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"Pilgrims aren't tourists"

Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#1
"Pilgrims aren't tourists"
Say no to the destruction of the Caminho de Fatima by Turismo de Portugal.

no_turists.jpg
 

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Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#3
The Turism of Portugal started creating new paths on the top of parts of the old ones to promote turism in Portugal. We made a press release:

The future cannot be built by disrespecting the work of the community.

The markings of “Rota das Carmelitas”, a new route towards the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima created by the Portuguese government, is destroying the work of other routes with the same destination causing misinformation, and is also acting without consideration to the work previously done by the Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima which works on the maintenance of five routes.



The Portuguese government has received funds from the European Union to implement this new route with a map designated by the CCDRC (http://www.ccdrc.pt), with touristic interests, which can generate good economic benefits to the regions involved. It so happens that in spite of having different texts, the routes intersect in some places and the markings of the new route did not ensure that, where they do overlap, they had to respect the landmark previously set by the Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima, a non-profit entity.

For more than a decade, members of the Portuguese community, united through the Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima, have been promoting the structured organisation and maintenance of the routes which the pilgrims take to get to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, with five marked routes done by continuous voluntary work that does not result in any burden to the Portuguese government. Our maps are used by thousands of people from all over the world and they are accessible on our site; http://www.caminho.com.pt/mapas_e.html.

The disrespectful markings, placed on top of the previous ones done by Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima, have inclusively been causing much confusion to the pilgrims, which we believe is not something positive. We have dozens of pilgrims calling us and asking where the routes of the map of the Municipalities Association are, as shown on the attached photos and on which you can see, on landmarks, the official logotype of Caminhos de Fátima overlapping the markings previously done by our Association.

To add to the confusion, an association was created by the Municipalities which is called Associação Caminhos de Fátima, very similar to ours which is named Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima. For the last 11 years, volunteers of the Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima have been working to expand the routes towards Fátima, which were in a state of abandonment. We enumerated five routes, that were restored and where more than 8.000 arrows were painted in Portugal and Spain. Maintenance of these routes is done by us, we guide and advise pilgrims and our aim and objective is to encourage the emerging of new shelters to accommodate them.

The Routes of Fátima are considered immaterial heritage, integrated into local communities and empowered by the members of those communities.

We are aware of the importance and the economic potential resulting from the European Union’s funds for the structures surrounding the route, “Rota das Carmelitas”, nevertheless, the future cannot be built by disrespecting the work of the community.

We know that difficulties abound along the Camino, lack of infrastructures, shelters’ improvements, and resting areas. We know that a lot can be done when there are funds available and political interests involved. We don’t want the project of Rota das Carmelitas to stop. We just want to be able to proceed, with respect to human dignity and to our work, which is based on the ongoing voluntary marking of the routes and the guidance of the pilgrims from around the world, heading to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima.

Communication has a crucial role when the information is assured, but mainly that the information is precise and does not result in double understanding or confusion. It is important to think about the inconvenience caused to individuals and seek to resolve this dilemma urgently.

Regardless of the touristic meaning that may be associated to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima it is also a place where people across the world move towards to, having faith as their guidance. The difficult walking route must be preserved, the path requires attention, physical preparation and mental disposition. It is our responsibility to ensure that there are no inaccuracies in the information given to the pilgrim, which might cause problems to their physical and mental disposition.

Pilgrims of different nationalities are witnessing the situation through videos which can be watched on our website http://www.caminho.com.pt.

Besides all this, the spiritual meaning of Fátima transcends religion, it reaches the heart of all people with different devotions, with the simplicity of their demonstrations that indicate their quest for Peace, symbol of the image of the Holy Mother that sees and begs her children wisdom to be in Peace, in all their ways.

Contact:
Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima
Rodrigo Cerqueira - President
Tel: +351 913131300
e-mail: info@caminho.com.pt
www.caminho.com.pt
 
#4
Quantify the damage to route markers by having local volunteers report the present state of all markers along each route. Determine a monetary cost to restore markers peroperly, including man hours to effect proper changes.

In addition, create examples of the changes that will be required including visual examples. Finish the report by outlining the history of your organization and then hit them with the amount of money your organization required to repair the damage that has been created and to fully restore that damage.

If not done now, each marker needs a historical file and Identification Number going forward so a photo can be sent to your office. That photo must identify the marker, its location, the volunteers invloved including the maintenance that has to be done each time it needs to be maintained. Full recording.

With all of this, your organization will be able to show and be able to fully disclose all damage and maintenance, supporting the costs that you will be demanding of the organzation causing damage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#5
Quantify the damage to route markers by having local volunteers report the present state of all markers along each route. Determine a monetary cost to restore markers peroperly, including man hours to effect proper changes.

In addition, create examples of the changes that will be required including visual examples. Finish the report by outlining the history of your organization and then hit them with the amount of money your organization required to repair the damage that has been created and to fully restore that damage.

If not done now, each marker needs a historical file and Identification Number going forward so a photo can be sent to your office. That photo must identify the marker, its location, the volunteers invloved including the maintenance that has to be done each time it needs to be maintained. Full recording.

With all of this, your organization will be able to show and be able to fully disclose all damage and maintenance, supporting the costs that you will be demanding of the organzation causing damage.
Dear Michelle
Thank you for your detailed description about how to quantify the costs of the damage created on the Caminho. Our big problem is that the legal system in Portugal is very slow. We can wait for a court sentence easilly for 10 Years. We don´t have money or time for a battle like that. The "Tourism of Portugal" (Portuguese Goverment). are trying to apply bus Tourism logic to the Caminho. The new Caminho is 18km longer. because they want pilgrims to visit the city (Ourem) where is the Town hall of Fátima´s region.
Like good politicians they say that the Caminho wasn´t there so they are making something new. For the Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima the issue was never about the money. We are volunteers. We just want to help pilgrims to be able to do the Caminho of Fátima and Santiago.
Our plan is to create enough critical mass of pilgrims from around the world, to take the Tourismo de Portugal to a face to face TV show called "Prós e Contras. This way we will be able make the right questions. The TV show facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/prosecontras/ we invite all pilgrims to ask this TV program to make an episode about the "destruction of the Caminho de Fátima by the Tourism of Portugal". (You have to write on the page to leave your comment).

We already have the attention of the Portuguese media but the Turismo the Portugal didn´t reply yet.



http://sicnoticias.sapo.pt/pais/2018-05-12-Nova-Rota-das-Carmelitas-ate-Fatima-confunde-peregrinos
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes (11th September 2014) via Piedmont to SJPP,
then Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela

Via Francigena, Ramsgate,Canterbury ,England to Rome,
via France,Switzerland and Italy. April to July 2016
#7
Dear Michelle
Thank you for your detailed description about how to quantify the costs of the damage created on the Caminho. Our big problem is that the legal system in Portugal is very slow. We can wait for a court sentence easilly for 10 Years. We don´t have money or time for a battle like that. The "Tourism of Portugal" (Portuguese Goverment). are trying to apply bus Tourism logic to the Caminho. The new Caminho is 18km longer. because they want pilgrims to visit the city (Ourem) where is the Town hall of Fátima´s region.
Like good politicians they say that the Caminho wasn´t there so they are making something new. For the Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima the issue was never about the money. We are volunteers. We just want to help pilgrims to be able to do the Caminho of Fátima and Santiago.
Our plan is to create enough critical mass of pilgrims from around the world, to take the Tourismo de Portugal to a face to face TV show called "Prós e Contras. This way we will be able make the right questions. The TV show facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/prosecontras/ we invite all pilgrims to ask this TV program to make an episode about the "destruction of the Caminho de Fátima by the Tourism of Portugal". (You have to write on the page to leave your comment).

We already have the attention of the Portuguese media but the Turismo the Portugal didn´t reply yet.



http://sicnoticias.sapo.pt/pais/2018-05-12-Nova-Rota-das-Carmelitas-ate-Fatima-confunde-peregrinos
And neither do the Authorities reply to complaints made ... apart from ‘ it has been passed to the appropriate department ‘ I still await a reply to the complaint I made on the 6th May !!

I will renew my complaint when I return home ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#8
And neither do the Authorities reply to complaints made ... apart from ‘ it has been passed to the appropriate department ‘ I still await a reply to the complaint I made on the 6th May !!

I will renew my complaint when I return home ...
Thanks a lot for your feedback. We need to join our efforts to avoid that the Caminho becomes a Touristic Disneyland. Please make a small video complaining about this facts and share it us... We want the Portuguese Government to understand that pilgrims aren´t Tourists to be exploited. Pilgrim like to be away from governmental paths that only aim for political profit... Please help us to spread this alert.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#9
The Fatima pilgrimage is only 100 years old, so the paths there are not deeply historic, per se. No ICOMOS protections or deeply held traditional stops... the vast majority of pilgrims at that shrine arrive in buses and cars. To declare one walking path or another is more legitimate is a hard battle to fight, especially when the local town wants to make some cash.
Hats off to the volunteers who mark and maintain these paths. It's a pity when other groups or political interests decide their way is better, and your way can just be plastered/over!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes (11th September 2014) via Piedmont to SJPP,
then Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela

Via Francigena, Ramsgate,Canterbury ,England to Rome,
via France,Switzerland and Italy. April to July 2016
#10
Thanks a lot for your feedback. We need to join our efforts to avoid that the Caminho becomes a Touristic Disneyland. Please make a small video complaining about this facts and share it us... We want the Portuguese Government to understand that pilgrims aren´t Tourists to be exploited. Pilgrim like to be away from governmental paths that only aim for political profit... Please help us to spread this alert.
25E61100-79A3-4DD1-B47C-9DF0ED01736B.jpeg At least your groups signs are unaltered ... on the outskirts of Santiago!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#11
Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#12
Letter from the Vatican about the destruction of the Caminho de Fátima by the Turismo de Portugal.

vaticano.jpg
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#14
Rodrigo, can you translate, or give a summary? Thanks.
The Holy See regrets that they cannot interfere with the governments of other nations.
"The Holy Father has urged me to assure you of his solidaity, and prays that the solace and grace of God may be with the volunteers in service of the pilgrims of Fátima."
 
Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#15
Thanks a lot Mina for the summary.

SECRETARIAT OF STATE
FIRST SECTION . GENERAL AFFAIRS

From the Vatican, 9 June 2018

Dear Sir/Madam,

With warm wishes, I hereby acknowledge receipt of an email signed by Maria Alice Campos who says she is the daughter of “a pilgrim of Fátima” and who wrote to Pope Francis on the 2ndof May asking him to intervene before the Portuguese Municipalities Association that are promoting the route, “Rota das Carmelitas”, so that they respect and safeguard the blue arrows that for 11 years have been marked and maintained, in the same direction, by the “Associaçãode Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima”.

Although the best attention has been given to this request, I have to inform you that the Holy See cannot interfere with the public administration of other countries. The facts and concerns mentioned in the email – if known by the appropriate authorities of your country – will surely be properly assessed by them. We regret that this is our only possible response in reply to the petition submitted, the Holy Father instructed me to express his solidarity towards you, invoking the consolation and favours of God upon the volunteers at the service of the pilgrims of Fátima.

With the assurance of your good understanding, I reiterate my best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
Mons. Paolo Boriga
Assessor

_________________

To the Coordinator
Associação de Amigos dos Caminhos de Fátima
PORTO DA LUZ ALQ
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#17
Done quick and dirty, as we call it, for those who were hoping that the Pope would send in the Swiss Guards...
You clearly managed to bring the matter to his attention and this letter doesn't hurt.

Mina we Know that the Swiss Gards wouldn’t come in rescue of the pilgrims. :)
But we also know that politicians hate bad bad press. We hope to rise awareness about this issue to avoid watching the ways of Fatima and part of the ways of Santiago become a Turístic Disneyland.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#18
Thank you, MinaCamina. My "like" is for the translation, though, not the message...... But still.....

Good point about publicity, Rodrigo. Have you been in touch with the Blue Army (America Needs Fatima) here in the U.S.? I don't know what, if anything, they could do. But they might be willing to get the word out to their many followers. I'll bet many have no idea there is a walking pilgrimage to the Shrine and might be quite interested to find out.

And certainly getting the volunteer efforts and hard work of your group in front of them -- before the government starts patting itself on the back for "establishing" the route -- could only be a good thing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
#19
Thank you, MinaCamina. My "like" is for the translation, though, not the message...... But still.....

Good point about publicity, Rodrigo. Have you been in touch with the Blue Army (America Needs Fatima) here in the U.S.? I don't know what, if anything, they could do. But they might be willing to get the word out to their many followers. I'll bet many have no idea there is a walking pilgrimage to the Shrine and might be quite interested to find out.

And certainly getting the volunteer efforts and hard work of your group in front of them -- before the government starts patting itself on the back for "establishing" the route -- could only be a good thing.
Dear Bala Thanks a lot for your sugestion about the Blue Army defenatly they can reach more pilgrims and rise attention about this problem. Lately we are overwhelmed by the good and bad events...

Today we just received photos that show well the chaos the Caminho the Fatima and Santiago will become with the new signs of the Turismo the Portugal.

Please helps us share this photo with your friends in this forum and please send an email to the Secretary of Turism Ana Godinho complaining about the destruction of the Caminhos de Fatima and Santiago. info@turismodeportugal.pt with a copy to us info@caminho.com.pt
52EAC15D-2C58-455A-BAA2-830A71396FDC.jpeg
 


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