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How much should your donation be ?

dick bird

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
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.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
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.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
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.
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
(Apr/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.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
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...


in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
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.

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.
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