in the case of this very special establishment, leave a bit more. But wouldn't it be better to give an indication of what was considered appropriate to 'donate' so as to avoid the situation the OP describes? There could always be a notice to the effect that anyone in real hardship could leave less, but a guideline (rather than a charge) would ensure that costs were covered and perhaps a little extra given to allow for the effort made by the hospitaleros.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
"Bradypus, I think (but might be wrong) that Robo's 'why?' was in relation to anniethenurse who wrote at the end of her post

But if a house is donativo then they have to accept less."

If the owners have made the decision to operate on a donativo basis then they have deliberately chosen not to charge a minimum amount for their services. Instead they have placed the onus on the individual pilgrim to pay a reasonable sum according to their means and their own judgement and their conscience. It would then be contradictory to reject the amount which any pilgrim offers and demand a higher sum. If the owner feels that whatever is being offered is inadequate then they can suggest a more realistic figure or if they feel sufficiently offended or irritated at the derisory amount they might choose to refuse to accept it at all. What they cannot do is demand a minimum amount - it is a contradiction in terms.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
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 just don't follow the logic that donativo means less......

Surely it just means the actual amount is at the discretion of the 'guest'?

For example. Homeless people in my hometown 'sell' a magazine in order to earn income and some degree of self respect. The 'suggested' price is $5. I always pay well above that.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I just don't follow the logic that donativo means less......

Surely it just means the actual amount is at the discretion of the 'guest'?
I think I see the confusion. "Donativo" does not mean that the pilgrim should pay less than at an equivalent fee-charging albergue. Nor does it mean that the donativo albergue should refuse more generous donations. It means precisely what you say: at the discretion of the guest. Sadly that leaves them open to abuse by those whose discretion is questionable.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Thanks for your input so far.
The family realises that "donativo" can mean any amount donated, less or more. That is no issue.
Even now and then people pass by with no money at all - people who only ask for a shelter, they do not ask for more. Warm hearted as they are they then do not accept a donation. I met one or two of these pilgrims who are walking all year round to and from Santiago.but they are not the "problem". I mentioned people who are staying in hotels, hostals and as a break arrive at the donativo house - even by taxi as I noticed myself - and try to sneak away without paying or by paying with some coins and asking to reserve the next hotel ! For the coming night. By no means I can understand this behaviour.
But Annies reply is a good one in my opinion. Price of an albergue, menu del dia , breakfast so an average 20-25€ In such a situation.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
But wouldn't it be better to give an indication of what was considered appropriate to 'donate' so as to avoid the situation the OP describes? There could always be a notice to the effect that anyone in real hardship could leave less, but a guideline (rather than a charge) would ensure that costs were covered and perhaps a little extra given to allow for the effort made by the hospitaleros.
You are seeing this more and more these days, a donativo with a price. Santa Clara for example on the Portuguese (7 euros), or the private albergue in Salas on the Primitivo (10 euros). Even got a receipt from a donativo this time around, but can't recall where. Oh, and the Muni in Valenca also charges a 5 Euro donativo.
 
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Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I stayed in one house exactly as you describe it on the Primitivo. Dinner/wine, eggs/bacon for breakfast. We were eight. We donated 20 EU each. We bought the meat/fish for the dinner. Otherwise, we would have given more.

Not all the donativos are the same. Places that run by churches or some municipal are truly donativo (do not rely entirely on our donation) and i met many people who would seek those places because of their budget. But the type of places you describe are more like new openings that do not want to set a price until they become more familiar and efficient.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I have occasionally stayed in monastery guest rooms here in the UK. Usually there has been no fixed charge but it is gently suggested that guests make a donation in line with their means. Some idea of what it actually costs to feed and house guests is often given as a guideline. A good idea in my view.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Here are some of my experiences of donativo’s to throw in the mix. Firstly I would like to say that I usually give at least the going rate if not a little more when I stay at a donativo. However,

Last year I was walking back from Santiago. One day I found out that there had been a problem with my bank back home and no money had gone into my bank account. I got the problem sorted but money would not arrive in my account for six days. I had seven Euro’s on me. I could not get home so I had to carry on. It involved a lot of living outside, and it rained a lot, but a few experiences stick in my mind.

By day four I had no money left at all, it was raining hard when I walked into Ponferrada and headed to the wonderful St. Nicholas de Flue albergue which is donativo. I explained my predicament and they just smiled and said no problem. They also told me to eat anything from the top two shelves from the fridge, this being food left by pilgrims from the previous day. While the staff were lovely word soon got around and not one other pilgrim would speak to me. I was a social outcast. Interesting, I thought, as I too have witnessed pilgrims with money sneaking out without paying at other donativo’s on my journey.

A few days later I was looking for somewhere to sleep (in the rain) outside near Valdeveijas just West of Astorga. A local lady saw me and told me to ask at the Ecce Homo municipal albergue, I told her I had no money but she just smiled and told me to go there. I arrived and went to book in and explained I had no Euro’s, they just said no problem and stamped my credencial. The family explained the charge is 5 Euro’s, but they are not for profit. If a pilgrim has no money then there is no charge. Then he gave the other pilgrims their 5 Euros back to make if fair! I was astounded and humbled by this generosity! I even offered to clean the alberque in the morning but they said no.

I can also say that I never once went hungry either, I can’t even explain this, but I seemed to be offered food constantly without asking (it may have been because I was walking back, I don’t know).

Soon my money was restored to my account and life was good again, but it was a tough week. It was an intense and eye opening experience.

One observation I had was that other pilgrims seemed to treat the homeless waifs and strays that ‘live’ on the Camino with disdain and disrespect. I found myself amongst them that week (and that is another story). They were the ONLY pilgrims that shared what they had with me. Later I always offered to buy them a bed for the night in an albergue whenever I met one thereafter and cook them a meal if it was possible.

One day soon I will be back, and I fully intend to repay the kindness shown to me. Please give what you can to these donativo establishments.

Davey
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I got in the habit from my first donativo at Granon of always leaving 20 euros. What I got, as most of you know, was a thin mattress on a crowded floor, a basic hot dish for dinner and bread for extra, with bread and coffee for breakfast. I met a number of people who were walking the camino in faith, whose budget was very stringent due to various financial challenges. For example, one young woman from Australia had bought her air ticket before the Australian dollar went down in value relative to the euro, so was managing as best she could. A young man was an American veteran of Afghanistan, managing on a small pension after being invalided out. A second young woman had walked a very long way that day as fast as she could with severe blisters, because she could not afford to stay anywhere else. I hoped that my 20 euro donation would cover the cost of food for at least one pilgrim in a similar situation on the next day.
The next night at Tosantos was similar. I stayed in parish hostels whenever I could find them for the rest of my pilgrimage, because I always got more than I paid for, more than I could expect elsewhere, in the wonderful generosity of spirit of the hospitaleros/as. I felt that those places were truly following the spirit of the ancient pilgrimage. It was a privilege to be there. On the other hand, I sometimes wondered if I could afford the 20 euros where there might be a municipal that charged 5 for the bed. And I sometimes wished for a more varied menu peregrino, with some wine to drink. But I was walking the route to feed my soul and found that blessing in the many parish albergues I was able to visit.
 

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
My advice has always been to make a donativo of whatever the local private albergues were charging. Most of the people I have spoken with were comfortably-circumstanced Canadians who could easily afford this (people on a really tight budget would not be able to make the plane fare, and I wondered about Canadians who wanted to make a pilgrimage sin dinero and would tell them that they must examine their motivations very carefully). I also suggested that, about once a week, pilgrims could double their donativo as this would help cover those who could not afford much. When speaking with students or those who were on a tight budget, I suggested that they make a point never missing a chance to help out with cleaning and other chores, as there were other ways to contribute than cash.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
One day soon I will be back, and I fully intend to repay the kindness shown to me. Please give what you can to these donativo establishments.

Davey
Dave, So inspired by your story. I am surprised at the way way how other pilgrims have treated you when you were in need. I remember an American lady travelling with her son lost her wallet and a fellow gave her enough money to stay in a hotel until they can get their credit/debit cards replaced. So, forgive and move on.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Dave, So inspired by your story. I am surprised at the way way how other pilgrims have treated you when you were in need. I remember an American lady travelling with her son lost her wallet and a fellow gave her enough money to stay in a hotel until they can get their credit/debit cards replaced. So, forgive and move on.
It didn't really bother me to be honest. It was interesting though that some people do tend to treat people with no money with disdain. A symptom of the world we live in unfortunately.

Davey
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
It didn't really bother me to be honest. It was interesting though that some people do tend to treat people with no money with disdain. A symptom of the world we live in unfortunately.

Davey
But it is not not an appropriate attitude for anyone who considers themselves a pilgrim and who, as a consequence, might suddenly find themselves in desperate need and reliant on the kindness of strangers. Those who have lived through financially straitened times never forget the experience and can usually recall that it was others with not very much more who were benevolent. Thank you for sharing your experiences Davey.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
My advice has always been to make a donativo of whatever the local private albergues were charging. Most of the people I have spoken with were comfortably-circumstanced Canadians who could easily afford this (people on a really tight budget would not be able to make the plane fare, and I wondered about Canadians who wanted to make a pilgrimage sin dinero and would tell them that they must examine their motivations very carefully). I also suggested that, about once a week, pilgrims could double their donativo as this would help cover those who could not afford much. When speaking with students or those who were on a tight budget, I suggested that they make a point never missing a chance to help out with cleaning and other chores, as there were other ways to contribute than cash.
@oursonpolaire:
I would be careful about pontificating on what other Canadians can afford. What many of us can afford depends largely on how we budget. Those of us who have never owned a house or a car, who have no entertainment or clothes budget and live on a simple vegetarian diet, can sometimes afford to be generous with charitable donations and still put something aside for pilgrimage, while living on a very modest income.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
There are many kinds of "donativos." When you find yourself well-off compared to your companions, it's good to keep a sharp eye out for the student who's eating patatas bravas while his friends order the pilgrim menu, or the man who is wearing taped-together sneakers and bluejeans instead of PolarTec UltraMax clothing and eating the macaroni left behind in the albergue cupboards. These are the people really in need.
When they go to the shower, slip a 20- or even a 50-euro note in the top of their backpack. Don't say anything. Don't tell anybody.
What some of us easily spend on a nice dinner can keep another person going for days.
 
S

simply B

Guest
From my observation, it seemed to me that donativos are often abused. I have no idea whether this is because donativo is misunderstood as "free" or simply because one can come and go without paying.

€8-10 for clean bed and hot shower.
€8-10 for dinner with wine.
€2-5 for breakfast.
I agree with the rate but not with leaving less at donativos, quite the contrary.

I either pay extra to help with direct costs to the albergue OR I provide food/beverage for the meal to save them direct costs. How much extra I pay is really my own business but, the reason that I do is because there are unfortunates on the Camino. Their poverty may be of long duration or they may have suffered recent mishap. (Personally, I have seen plenty of both - honest cases, not the freeloaders/scammers.) Donativos are living on grace, those with a bit of surplus should help fuel them.

Not wealthy, this does pinch my wallet a bit but the offset is a gently expanded sense of gratitude for what I do have.

YMMV


B
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I met once with a particular version of the "donativo": it was voluntary, but you had to deposit your money at the reception desk, under the watchful eyes of the hospitalero. I found this quite odd.
I think the fixed charge "donativo" is probably related to some kind of particular fiscal or regulation category. If an establishment demands publicly a tariff, it will be asked by authorities to comply with certain minimal conditions.
btw, the "donativo idea" was discussed in this forum some time ago. See here
 

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
@oursonpolaire:
I would be careful about pontificating on what other Canadians can afford. What many of us can afford depends largely on how we budget. Those of us who have never owned a house or a car, who have no entertainment or clothes budget and live on a simple vegetarian diet, can sometimes afford to be generous with charitable donations and still put something aside for pilgrimage, while living on a very modest income.
My pontifications are based on about ten years of workshops and training sessions and I think my comments were characterized by a careful use of terminology. Most of the Canadians I have helped prepare for the Camino have been--- let's call them prosperous (I would use the 85-15 proportion as a rough guide), while I noted that there were those for whom budgets were a much more important issue and that there were other avenues of supporting the donativo albergues. My pontifications above included them as they are an important part of the pilgrim population.

There is still a problem of a few prosperous Canadians leaving little to nothing for their donativo; in my Caminos I encountered about a dozen or so cases of this. The two separate Canadians I spoke with who were doing the Camino sin dinero told me that they felt it was important to provide others with an opportunity to be generous-- one was a corporate lawyer in Toronto! Happily, these people are rare phenomena and generally speaking most pilgrims pull their weight-- this is why local groups of pilgrims providing mentorship to prospective pilgrims are so important.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
My pontifications are based on about ten years of workshops and training sessions and I think my comments were characterized by a careful use of terminology. Most of the Canadians I have helped prepare for the Camino have been--- let's call them prosperous (I would use the 85-15 proportion as a rough guide), while I noted that there were those for whom budgets were a much more important issue and that there were other avenues of supporting the donativo albergues. My pontifications above included them as they are an important part of the pilgrim population.

There is still a problem of a few prosperous Canadians leaving little to nothing for their donativo; in my Caminos I encountered about a dozen or so cases of this. The two separate Canadians I spoke with who were doing the Camino sin dinero told me that they felt it was important to provide others with an opportunity to be generous-- one was a corporate lawyer in Toronto! Happily, these people are rare phenomena and generally speaking most pilgrims pull their weight-- this is why local groups of pilgrims providing mentorship to prospective pilgrims are so important.
@oursonpolaire:
A good reply. Thank you. I guess that, as a low income Canadian, I resented the implication that I could not pay the airfare in order to walk the camino, should not be there, or would not be pulling my weight. With regards to the corporate lawyer, I think that he was confused about what it means to be on pilgrimage. He was, in effect, pretending to be someone that he was not, so his pilgrimage could hardly be genuine. I took part in a preparation day before my camino last year, and the only other person there about whose income I knew anything was my mailman. He was taking time off from delivering mail to walk the camino. As a senior (he was) I could only assume that he had not retired because he needed his income. The three pilgrims at Granon who talked to me about their financial situations (see post #23 above) were all poor and walking the camino in faith. I was inspired by their choice to go forward with very little. As a pilgrim who was able to put aside more for my expenses, I felt privileged to be able to offer more so that the next day's poor pilgrims might eat. I make no judgments as to who can, or ought to be able to, walk the camino. I have been blessed with enough for me and to share. Perhaps your responsibilities require you to judge, in order to give appropriate directions to the aspiring pilgrims who are assisted by you. Please just remember that there are some of us with low incomes who can, currently, afford an air ticket to go on camino and still be generous.
 

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
There are so many different sorts of pilgrims and Albertagirl's concern is very valid. An important tranche was those for whom it be a journey of great spiritual importance and who spend years preparing and budgeting. One of the baselines for our workshops was to assume that pilgrims would be in the albergues and figuring out how to get adequately nourished on a budget. We would always talk about the importance, both economically and in the spirit of pilgrimage, of preparing meals together. Few Canadians have much experience with communal living and sharing tips and experiences was a good way to lower the anxiety level and help people focus on the experience. Those who want to go upmarket are usually capable of figuring that out, but I know that our workshop leaders were pretty sensitive to where people are coming from. For most prospective pilgrims, time was more of an issue than money but we would always spend a lot of each session working with both issues.

I must admit I was troubled by our lawyer compatriot, who was quite well-off but who had little trouble living off a country in crisis to prove a (IMHO confused) personal point. I hope that his experiences helped him clarify what he was doing. But, as I said, he was an outlier.

The Canadian credential has a paragraph in it which reads: "Many of the refugios/albergues along the Way are maintained only through the generosity of local citizens, pilgrim groups and volunteers. It is your responsibility to respect other pilgrims and to contribute to the upkeep and survival of the refugios/albergues by contributing as generously as you can in return for the hospitality you are receiving."

PS I am only commenting on Canadians-- I met a few odd types of other nationalities, but I had my hands full worrying about my own compatriots.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
My pontifications are based on about ten years of workshops and training sessions and I think my comments were characterized by a careful use of terminology. Most of the Canadians I have helped prepare for the Camino have been--- let's call them prosperous (I would use the 85-15 proportion as a rough guide), while I noted that there were those for whom budgets were a much more important issue and that there were other avenues of supporting the donativo albergues. My pontifications above included them as they are an important part of the pilgrim population.

There is still a problem of a few prosperous Canadians leaving little to nothing for their donativo; in my Caminos I encountered about a dozen or so cases of this. The two separate Canadians I spoke with who were doing the Camino sin dinero told me that they felt it was important to provide others with an opportunity to be generous-- one was a corporate lawyer in Toronto! Happily, these people are rare phenomena and generally speaking most pilgrims pull their weight-- this is why local groups of pilgrims providing mentorship to prospective pilgrims are so important.
I have to disagree with your line of reasoning. Taking a few Canadians you came in contact with and generalizing 'most prosperous Canadians don't like to donate generously' does not make sense to me. I have now done many Caminos and came across several Spaniards simply hopping from one donativo to the next. If they don't find a donativo they just keep walking to the next town. Would it be fair for me to then claim 'Spaniards don't like to pay for alberque'? Obviously, people are in all kind of situations and mindsets. There is really no way for us to guess why/how a person would donate. I would not want to make that judgement. People are generally are fair if they can.
 
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NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
My pontifications are based on about ten years of workshops and training sessions and I think my comments were characterized by a careful use of terminology. Most of the Canadians I have helped prepare for the Camino have been--- let's call them prosperous (I would use the 85-15 proportion as a rough guide), while I noted that there were those for whom budgets were a much more important issue and that there were other avenues of supporting the donativo albergues. My pontifications above included them as they are an important part of the pilgrim population.
There are many pilgrims who do not go to workshops and have no idea what 'Friends of the Camino' groups are. I recognize your comments might reflect your trainees, but your trainees may not be representative of the many thousands of Canadian pilgrims on the camino. And being able to save for the cost of airfare does not make someone financially secure enough to not still need to economize everything in their life.

That said, be as generous as possible at the donativo.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Curious about your comments.
This is a subject that we speak about a lot in my 'neck of the woods,' in the context of offering meditation retreats on a donation basis, or not. It's a tradition with a very long and noble lineage, but now in the west it seems to be fraying at the edges--or at least being called into question. Same as with donativo albergues as opposed to the commercial ones...it's a very similar discussion.

We deal with the situation mostly through education and clear communication. The information is always put out there in print and orally, so people know that the teachers subsist on donations--and about the benefits of generosity. Very practically, one helpful guideline we share to ask people to reflect about how much they'd pay in other areas of their lives for such an activity and to give accordingly. And this would apply as easily to albergues as to meditation retreats.

The bottom line is that there is no set amount expected, and living this way is a matter of faith. We instruct people to offer what they can--with the understanding that it should be neither too much (thus not taking care of themselves) nor too little (unnecessarily withholding out of fear or stinginess). And then we trust that it will come out in the karmic wash--as the good people running this albergue (and many others) obviously do. The thing about goodness and generosity is that it does boomerang. Eventually. I would guess that the family in question understand this quite well!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
All I can say is...I was so very grateful to the hospitalero in my first ever albergue... It happened to be 'donativo' and I had NO IDEA how much to give. I had just arrived.
He suggested €10 for bed and €10 for evening meal.
Breakfast was free. Had I known, as I do now, I would have given more. (To include breakfast!)
Sometimes, new pilgrims are like 'rabbits in headlights'.
I know I was :rolleyes::oops:
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
The two separate Canadians I spoke with who were doing the Camino sin dinero told me that they felt it was important to provide others with an opportunity to be generous--
sorry, but that sounds 'Sick'...

Pity you can't name and shame ;)

I'm sure his clients would be impressed!
 

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 to disagree with your line of reasoning. Taking a few Canadians you came in contact with and generalizing 'most prosperous Canadians don't like to donate generously' does not make sense to me. I have now done many Caminos and came across several Spaniards simply hopping from one donativo to the next. If they don't find a donativo they just keep walking to the next town. Would it be fair for me to then claim 'Spaniards don't like to pay for alberque'? Obviously, people are in all kind of situations and mindsets. There is really no way for us to guess why/how a person would donate. I would not want to make that judgement. People are generally are fair if they can.
I don't want to get into a long thread on this, but I am not sure where I said what you have just quoted. I did say "There is still a problem of a few prosperous Canadians leaving little to nothing for their donativo; in my Caminos I encountered about a dozen or so cases of this" which means something entirely different. In training sessions, I've worked with (rough guess) about 700-800 over the years, and I don't think that any of the outliers I mentioned had attended any CCoP or AQC sessions..
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I think the fixed charge "donativo" is probably related to some kind of particular fiscal or regulation category. If an establishment demands publicly a tariff, it will be asked by authorities to comply with certain minimal conditions. btw, the "donativo idea" was discussed in this forum some time ago. See here
That's what I have been wondering... how does the donativo vs formal payement get treated fiscally?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Maybe Donativo is the wrong word. Our donation should reflect our GRATITUDE for given services and or meals..... Ultreya........ Willy/Utah/USA

gratuity

gra·tu·i·ty


noun
The definition of gratuity is a sum of money given to someone who provides service or a favour as a way to show graciousness or thankfulness.
 

zakosdad

CaminoWalkers
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2013 CF Sept (2019?)
imagine ! You are walking and arrive at a "private" albergue that seems to be the house of a private family who open their house for pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
You get a clean bed in a common room, you share with 10 or more others. There are hot showers ,toilets, room to wash and dry your cloths . There is wifi to get in contact with your dear ones.
If you are a couple they provide you a room with double bed and private bathroom.
In the afternoon the lady of the house offers you something to eat and a drink, e.g. a glass of Wine

In the evening the family prepares to all a common diner, soup, main course , wine and some stronger stuff to have a good night sleep. They give you a good feeling, being together with different nationalities, common singing etc.

The next morning they prepare all a good breakfast.
After you want to go for your next stage you find out that your stay was "donativo"
You can put money in a bottle.
Reading this all above being offered ,what should be your appreciation , translated in €?

Why my question? The other day I was hospitalero in the house, mentioned above for some days and I was bewildered finding out that some "pilgrims" sneaky tried to walk away without paying or paid 2 to 5 €! While they told me during a good glass of "free" wine that the day before they stayed here, they stayed in a hotel (30-45€ per night) or asked me to phone to a hotel or B&B to reserve a room (30 to 45€ per night)

The owners of the house offer their services out of a great and warm heart and not because of any commercial purposes. They have offered this for many years, day in day out all year round

Curious about your comments.

Members of this forum who know me, know about who I am talking !

I would personally give a minimum of €20 possibly more depending on the moment. On our Camino we stayed in one donativo and knowing that it was church run, not supported
by a municipality and not a private for profit - I felt I should pay more knowing full well that "some" would walk for free or almost free. Since I could afford it I felt comfortable giving more,
especially since I could afford it and I knew how little they receive.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
My house is donativo. People ask how much they should give, and I don't give them a figure. I let them decide. The discomfort they feel is them having to measure their morals against their desire to save a few dollars!
I used to get angry when obviously well-off people abused our hospitality. I have since found a lot of comfort in contemplating Grace.
"Grace" means "Unmerited favor." It is the linchpin of Christian theology. It's based on someone giving up everything for you, even though you did nothing to deserve it or earn it. Grace is priceless, it is unconditional. It is what Good is made of. It's getting something for nothing. It's giving something, and expecting nothing in return.
It makes absolutely no sense in a world that's based on transactions, give-and-take, exchanges of money, services, goods, and value. But Grace, and pilgrims discovering grace for themselves, and practising it with one another -- it's what makes the Camino such a "magical" place. Strangers help out one another. Innkeepers welcome people who have no money. Local people stop you when you're walking the wrong way.
It's sweet, it's humane, it's very very easy to do, once you start out. It is incredibly rewarding, even though rewards are not what it's about.
That's why I tell "my" hospitaleros to let the albergue administrators count the donativos. We cannot judge pilgrims by the amount of money they give us. They cannot "vote with their euros" if we don't know what (of if) they are putting in the box or jar. We trust there will be enough at the end of the week to meet expenses.
Paying your fair share is just the right thing to do. You know what you usually pay, you know what's right and fair. Someone's been good to you. So you be good to them.
You be good to them whether or not the bathroom is spotless or the cuisine is first-class, or there's wine at dinner.
This is a pilgrimage, it's not a holiday cruise. Unless you are a complete clod, you will encounter grace out there. You only have to respond with graciousness.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
My house is donativo. People ask how much they should give, and I don't give them a figure. I let them decide. The discomfort they feel is them having to measure their morals against their desire to save a few dollars!
I used to get angry when obviously well-off people abused our hospitality. I have since found a lot of comfort in contemplating Grace.
"Grace" means "Unmerited favor." It is the linchpin of Christian theology. It's based on someone giving up everything for you, even though you did nothing to deserve it or earn it. Grace is priceless, it is unconditional. It is what Good is made of. It's getting something for nothing. It's giving something, and expecting nothing in return.
It makes absolutely no sense in a world that's based on transactions, give-and-take, exchanges of money, services, goods, and value. But Grace, and pilgrims discovering grace for themselves, and practicing it with one another -- it's what makes the Camino such a "magical" place. Strangers help out one another. Innkeepers welcome people who have no money. Local people stop you when you're walking the wrong way.
It's sweet, it's humane, it's very very easy to do, once you start out. It is incredibly rewarding, even though rewards are not what it's about.
That's why I tell "my" hospitaleros to let the albergue administrators count the donativos. We cannot judge pilgrims by the amount of money they give us. They cannot "vote with their euros" if we don't know what (of if) they are putting in the box or jar. We trust there will be enough at the end of the week to meet expenses.
Paying your fair share is just the right thing to do. You know what you usually pay, you know what's right and fair. Someone's been good to you. So you be good to them.
You be good to them whether or not the bathroom is spotless or the cuisine is first-class, or there's wine at dinner.
This is a pilgrimage, it's not a holiday cruise. Unless you are a complete clod, you will encounter grace out there. Yu only have to respond with graciousness.
Hmmm. The op is getting a bit "disformed" by your answer.
What should you do when the reception of an expensive hotel the stage before you, calls you to say that two pilgrims are on their way to your donative albergue and ask to keep two beds free for them.
You lodge them, you feed them and the next morning the pilgrims ask you to phone to reserve an "expensive-let say a 45€ hotel -for the next stop after your place.they do not speak spanish.
In grace they donate you 5€ and two coins.
I would like to see the grin on your face !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances over 5 years - beginning in October 2016
I may be wrong - but people have their own reasons for setting their house up as a 'Donativo'. They must be aware that this method is open to a wide-range of interpretation. Yet they choose to continue.

As to what is appropriate, I have never yet walked a camino, so have no experience. I am interested to read the thoughts of those with more experience.

If a house sleeps 1o people and each donates 40 Euro, that would be 400 Euro a night income - which I imagine is a significant sum.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
If a house sleeps 1o people and each donates 40 Euro, that would be 400 Euro a night income - which I imagine is a significant sum.
Your arithmetic seems sound. Unlikely to happen though :) It would be a very special place which justified and received 40 euro per person. Especially if the place is donativo. I think the going rate for an evening meal, a dorm bed and breakfast in most albergues is more likely to be around the 20 euro mark. Probably more than covers the costs on a day with a full or busy house. No idea how the economics of it might work when averaged over a whole year though.

edit: By the "going rate" I meant what a fixed-charge albergue might cost. Sadly I do not think that is what donativo albergues actually receive as @Tincatinker makes clear in a post below.
 
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Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
If a house sleeps 1o people and each donates 40 Euro, that would be 400 Euro a night income - which I imagine is a significant sum.
Stuart, you are quite correct, €400 a night would be a great income - €145,000 a year allowing for closing Christmas day and the odd lightweight who only pops €35 in the pot. Trouble is it would never happen. Most Donativos are lucky to see €5 - 10 per head excluding the free-loaders. Some mornings there is scarcely enough in that pot to buy the ingredients for dinner let alone the replace the toilet rolls that have been 'borrowed', fix the broken and replace the worn-out. Even the private Albergues set up as commercial businesses and desirous of a profitable return cannot levy a charge of €40 in the market as it exists.

So why do so many places continue to operate a business model that would make an MBA weep? Well, you'll have the chance to ask them when you do your camino. And you'll have the opportunity to be as generous as you can be when you fold those banknotes and pop them in the pot.

Buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances over 5 years - beginning in October 2016
I shall beat them over the head with my Amex...or at least a friend's Amex.

As I say - the owners must have their reasons for the model - but a suggested amount might make things easier to interpret I guess.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I shall beat them over the head with my Amex...or at least a friend's Amex.
Probably the only use you will have for it. Very much a cash economy along the caminos. Do not expect to use your plastic except at very upmarket places. Lots of cash machines in the towns where you can stock up on euros though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances over 5 years - beginning in October 2016
Probably the only use you will have for it. Very much a cash economy along the caminos. Do not expect to use your plastic except at very upmarket places. Lots of cash machines in the towns where you can stock up on euros though.
There you go!

"I would have left you 50 Euros, but sorry no cash."

Win - Win!:cool:
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Hmmm. The op is getting a bit "disformed" by your answer.
What should you do when the reception of an expensive hotel the stage before you, calls you to say that two pilgrims are on their way to your donative albergue and ask to keep two beds free for them.
You lodge them, you feed them and the next morning the pilgrims ask you to phone to reserve an "expensive-let say a 45€ hotel -for the next stop after your place.they do not speak spanish.
In grace they donate you 5€ and two coins.
I would like to see the grin on your face !
This has happened. I told them I am not a travel agent, they will have to book their own hotels. And I told them they are abusing the camino, and insulting me.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
In the case of the place referred to by Albertinho, it is very much an example of traditional pilgrimage hospitality. There are people who live near, or on the Camino, because their faith, and personal experience of pilgrimage to SdC moves them to serve others on pilgrimage. as Tincatinker says in his post above it is 'a business model that would make an MBA weep' but as mspath has often reminded us on this forum when quoting Pascal "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of ..."
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
I don't really know why people set up their own house as "Donativo". Is the money they receive income or is it alms/charity, modelled after medieval pilgrimage ideas and practices where pilgrims who were better off were expected to support poorer pilgrims? The home owner is hospitable and charitable towards you and at the same time you have an opportunity to be charitable towards other pilgrims?
You must know by now about which donativo house we are talking all the time so I suggest if you have the chance,stay there and experience the love of the family for the caminho and the pilgrims.
 
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VNwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Good advice from another thread:
So how much to give as a donation?

A fellow German pilgrim taught me the “rule of 5”. This means for everything of the following he gives at least 5 Euro: a place to sleep, a shower (yes, there are Pilgerherbergen that have only a wash basin), dinner, breakfast. And if you can afford give more, please do so, sometimes a whole roof needs to replaced!

I think this rule is a good rule of thumb to go by, don't you?

So, that is it, soon more. Buen Camino or, better said, Guten Weg! SY
Generosity is its own reward--and such a joyful thing to do. So hopefully donativo albergues like the one mentioned in the OP will not go the way of the dinosaurs...the world and the Camino would be a much poorer place without them.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
imagine ! You are walking and arrive at a "private" albergue that seems to be the house of a private family who open their house for pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
You get a clean bed in a common room, you share with 10 or more others. There are hot showers ,toilets, room to wash and dry your cloths . There is wifi to get in contact with your dear ones.
If you are a couple they provide you a room with double bed and private bathroom.
In the afternoon the lady of the house offers you something to eat and a drink, e.g. a glass of Wine

In the evening the family prepares to all a common diner, soup, main course , wine and some stronger stuff to have a good night sleep. They give you a good feeling, being together with different nationalities, common singing etc.

The next morning they prepare all a good breakfast.
After you want to go for your next stage you find out that your stay was "donativo"
You can put money in a bottle.
Reading this all above being offered ,what should be your appreciation , translated in €?

Why my question? The other day I was hospitalero in the house, mentioned above for some days and I was bewildered finding out that some "pilgrims" sneaky tried to walk away without paying or paid 2 to 5 €! While they told me during a good glass of "free" wine that the day before they stayed here, they stayed in a hotel (30-45€ per night) or asked me to phone to a hotel or B&B to reserve a room (30 to 45€ per night)

The owners of the house offer their services out of a great and warm heart and not because of any commercial purposes. They have offered this for many years, day in day out all year.

Members of this forum who know me, know about who I am talking !
I think I can guess who this charming family is! This time, NOT on the Camino Francés.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
I may be wrong - but people have their own reasons for setting their house up as a 'Donativo'. They must be aware that this method is open to a wide-range of interpretation. Yet they choose to continue.

As to what is appropriate, I have never yet walked a camino, so have no experience. I am interested to read the thoughts of those with more experience.

If a house sleeps 1o people and each donates 40 Euro, that would be 400 Euro a night income - which I imagine is a significant sum.
Beds,linen,toilets,hot showers,internetmodem,gas,electricity,
Washingmachine,dryer,food,,drinks,pestcontrol etc etc. I hope you know what your householding costs per week,month,anum! So at his kind of places it is x times... Specially at the busiest month of the year
We stayed at Chrismas time with the family last time and even then some pilgrims passed by and stayed and at least you offer them a heated room,a hot shower,a hot meal etc.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances over 5 years - beginning in October 2016
Albertinho - don't tell anyone, but I haven't the first clue what would be a genuine cost. I would hope to err on the side of generous, and this thread has given me some idea of what that might be. It sounds a wonderful place.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Albertinho, I can certainly undertand the frustration, yours and theirs. But I doubt that those walking the Caminos will change for the better as the masses keep arriving. Let me ask you, why not go to a fixed price, or aleast a suggested price, while still opening their home as a donativo for those who clearly need it, based on their jugement of the siuation. They already screen people and suggest some walk on if they suspect they got out of the taxi at the local bar.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
Anemone del Camino@ The owners' answer would be - because they discussed this with us all on the night I stayed - that they prefer to function as a donativo because then it is a choice they have made (because of the their attachment to the spiritual significance of the Camino) to offer shelter and food to pilgrims but on a scale that enables them to continue with their own family life. Thus being a choice, not a business obligation, the welcome and hospitality is a true expression of their love towards pilgrims and is not tainted by being forced into becoming a marketing ploy.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Anemone del Camino@ The owners' answer would be - because they discussed this with us all on the night I stayed - that they prefer to function as a donativo because then it is a choice they have made (because of the their attachment to the spiritual significance of the Camino) to offer shelter and food to pilgrims but on a scale that enables them to continue with their own family life. Thus being a choice, not a business obligation, the welcome and hospitality is a true expression of their love towards pilgrims and is not tainted by being forced into becoming a marketing ploy.
It's all about the 'but on a scale that allows them to continue with their own family life", and clearly this is becoming an issue. I stayed with them 3 weeks ago and you could see hints of the frustration. Will it be an "all or nothing" decision as what they do in the future? Perhaps, and if so pilgrims will lose a lovely rest spot. Pilgrims won't change, only the family can decide what it wants to do.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Albertinho, I can certainly undertand the frustration, yours and theirs. But I doubt that those walking the Caminos will change for the better as the masses keep arriving. Let me ask you, why not go to a fixed price, or aleast a suggested price, while still opening their home as a donativo for those who clearly need it, based on their jugement of the siuation. They already screen people and suggest some walk on if they suspect they got out of the taxi at the local bar.
It is not my frustration .I just saw things during our fortnight stay and noticed their concern.
It also has to do with the Portugese caminho getting more and more popular and busier and more turegrino's .
As said before -some come from an expensive hotel in Barcelos- take the advantage of a"cheap" donation and book an expensive hotel for their next stop. That is not fair to the ones who need a shelter because they are on low budget. And that is the concern and how to cope with that.

I questioned in a different way by asking what your donitation should be.
I presented some ideas to them but I know in their heart they are crying !

It is a shame that some who say they are pilgrims abuse the given situation .
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I have seen first hand how warmly they welcome people, and how tactfully indicate to others this may not be the right venue for them. Unfortunately it is easier to detect someone who has not walked much that day than someone who will not pay their fair share at the end of their stay. The only solution I see for now is to at least have a suggested donation price and see how that helps.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
I don't know if this might help but I will suggest it anyway. Acceptance at a donativo could be made conditional upon having stayed the three previous nights in an albergue, the stamps providing the evidence, BUT the problem with this suggestion I hear you all say is that on the Frances at least, as was noted in another thread recently, you don't have to stay at an albergue to get a sello from there. Another approach would be for the owners to make clear to potential 'guests', when they book by telephone at least, that the priority for staying at this albergue has to be for those who cannot afford the cost of hotels etc. On the rare occasion when an exception is made for those who can afford more, it is to be by negotiation and the amount of payment acknowledging that the donation is to cover a less well-off pilgrim's stay & meal as well as their own. In all cases, payment should be before bedtime and not left until breakfast when the less honest might feel it is okay for them to 'slink away'.

Finally, I think the message needs to go out to all international pilgrim websites that this is an albergue - one of the most cherished on the CP - which could be under threat because of unpilgrim-like behaviour from folks who see the Camino as a cheap holiday, and donativo albergues as fair game. If future pilgrims wish that wonderful experience of hospitality to be available to them then they need to mobilise to guarantee its survival. Am I being judgemental, you bet I am. Let the word go out, it's a pilgrimage, it's a 'holy' thing (however you choose to define that) it matters how you treat people, and the golden rule is to always do unto other as you would have them do unto you. Taking advantage of people financially is stealing in my book. loving kindness should be a blessing we all recognise and enjoy and reciprocate, passing it forward or back, but certainly passing it on.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Finally, I think the message needs to go out to all international pilgrim websites that this is an albergue - one of the most cherished on the CP - which could be under threat because of unpilgrim-like behaviour from folks who see the Camino as a cheap holiday, and donativo albergues as fair game. If future pilgrims wish that wonderful experience of hospitality to be available to them then they need to mobilise to guarantee its survival. Am I being judgemental, you bet I am. Let the word go out, it's a pilgrimage, it's a 'holy' thing (however you choose to define that) it matters how you treat people, and the golden rule is to always do unto other as you would have them do unto you. Taking advantage of people financially is stealing in my book.
Amen, SEB.
Same goes with similar places on any other Camino.
Another suggestion in addition to your good ones: how about not taking bookings over the phone and accepting only people who carry their packs (or are injured and obviously cannot)--as I believe Gualcelmo in Rabinal does. That would probably reduce the likelihood of abuse by the relatively wealthy who are walking from hotel to hotel and having bags transferred.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I don't know if this might help but I will suggest it anyway. Acceptance at a donativo could be made conditional upon having stayed the three previous nights in an albergue, the stamps providing the evidence,
I am afraid that I see another problem in suggesting that only those who have stayed in albergues may book in donativos. Because the general rule in albergues is that guests may stay for one night only, anyone who is tired or ill must book a hotel in order to get a day or two off to rest. I did so in Santo Domingo de Silos, because the monastic guesthouse was reserved for men, and I wanted some retreat days. I did so again in Leon, where I took three days to rest and get my clothing washed and mended before moving on. To the lower budget pilgrim staying in a hotel may strain the budget but can be an occasional necessity on a lengthy foot pilgrimage. It does not prove that one is wealthy. But please go on making suggestions as to how we could better encourage one another to show our appreciation for the wonderful donativo albergues on the various caminos.
 

Montana Jayne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2015 - Camino Frances
? Camino Ingles
We liked donativo albergues because it was an opportunity to be generous, and we tried to pay more to "help" others who might not have enough. At the end of the day we felt so grateful for just being able to be on the camino. Character does count for something, hopefully those who are just being cheap have a change of heart by the time they reach Santiago. And all who do not donate are not being cheap, perhaps they are the real pilgrims after all. The cheap ones are the people who have the big dinner, drinks, and bar snacks rather than donate for their accommodations. They are around you every day and in every place.
 

belladonna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting on my 63rd b-day this year. My first Camino!
I just don't follow the logic that donativo means less......

Surely it just means the actual amount is at the discretion of the 'guest'?

For example. Homeless people in my hometown 'sell' a magazine in order to earn income and some degree of self respect. The 'suggested' price is $5. I always pay well above that.
Donativo does not require "less."
imagine ! You are walking and arrive at a "private" albergue that seems to be the house of a private family who open their house for pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
You get a clean bed in a common room, you share with 10 or more others. There are hot showers ,toilets, room to wash and dry your cloths . There is wifi to get in contact with your dear ones.
If you are a couple they provide you a room with double bed and private bathroom.
In the afternoon the lady of the house offers you something to eat and a drink, e.g. a glass of Wine

In the evening the family prepares to all a common diner, soup, main course , wine and some stronger stuff to have a good night sleep. They give you a good feeling, being together with different nationalities, common singing etc.

The next morning they prepare all a good breakfast.
After you want to go for your next stage you find out that your stay was "donativo"
You can put money in a bottle.
Reading this all above being offered ,what should be your appreciation , translated in €?

Why my question? The other day I was hospitalero in the house, mentioned above for some days and I was bewildered finding out that some "pilgrims" sneaky tried to walk away without paying or paid 2 to 5 €! While they told me during a good glass of "free" wine that the day before they stayed here, they stayed in a hotel (30-45€ per night) or asked me to phone to a hotel or B&B to reserve a room (30 to 45€ per night)

The owners of the house offer their services out of a great and warm heart and not because of any commercial purposes. They have offered this for many years, day in day out all year round

Curious about your comments.

Members of this forum who know me, know about who I am talking !
All of the amenities that you described (sound heavenly) are an expression of love for the pilgrims. As pilgrims, we would bless the owners from our hearts and with our cash, as we must bless everywhere we go, using our money as an expression of gratitude. It is a transaction as simple as that. The question: "What is a good donation for services when donativo is listed?" That answer is beautiful and a good suggestion. However, donativo means whatever you can pay. A donation of 7E for a delicious meal for someone who cannot afford one, might be the same as 25E for a wealthier person. Blessings to all who walk the camino!
 

jo webber

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 9th 2017
Thank you all for the wonderful explanations. I have learned a great deal.

While I planned to pay the going rate for donativo, I now understand that to give more is to give not only to those who offer hospitality, but to those fellow pilgrims who may benefit from a larger donation. And to be aware of people who walk with little.

Even though I have limited means there is always a way to share what I do have. Thank you for your knowledge, this too is a gift.
 

Gailsie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Fall '09 ;
In May 2014, I stayed at the wonderful spot the OP mentioned and felt that the 20 euros that I left was probably not enough for the food, wine, comfortable bed and hospitality that I received. In the fall of 2009, I stayed at the albergue attached to the church in Viana and left 10 euros. There we were told that what was in the paella that we ate that night for supper had been paid for by those who left their donativo the night before. In those two cases I had stayed at a mixture of hotels and albergues and was fortunate to be able to leave more than many pilgrims could probably afford.
 

stevenjarvis

Active Member
A very interesting thread, I'm worried that the OP Albertinho appears to have left the forum after June 6 2016 , I hope all is well with him and that he returns soon :)
Concerning the apparent dilemmas faced by the gracious hosts of the particular Donativo , it seems that a recommended minimum donation of E30 per person needs to be clearly communicated and collected on arrival to avoid the unreasonable behaviour that clearly prompted Albertinho to pose the question.
This is a small extension of the current "filtering" the family undertake. This will hopefully allow this generous family to continue with their Hospitalero (?) calling , will not discourage those able to from paying double or treble that amount ( e.g. couples in a private en suite double ) , and allow the family the flexibility to welcome those unable to pay at their discretion.
 

Walkandwalk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances 2016, 2018
I stayed just two times in Donativo albergues, and both time I donated 10eu. I noticed that a lot of people are not paying at all and even leaving without saying goodbye to volunteers.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I stayed just two times in Donativo albergues, and both time I donated 10eu. I noticed that a lot of people are not paying at all and even leaving without saying goodbye to volunteers.
I must admit that when I was walking with my son in 2016 in July/August, I'm sure we often left without saying goodbye to the volunteers. We liked to be out by 5:30 am to avoid (as much as possible) walking in the hottest part of the day. I don't think the volunteers were up for goodbyes then, and they probably appreciated not being woken for them.
 
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