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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

The Camino Addict ARK Project

Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#1
Another thread/post got me thinking.
This one: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/having-a-hard-time.59077/#post-683552

A bit of day dreaming and wishful thinking whilst eating my lunch at my desk............. And Yes I know that 'Buying an Albergue' is a common topic and fraught with danger ;) But let's run with this for a bit.........

What are the implications and practicalities of buying a village and making a Camino Addict Commune?

If nothing else, it will provide an interesting discussion ;)

The purpose of the village is two fold.
  1. To provide a home for a few Camino 'addicts'.
  2. To provide an interesting place for Pilgrims to stay and visit, very much with the feel of an 'Albergue'.
It is a 'not for profit'. Any income gained would be used to look after passing Pilgrims and maintaining the village.
I don't think any of the residents should gain any income from it personally?

'Someone' buys an old village on or near an existing Camino route. Or it could be a building and land that could be extended.
Ideally an existing abandoned village.........you'll see why.

The 'Ark' becomes an Albergue 'village'. A complete village that is an Albergue, or operates like one.

It would have a store, maybe a couple of different accommodation options, a cafe, certainly a bar! Somewhere for the residents to hang out in the evenings............

There would be 'permanent' residents and volunteer residents.

The permanent residents would manage and maintain the village. So it might require having certain skills. Tradespeople, cooks, a nurse maybe etc etc etc . In that way the village can look after itself. And would probably require a fair bit of renovation / upgrade / rebuilding to start with.

The volunteer residents would assist like volunteers in an Albergue. Stints through the year depending on their availability.

The Elephant in the room? I think that is who buys the village. Having been involved in joint ventures and other forms of business structure (even though this is not a business in the profit making sense) multiple owners always ends in tears. That might be the stumbling block that would stop such a venture.

And as @VNwalking mentioned on the other thread I referenced, we might all just end up turning our paradise into the thing we wanted to escape from :rolleyes:

But an interesting day dream. I'm looking for something to do in retirement ;)

Would it work? I'm sure there are far too many hurdles. But hey, hurdles are made to be jumped.........
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#2
I'm in, handling the wine&liquer store, with tapas. Only worried that we are sold out on wine at any given time, due to the manager's decisions...
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#3
I'm in, handling the wine&liquer store, with tapas. Only worried that we are sold out on wine at any given time, due to the manager's decisions...
Hmmm. This raises an issue.
Whilst the residents are not 'paid' to manage the village, they might need a wine 'allowance'......
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#4
And as @VNwalking mentioned on the other thread I referenced, we might all just end up turning our paradise into the thing we wanted to escape from :rolleyes:
Not to be the fly in the ointment, just a reality check...not 'might' but 'would.';););)
Because wherever you go, there you are. We all have 'stuff' that is inescapable - move to the Camino and it will come too.

That's besides the many nitty-gritty mundane considerations
Which is not to say this is not potentially a good idea. It's an out of the box interesting one, I think.
Just that it's potentially a hell-realm too.

So keep your eyes open, everyone.;)
(Oh. And talk to @Rebekah Scott . Ask her to tell you the gory details.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#6
Not to be the fly in the ointment, just a reality check...not 'might' but 'would.';););)
Because wherever you go, there you are. We all have 'stuff' that is inescapable - move to the Camino and it will come too.

That's besides the many nitty-gritty mundane considerations
Which is not to say this is not potentially a good idea. It's an out of the box interesting one, I think.
Just that it's potentially a hell-realm too.

So keep your eyes open, everyone.;)
(Oh. And talk to @Rebekah Scott . Ask her to tell you the gory details.)
Good idea. Love to have a chat some time @Rebekah Scott ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#7
Not to be the fly in the ointment, just a reality check...not 'might' but 'would.';););)
Because wherever you go, there you are. We all have 'stuff' that is inescapable - move to the Camino and it will come too.

That's besides the many nitty-gritty mundane considerations
Which is not to say this is not potentially a good idea. It's an out of the box interesting one, I think.
Just that it's potentially a hell-realm too.

So keep your eyes open, everyone.;)
(Oh. And talk to @Rebekah Scott . Ask her to tell you the gory details.)
I love this quote VNwalking..."Wherever you go, there you are." It's so true as our human frailties and imperfections follow each of us wherever we go! In the late 1970's I joined a commune for a few years and a Utopia it was not.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb, Roncesvalles - SdC - Muxia - Fisterra
#8
Hmmm. This raises an issue.
Whilst the residents are not 'paid' to manage the village, they might need a wine 'allowance'......
Tease this out a bit more...why not have this ARK in one of the wine growing regions and with the help of a winemaker that has made wine in Navarra, Campo de Borja and Rioja. See my hand waving?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#9
Tease this out a bit more...why not have this ARK in one of the wine growing regions and with the help of a winemaker that has made wine in Navarra, Campo de Borja and Rioja. See my hand waving?
Holy Moly! You're on a roll :eek:

We have a deluxe wing for high rollers and include a winery tour..........
All to fund the Donativo wing of course!
 
Camino(s) past & future
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
#13
I am your handy woman, I like building and repairing. Maybe my knees are a bit unstable, but I will do my best. Shall I bring my tools? ;) It would be nice to sit with a glass of wine at @alexwalker bar in the evening, listening to some stories or maybe have a sing-along. Who brings the guitarr?
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#17
But an interesting day dream. I'm looking for something to do in retirement ;)
yes, an interesting day dream. it has to start somewhere, right?

and it is usually with envisioning something (ideally under no influence of any outside 'substances' or inner 'splits') and then obeying the time'n'space realities to make it into something more concrete and livable.
so it starts with an intention, a vision. Well done Rob.

and from my particular bias, any enterprise involving humans, involves having to deal with their 'shadow' aspects as well. and that's where it is getting dicey. and a potential hell-on-wheels endeavour.
my question is: how aware are the individuals creating any given community/unit/enterprise??
that has little to do with 'intelligence' - one can be plenty intelligent and still manage to be frightfully unaware / unconscious of ones own 'blind spots' and other such fun-spoilers. And much to do with how well an individual knows themselves.

Good intentions and aims don't go very far if one encounters life's challenges as only 'out there', never using any self-enquiry to see what it might have, may-be may-be or just remotely possibly: "have to do with me."?

A village of people who have walked the camino, and are now living their talk, walking their talk/experience - whoa , that would be something worth while working for, and working in.
In company of wayfarers, who don't believe anymore that anyone place or person or ritual would absolve them from carrying ones own set-of-'dilemmas' 'challenges' etc etc.... but are willing to carry their own and be there for others who do the same, without getting entangled in any saviour/victim mess or expecting any 'salvation' or remedy against this or the other .
that really would be something to aspire to, i dare say.
But that's just my take on it.
I would want to join not to 'escape' something/someone/someplace, but to be going towards to ....
As an introvert, any group-thingy has me usually run the other way, but there are indeed groups of individuals who are self-reliant, have a good measure of self-awareness ... and it just might work.
as a work in process, a work in progress.
(and to join a community under one roof ?... that's simply too close for 'comfort' for this introvert... but separate dwellings, that's more preferable )

so - i will be 'watching' this thread and see how it flows (and not just vino rosso style flow)

many things can work out with a good balance of good humour, bloody-mindedness, ellbow-grease, common sense, and more common sense, discipline and a kind heart, basic financial means and savvy and good ethics.

why not that day-dream?

(a dear friend of mine, now in her 90's, joined this community many years ago in Virginia/US - and i found this always appealing as a model of sorts. a good mix of community and solitude.
http://elderspirit.org/

best wishes, warmly, C
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Santiago (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017)
Aosta to Rome - Via Francigena (2018)
#19
Very interesting.
There's this other issue for anyone with sufficient means to jump in with an investment.
Spain assesses an annual wealth tax for those "residents" (including foreigners with property in Spain) on the world-wide real & personal properties over a certain amount. The last I checked, it was about 700,000 Euros plus. So you have a house in the states, some investment stocks and bonds, bank accounts, and pensions and SSN, and, voila, your assets get taxed just for being your assets. There are some costly and consequential tax planning schemes, but, pretty involved. That's what would keep some people from jumping in, I think.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#21
My take on this is to incorporate as a not-for profit foundation. Offer shares, like pieces of a pie. Individual investors would own a share, not the whole investment. In this regard, it resembles a cooperative, not a sole, private investment. This should protect them from the 'wealth tax' mentioned above. If someone wanted to get out, they would simply sell their share to another person who wants to move in. I call it "El Pueblo del Camino..."

I rather like the idea of a self-contained village environment for Camino addicts. Another possible application might be a retirement village for folks seriously addicted to the Camino. Not a nursing facility mind you. Just a place where retired folks WITH AN INCOME could have a clean safe place to live and always be around other folks of like mind. A shared passion is a good thing for a longer life...

Existing residential buildings could be repurposed into group living homes. various village activities that support the residents or pilgrims could generate income or at least contribute to making the "El Pueblo del Camino" village self-sustaining. A higher level of participation might get you a long-term lease on property on which to erect a private home. But the structure remains the property of the Cooperative. The investment in building the housing might fund the share participation. I am not talking tract homes here. What I envision is renovation and redevelopment and repurposing of the existing housing and outbuilding stock into suitable housing.

This all requires a lawyer to scope out and come up with reasonable, mutually agreeable provisions and a structure. The basic format is similar to the community I live in in South Florida. There are 249 single family homes, within a walled and gated perimeter. I DO NOT recommend this exactly. But the day-to-day operation is similar to what would be needed if these ideas were fleshed out. There is a Homeowners Association, a management company and folks hired to perform essential maintenance services to the common area and exteriors of all homes. It's a start and a framework for focus-sake...

All said, Rebekah might be sorry she raised Moratinos. In my experience, this tiny and fading away town is a PERFECT candidate for this community. The location is ideal, terrain senior-friendly. It is off a national road and has all utilities available. It is near Sahagun for bus, rail connections and a hospital. Hmmm?

Maybe we could take over the private hostal outside town. Lord knows it would be better used than at present...unless something has changed...'nuff said...o_O

On the other hand, what would the original inhabitants thing of an inflow of 50 - 75 people with a solely Camino focus think? Wanna bet, they feel invaded? Even though this could result in the rejuvenation of the small town, it might be a difficult sell.

Y'all should know better than to tease me with this sort of idea. This is what I started my career doing. I am a process engineer and analyst by training and avocation. All the interesting hidden stuff came later...
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#22
I'm just in from the cold but what I've taken in so far is that if we get an elephant to buy a village in Spain there will be wine, pizza and pie.

Sounds good but I'd want to know who has to muck out the elephant house?

Now tucking in to chocolate caliente but no churros :(
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#23
It would be nice to sit with a glass of wine at @alexwalker bar in the evening, listening to some stories or maybe have a sing-along. Who brings the guitarr?
I have been playing since the age of 11 yo...

All said, Rebekah might be sorry she raised Moratinos. In my experience, this tiny and fading away town is a PERFECT candidate for this community. The location is ideal, terrain senior-friendly. It is off a national road and has all utilities available. It is near Sahagun for bus, rail connections and a hospital. Hmmm?

Maybe we could take over the private hostal outside town. Lord knows it would be better used than at present...unless something has changed...'nuff said...o_O
It (Moratinos) is perfect.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#24
Interesting idea @Robo but I think you have the cart before the horse. Your idea is to purchase a village (or farm)
The purpose of the village is two fold.
  1. To provide a home for a few Camino 'addicts'.
  2. To provide an interesting place for Pilgrims to stay and visit, very much with the feel of an 'Albergue'.
Take the purpose and then figure out the way to accomplish what you want.

Another way to do what you want is to lease a small hotel for some period. One method to get funds for that would be to sell time shares. Maybe keep some rooms open to rent for short term use of a few days to a week. The owner could rent at a discount knowing that all rooms are rented for a season or two.

Instead of building or farming projects could be cleaning the camino of trash and graffiti, doing local infrastructure maintence work (donativo albergues, churches, camino, etc.) There could be Spanish language classes for the addicts and other languages for the locals.

This avoids buying property and allows the "village" to move from season to season or year to year.

I suppose I have some cart before the horse ideas above too. But I wanted to get the ideas out before I got tired of writing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
#25
I am multi-skilled.

I offer my services as village window cleaner, village dog-walker, village clothes ironer, shoe polisher, litter-picker-upper and as the village welcoming pilgrims greeting party.

I'm my spare time I am more than willing to rescue lost pilgrims, cats up trees and damsels in ( or to be equality minded the male equivalent of), distress.

If called upon I will happily quell riots, remove the drunk and disorderly, repress rebellions and if time permits cook communal pilgrim dinners in between tending to the weak, weary and wild-eyed walkers of the Way.

All I ask in return is that you do not take this post too seriously.

Buen (village building) Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#26
Hmmm. Lots of very interesting ideas! And some very sensible reality checks too ;)

I think a chat with @ivar and @Rebekah Scott might be in order!

As for the location being Moratinos, in my view an abandoned village might be better.

  1. It won't upset the locals having their village invaded. (Though if close to another village this might still have an impact on their businesses. So need to be careful)
  2. It would rejuvenate said abandoned village.
  3. And the ARK being an entire village would certainly have a very unique feel about it for those passing through and a certainly a fairly unique sense of community for those living there.
The success of something like this would very much come down to location. I think it would need to be on a high traffic Camino so that there is a steady flow of Pilgrims to make use of the facilities and so directly provide contribution to the running costs. In that regard, would it work if it was Donativo? Not sure. But it would certainly be nice to have a Donativo 'option'.

That brings us back to the purpose, being twofold. It is for the benefit of the residents, Pilgrims, or both? Ideally both. For the residents a sense of joy and giving every day. So a good stream of Pilgrims to look after would be better. And the for the Pilgrims a 'different' Camino experience, in that the whole village is there solely for them. I wonder if that balance could be achieved.

I think the highest risk to the venture would be the ownership structure and 'community' structure.

Having run my own businesses for many years with Partners, Joint Ventures and other models, they all have their disadvantages sadly and they can often create significant conflict, which would be the last thing one would want in a community like this. I reckon that would probably be the the thing that stops it even getting 'out of the gate'.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future
#27
I recall staying in a Aubergue in Pamploma that was owned and run by a German group that seems it could have similarities to what is being discussed here. I cannot remember the name of the Auberge but it was down on the river that runs across the entry into the city approaching from St Jean. It was divine. Had a pretty garden. People were welcoming to all. I spent three nights there as I had my credit card stolen somewhere along the way and found myself with no money at all. They agreed to let me stay over the weekend on credit until I could organise funds from Australia. This asuaged a heap of fear and misgivings to this pensioner who travels alone and takes whatever comes upon her on her own. I will be watching this thread with interest. I think it is a great idea.

Another thought I had that may be a little more achievable is could we organise a seperate chat room for past pilgrims who want to reflect and join like minded positive pilgrims who want to share their thoughts (I do not want to offend Ivar or anyone if I have crossed the line in any rule book I am aware of) but could it be possible?

I love the positive comments posted here. I choose to ignore any negativity (misery loves company is another of my favourite quotes) and it is easier to ignore them than try to justify yourself in any way as it never works for them.

Keep up the energy here it is what I live for......x
 
#28
I love this quote VNwalking..."Wherever you go, there you are." It's so true! In the late 1970's I joined a commune for a few years and a Utopia it was not, due to the human imperfections in us all.
It does remind me of all those dreams we used to spin in the seventies ... the communities we planned for our ‘later years’ .... based on what we were learning whilst living in communes ourselves.
We recognised the need for ‘space’, ie our individual/family (etc.), ideally detatched, units ...for want of a better way of describing small houses.
Communal spaces would provide for many different activities, some of which would contribute to the financial and material needs of the community.
It would have to be economically self-sustaining.
Its members would receive economic support according to need ... most needs would be met through simple exchange of skills, of all kinds ... a desire to ‘share’ being the essence of, and motivation for, many thriving communities.
A co-operative model seemed to be the best (safest?) way of running such an ambitious project.

A mix of ages would seem to be ideal, though many younger members tend to move on, and those in their 30s and 40s often tend to choose to raise children in nuclear family units.

However, despite the best intentions of any founders/initiators, there are obviously many pitfalls, not least in the sphere of ‘rights’ .. including legal aspects, day to day and long term decisions, and how they are made, and by whom.

I know of one longstanding community that was taken over by ‘outsiders’, a group who had joined in the usual way and then voted to change everything about it. They even ‘voted out’ members who had lived there for several decades, including families, with children who had spent their entire lives there. The new group had figured out how to manipulate the legal position and had thereby gained possession of a large ‘estate’.

True communication is key to the success of any undertaking of a communal nature.
The ‘shadow’, sometimes referred to as the ‘double’ - those aspects of the Self that we would rather deny/disown, attribute to an-other, or otherwise suppress - would cause as many rifts as it does within any human relationship.
Respect for the Other, a degree of self-knowledge, a willingness to withhold judgement and to perceive the inner truth, beauty and goodness of each member would enable trust to grow. There are creative and fun ways of working with the double/shadow that also build trust between those taking part in them.

Might this provide a sound foundation to ‘give back to the world’ all the Camino has gifted to us?
 
Camino(s) past & future
First Part Oct. 5 2018 (StJ)-Oct. 19 (Boadillo); 2nd Part May or Sept. 2019.
#29
Would be like a co--op with a purpose, or the ethnic/fraternal retirement homes that used to be common in NYS--for Germans, Swedes, Socialists, Fraternal Order of the Moose, etc--just here, the common bond would be the Camino. It worked before over-regulation destroyed these sweet communities, and could work now for us Camineros, too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#30
I have to confess I was thinking of it being more like an Albergue model, rather than a retirement home or co-op community. Those models I think would be fraught with all kinds of issues and could detract from the main purpose. Ownership, legal issues, voting, 'rights' etc would in my mind quickly cause things to spiral into a mess.

In it's simplest form, an individual would own it and run it. Others would then be invited to participate in whatever manner was required. I think some strict 'understanding' would be required, so that expectations were aligned. What was expected of each party. How long residents could stay and so on. Some detailed guidelines......
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#32
I have thought about all this a good bit.

I believe in starting out small and being very practical. If I bought the finca next door I would probably level the existing buildings, which are sagging badly, shore up the perimeter walls, install new sewer and electrical services, plant a garden, and invite interested people to put up small dwellings on separate lots around a central well. I could lease the entire place to a non-profit co-op to run, or I could form a co-op myself, leasing individual plots to people who want a little bolt-hole of their own in a camino village.

There are other places for sale around town where enterprising people could buy and set up shop. That all is beyond my purview. I am introvert, and not terribly interested in involving myself in other peoples' business (believe it or not!).

Alas, I do not have the ready cash to buy the place next door outright. I would if I could, but then I would have a derelict farm and no cash at all to develop it! Anyone wanna go halfies?

Abandoned villages are romantic as they can be, but they were abandoned, usually, for a good reason -- they're on the dark side of a valley, the wells ran dry, or the neighboring village is hostile. They require lots of demolition, rebuilding, infrastructure upgrades, permits, inspections, and re-zoning before the first resident arrives. That's millions of euros. Existing villages are better, because they already have utilities in place, buildings are more likely to be nominally habitable, and road access is assured. Still, you don't know what kind of neighbors you're going to get, or if pilgrim traffic will meet your expectations, or if the district really wants or needs a store or workshop or whatever enterprise you have in mind.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
#33
(a dear friend of mine, now in her 90's, joined this community many years ago in Virginia/US - and i found this always appealing as a model of sorts. a good mix of community and solitude.
http://elderspirit.org/ C
Wow, Amorfati, you may have given me a real gift with this. Not sure I'm up to living as an expat, but I need to live in community.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future
#34
I could offer my services based on an amazing experience in Hospital de Orbogo where I luckily stayed at Albergue Verde where all the meals are prepared from their own organic produce. Prior to a communal meal in the evening they had a one hour yoga session which was extremely popular with pilgrims.

Now while I am not a yoga teacher I could run a one hour Meditation session.

Let me know if I can help!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#36
@Robo

You met me, you know what I can/can't do - so if that ever becomes reality ... you know where you find me ;-)

BC SY
 

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