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How much should your donation be ?

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Not quite as simple as it seems because there are donativos and donativos - some are even owned by the municipalidad, some are run by the parish or a religious organisation, some are private and either donativo because the owner has a strong altruistic streak or simply wants to avoid some of the more onerous rules and inspections associated with rented accommodation in Spain. One thing they have in common - if people don't give money, they will cease to exist. My advice? Figure out what it is worth and then give a bit more to make up for the freeloaders. Incidentally, what the municipal albergues charge is less than they cost to run. Local councils subsidise them, mainly to help local business and/or keep isolated communities alive. Buen camino.
 
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Stephen

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
A bunk in a private albergue costs about €12 now. A meal costs about the same.
So, if I found accommodation that provided an evening meal and a bed I'd donate €30.
The little extra would go to partly cover the cost of free-loaders.
If people can afford to travel to a Camino it's the least they can do to pay their way.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
If people can afford to travel to a Camino it's the least they can do to pay their way.
Yes, of course. Do bear in mind though that some people walk from home and either walk back or get a bus. Not all Pilgrims are from another continent.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Donativo always raises the question "how much is fair?" I wish they would simply name a price, and take away the indecision factor. It would be easier. We know its 5 euro min at an Albergue and 10 euro for a pilgrim menu, and say 5 euro for breakfast. So anything less than 20 euro is not equivalent, unless you have an incapacity to pay, and 20 euro is still dirt cheap to pay for bed, breakfast and dinner. 95% of people could surely afford that. Comes back IMO to people looking for a cheap holiday by taking advantage of other peoples kindness vs embracing the Camino values of pilgrimage (and fairness).

I have always held that view, but my chat with Rebecca recently gave a different perspective.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
If people can afford to travel to a Camino it's the least they can do to pay their way.
Yes, of course. Do bear in mind though that some people walk from home and either walk back or get a bus. Not all Pilgrims are from another continent.
In a way agree with @Barbara. Perhaps it took years to save just to get the transportation\travel cost covered and maybe a very sparse meals.
That said (and its been lifted before on various threads) - if you indeed CAN afford to pay your way, please do so and if possible see if you can help by donating 'a little bit extra' 👍

My budget for planned Camino was about € 40.00\day (all daily expenses while walking; not counting transportation to\from plus a little extra for occidentals and\or emergencies). I have a feeling that due to COVID-19 (and still Praying that I will be able to go in 10 months) that may hit the mark and even go up somewhat. And in perhaps a bit of a weird way - I'm OK with it...
 
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Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
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.

Rebekah,

I like your reasoning and approach. Regarding the OP's question, for me, it depends upon the reality of each Pilgrims circumstance. If as described by Rebekah Scott you are a true Pilgrim and one who cannot afford accommodation and meals on the level of many Pilgrims, your donation should be whatever you can honestly afford. I do think that even the most needy should contribute in some way. For others, we'll call them the "average" Pilgrim, personally I believe that the going rate is a good guide but, we all know our own circumstance and I would not judge by appearances alone. For others, this is where charity comes in. I have been fortunate in life, not wealthy but I can do more, so, I try to. If donating a bit more to offset the cost to the hosts for those who truly cannot (or for those who take advantage), then I'm happy to do it. I think that what we all object to are those who take advantage. With all that said, my opinion and 2 euro will get you a nice cafe con leche along the way. Be safe, be humble. Buen Camino.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
This is a very interesting thread, because it brings up some questions which are integral to the pilgrim camino. And I don't think that any calculation can answer them. A story might help. On my second camino, I met a woman who was walking south along the pilgrim routes for the winter, because it was November and she was homeless. She was very reluctant to accept a donation, but finally said that, if I insisted on giving her some cash, I should put it in her backpack, so she wouldn't know how much it was. I put my gift in her pack and was delighted to meet her in an albergue on a rainy night a few days later. She told me that she had looked for shelter for the night as it became dark, but had no tent and could not find a rain-proof shelter. As she had some money from me, she felt comfortable paying for a bed in a Xunta albergue. It was dark and cold and rainy. I was so delighted that I could offer her a bed for that night. Somehow, she was me, and I really did not want to sleep out in that weather.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Theatregal,

I too firmly believe one must act towards others with trust and mutual assistance
“as ye would that men should do to you”.

Unfortunately scams do occur.

I, may have been scammed on the Camino during late February 2006 in what I later called The Snow Job. It all began late one stormy night in the Villafranca Montes de Oca municipal albergue and lasted for several weeks!! You can read about it here

.....In retrospect I still do not want to believe that I was milked for money in a real snow job! Hopefully all was not just a ruse and I had not been duped.

At least what I gave then was given
in the Camino spirit.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I don't think she means they should, they just have to because that is what they get.

I had to read back through the thread to see what the 'Why' referred to.

I agree, they shouldn't have to. But may need to, to show compassion to those with a genuine need.
That's a whole other topic of course.......
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I had to read back through the thread to see what the 'Why' referred to.

I agree, they shouldn't have to. But may need to, to show compassion to those with a genuine need.
That's a whole other topic of course.......
Sorry to be obtuse, thanks for taking the time and trouble to figure it out. I can speak from a little authority having volunteered in a couple of donativos and stayed in and talked to hospis of a lot more. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is a lot more complex than most people think. We never turned anyone away, no donativo should, and I don't think any would (unless they were privately run and I have seen one do it). There are people who don't give what they should but there were as many if not more who make up by giving extra. I do remember one lad who cheerfully admitted to having no money. Next morning, he dug a 10 cent coin out of his pocket, told it was all the money he had and promptly put it in the box. We politely informed him that if that was all he had, he was giving more than most. However, the system is often abused so I don't know if it can survive.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have not yet stayed in a donativo, so this is a very educational thread for me to learn the protocol's from those of you that have already done so.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Theatregal,

I too firmly believe one must act towards others with trust and mutual assistance
“as ye would that men should do to you”.

Unfortunately scams do occur.

I, may have been scammed on the Camino during late February 2006 in what I later called The Snow Job. It all began late one stormy night in the Villafranca Montes de Oca municipal albergue and lasted for several weeks!! You can read about it here

.....In retrospect I still do not want to believe that I was milked for money in a real snow job! Hopefully all was not just a ruse and I had not been duped.

At least what I gave then was given
in the Camino spirit.
Scams may occur but I generally don't worry about them when giving because they don't harm me.

I give what I want to give. If I give to someone who is genuinely needy or if I give to a scam artist, I am out the same amount of money. I lose no more money giving to a scam artist than if the person is genuine. Likewise, the good feeling of being charitable is the same - in either case I am giving from myself to make someone else's lot better.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Scams may occur but I generally don't worry about them when giving because they don't harm me.

I give what I want to give. If I give to someone who is genuinely needy or if I give to a scam artist, I am out the same amount of money. I lose no more money giving to a scam artist than if the person is genuine. Likewise, the good feeling of being charitable is the same - in either case I am giving from myself to make someone else's lot better.
Absolutely. I think we can rest assured that anybody on this forum is going to do the right thing. We have worked in a couple of donativos. In the first, the parish representative would carefully count out the money in the donativo box, divide it by the number of pilgrims who'd stayed (both with our help - he was a great churchwarden but not the world's best mathematician) to calculate the average donation. It worked out to around what they would have paid for a dorm and breakfast at a different kind of establishment. However, we spoke to people who'd run other donativos and some of the stories were quite shocking. It seems worst on the Norte, where a lot of European back-packers have latched onto the idea of getting a Credencial and using it to get a cheap beach holiday. The donativo albergue on the outskirts of Bilbao would receive an average of 2 euros per pilgrim per night; the owner of one private donativo on the historic route that bypasses Ribadeo told us some pilgrims left 2 euros even after he had given them a full evening meal.

We have also heard some equally shocking stories about some of the tactics employed by those in charge of donativos to 'encourage' what they saw as more realistic donations, such as pointing to a perspex box ostentatiously place by the door as pilgrims were leaving.

The idea of a fixed sum is often proposed, but then the albergue stops being a donativo and a whole set of regulations and legal requirements kick in.

It's a fraught system. It's a wonderful idea, but who knows if it is sustainable. I would suggest, though, that everyone be generous in the donativos; partly to make up for those who cannot or do not pay the full cost, but also just to help pay the bills.
 
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