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Making the Camino better

Preshadon

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, SJPP - Logroño 2016
Logroño - Ponferrada (Sept. 2017)
Ponferrada - Santiago (2018?)
What are the 7 best things I can do to make the Camino de Santiago better for those who will follow me and for the hosts who graciously share their beautiful country with me?

Feedback is a gift, so all replies are appreciated but I am particularly interested in the response from those who live near the Camino.
 
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HeidiL

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
I think being a good example to other pilgrims - showing them how to swab up the water that invariably runs out of the shower, to pick up a bit of garbage that wasn't yours, to be polite and friendly to the locals - might be a good thing.
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Oh! My kind of question! And what a precious one it is - bless you for asking it!

1. Be considered with resources, f.e. water (showering/washing up), to leave more for everybody.
2. Pack out all your own rubbish, including toilet paper, out and commit to pack out at least one piece of extra rubbish each day.
3. Share what you have with others.
4. Don't put your own needs before the needs of others.
5. Listen more than you talk.
6. Be aware that donativo doesn't mean free and speak with others about it (they might not know it).
7. When returning home, live a pilgrim life in your normal life, trying to implement the above wherever you are.

Buen Camino, SY

PS I am not there yet, but I do try ...
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
>
1. Learn more Spanish. Spend time chatting with locals, not just other pilgrims. Ask them about themselves, they know all about pilgrims already!

2. Try to support bars and restaurants that are a bit out of the way. Often in any given town, there are some bars that make a mint and others less well situated that are struggling.

3. Similarly, try to stay in places a bit off the camino, and take alternative routes. Spread the economic benefits fairly.

4. Ask if you can help with cleaning or washing up in the donativo albergues.

5. Write nice reviews of good albergues, and truthful ones of bad ones.

6. Take photos of the hospitaleros and tell them that you'll remember your stay with them.

7. Challenge people you see taking fruit off trees and vines, flattening people's crops, or littering.

BONUS Tell people their children are gorgeous. It's Spanish culture to make a fuss of other people's children.
 
Last edited:

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Good question @Preshadon.
The only thing I'll add to all of the above is to be respectful of motorists - at an intersection, only walk across a crosswalk when the pedestrian light is green. When pilgrims walk across when they're not supposed to, it clogs up traffic, which can be inconsiderate for drivers who need to get to work, drop off kids at school, and/or have other time constraints.
Buen Camino coming up!
Faith
 

clearskies

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - 2011 to 2018
Camino Portugués - 2018, 2019, April 2021
Celtic Camino - 2019
Great question, all my suggestions have been mentioned above. Perhaps try to give back to the Camino when you return home to your respective countries. Get involved with a society in your region. My 2 cents.
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

notion900

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
>
8. Make a proper donation in the donativo albergues, if you can afford it pay what you would for the same service in a private albergue.

9. Educate yourself on the signs of bedbugs, and if you see them, don't scream and shout, but have a quiet word with the hospitalero.

10. Live a little in each town, so you appreciate them as unique places. Even if your feet are hurting and you are tired, go to the little museum, climb up the city walls, or go swimming.

11. In cities, support small family run shops wherever you can (look for a small sports shop before bussing out to Decathlon).

12. Make a point of saying Good Day to elderly locals in the villages, and stopping for a chat if you speak Spanish. Many of them have their family living far away.

13. Take an interest in what is in the news in Spain. Notice how stories about your home country are reported.

14. If it's not in your culture, practice kissing people on both cheeks before you go, so you don't flinch when Spanish people do it to you.
 

Preshadon

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, SJPP - Logroño 2016
Logroño - Ponferrada (Sept. 2017)
Ponferrada - Santiago (2018?)
@Mikel Olivares what do you think?
Thank you, Notion900 for referencing Mikel. I am particularly interested in the perspective from Mikel because of his proximity to the Camino and because he probably pays the taxes for the government entities that support the Camino.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I can't speak for Mikel, but I live on the Camino Frances and pay taxes here. Contrary to popular belief, there is no over-reaching government authority "in charge" of the Camino de Santiago. There are very few government funds that directly support albergues and pilgrims and the trail itself. (A boatload of public money is spent promoting pilgrimage tourism, holding conferences and seminars, and flying PR and marketing guys around to shake each others' hands.)
When problems arise on the trail, trying to get authorities to enforce existing laws is pushing a stone uphill. It's really up to us, the pilgrims and people who love the Camino, to take care of it.
 
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