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Luggage Transfer Correos

Volunteering at the Pilgrim Office 2019

2020 Camino Guides

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
This popped into my inbox this morning. There is no time to waste. So, I thought I would post it here.

http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/voluntariado/

The original is in Spanish, of course. I use the Chrome browser, so it auto translates to English for me. You can tell your browser to handle the translation for you as well.

This is a regular question in the Forum. So, I thought I would answer it preemptively.

I will be there from 15 July through 12 August. See you there.
 
Last edited:

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
This popped into my inbox this morning. There is no time to waste. So, I thought I would post it here.

http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/voluntariado/

The original is in Spanish, of course. I use the Chrome browser, so it auto translates top English for me. You can tell your browser to handle the translation for you as well.

This is a regular question in the Forum. So, I thought I would answer it preemptively.

I will be there from 15 July through 12 August. See you there.
Very interesting information, thanks for sharing this with us.
I did notice that there doesn't seem to be a requirement to speak fluent Spanish, is that correct?
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
That is correct. If your Spanish is not up to interviewing Compostela-seeking pilgrims, then you do whatever else needs to be done, like me.

That said, the time of year you are assigned makes a difference. For example, a volunteer in April, May or early June, September, October, etc. needs far less Spanish capability, than those of us who work in the truly peak months of July and August.

During those months the ratio of Spaniards to others spikes. While Spaniards usually comprise about 47 to 50 percent of the annual number of pilgrims, overall, during July and August, they can make up 75 - 80 percent of all pilgrims arriving at the Pilgrim Office.

So, aside from late June, all of July and August, you can get by with less Spanish speaking capability. The office staff know this and lay on all available local volunteers and fluent and native Spanish speakers they can find. At other times, they can be more flexible.

It is not all bad. This will be my sixth consecutive year working at the Pilgrim Office. My Spanish conversational ability increases each year. I think I am getting perilously close to the threshold of being told to do Compostelas. Oh well... confidence comes by doing. I do whatever they tell me to do...

Hope this helps.
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
OMG! The blue shirt in the foreground of the counter picture is ME during my June 11 - 25 stay last year. This year I am going to be there July 1 - 15.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Then I will see you a day or two before, when I arrive in town. I plan to reserve at Hostal LaSalle, just across the street from the volunteer flat, so my gear is already mostly up the hill. Getting stuff up the damned hill to the convento is a struggle. It is steep.
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
Then I will see you a day or two before, when I arrive in town. I plan to reserve at Hostal LaSalle, just across the street from the volunteer flat, so my gear is already mostly up the hill. Getting stuff up the damned hill to the convento is a struggle. It is steep.
That hill is a killer. I always went the round about way. H. LaSalle let me leave my pack there for pickup the morning I left for Finisterre. I had habitación 2 on the lower floor and am going to request that again.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I prefer the views from the rooms on piso 2. I had room 3 overlooking the cathedral spires. And what sunsets!
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
OK, so I read the piece, emailed them, had a reply, sent in the application and now await the reply. They seem to sign in to the email only once a week or so: it took a week for a reply. I'll give them some more time then print out the email and attachments and post them in an envelope.
 
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
@t2andreo , I would like to be a volunteer. I speak basic Spanish, German, English, Norw., Danish, Swedish (similar to Norw.) Expect to arrive in SdC about end of May. Done 10+ Caminos. Do I qualify?
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
@t2andreo , I would like to be a volunteer. I speak basic Spanish, German, English, Norw., Danish, Swedish (similar to Norw.) Expect to arrive in SdC about end of May. Done 10+ Caminos. Do I qualify?
Silly Viking! Of course you are welcome. Hope to see you there...:)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
BTW, I am hearing from veteran peregrinos and volunteers I served with in the past that the Pilgrim Office volunteer dates are filling up FAST! So, if you are going to offer your services, DO IT NOW!

I will be there from 15 July to 12 August. Hope to see you there...
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I perhaps forgot to mention that your letter to request a volunteer assignment should be in Spanish. Use the Microsoft or Google translators if need be.

But, if you send a request in English, expect it to not be read or replied to as fast.

I hope this helps.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Thanks for this extremely helpful thread. The pilgrim office now has my services from October 7 to October 21.
Others may like to note that it would appear your emails WHICH I USED GOOGLE TRANSLATE TO TURN INTO SPANISH are replied to only after a gap of a week or two, I suspect Montse Diaz has a lot to do. After all, if there are five pilgrims each fortnight, and there are 25 fortnights a year, she has to fix 250 volunteers each year, which is no small task and I bet she has a load of other things to do as well. I am unsure if it helped, but I sent the email (electronic, obvs) and then printed it out on paper, together with the photo of me, the CV (they like to know your working life) and the form they send you, and posted it to her at the pilgrims' office. Maybe this was useless and annoying for her, maybe it prompted her to think of me, maybe it showed her how keen I was. We'll probably never know.
Anyway, one good thing already is that I'm now working harder on improving my Spanish.
So - thanks for this thread. Hope to see some of you in Santiago!
 
Last edited:

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Not sure if it helps but I'll post something to bump this up
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
This popped into my inbox this morning. There is no time to waste. So, I thought I would post it here.

http://acogidacristianaenloscaminosdesantiago.org/voluntariado/

The original is in Spanish, of course. I use the Chrome browser, so it auto translates to English for me. You can tell your browser to handle the translation for you as well.

This is a regular question in the Forum. So, I thought I would answer it preemptively.

I will be there from 15 July through 12 August. See you there.
See you during Santiago week. Staying 3 days 23/24/25 July. First time I will be there for the Fiesta. Then on to my last leg of this years Camino. (Not volunteering this year but will talk to Montse about 2021 - I am a gluten for punishment ;)).
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
I will be there from 15 July through 12 August. See you there.
I plan on arriving sometime during that period - leaving SJPdP on 21 June. Perhaps I can treat you to a cerveza or vino tinto (temperatura ambiente, naturally). Just look for the dusty guy with a gray beard and likely hobbling.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I will be there. Unless they change my hours, I usually work 10 - 3 most every day. As I do not do Compostelas...yet, I make my own hours. I choose to be there for the busiest time of the day.

You cannot miss me. I am sort of large, I do currently sport a grey beard though.

I look forward to meeting and greeting each of you.
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
An excellent direction: that instruction removes about 100 of the 330,000 pilgrims that arrive during the course of the year..... :)
Exactly! (said in the tone of the blacksmith from How To Train A Dragon)
 
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

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
I prefer the views from the rooms on piso 2. I had room 3 overlooking the cathedral spires. And what sunsets!
Was your room #3 a large room? The thing I liked about #2 downstairs was its size. A single bed and lots of extra space to move around in. The view was the side street leading up to the Hotel LaSalle. Nothing special for sure. If #3 is sufficiently large, maybe I will shoot Montse an e-mail and put in a request for it.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Was your room #3 a large room? The thing I liked about #2 downstairs was its size. A single bed and lots of extra space to move around in. The view was the side street leading up to the Hotel LaSalle. Nothing special for sure. If #3 is sufficiently large, maybe I will shoot Montse an e-mail and put in a request for it.
Yes, it is perhaps 5 meters x 5 meters. When I am there, I claim “dibs!” The staff are aware of this, and will provide this room, if available.

It is my preferred room. I need the sunlight.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
To update followers of this thread: the flat near the La Salle hotel is not used to house volunteers any more. They are now in a refurbished office building joined on to, but separate from, the municipal albergue at San Lazaro which is on the Frances after you pass Monte de Gozo them cross the motorway. It's a ten minute bus ride from San Roque, from where it's a ten minute walk to the pilgrim office. The building has a central heating system and volunteers now have permission to use the kitchen in the albergue. It's a good place to stay: there are several places to eat nearby, the taberna across the road is full of locals most of the day and does good grub.
This is all in a thread elsewhere on this forum but i can't find it
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
As an update to mmmmartin's excellent information in this thread, I have been in contact with the ACC office to firm up my 2020 summer volunteer dates. FYI and BTW, they have confirmed that I will be working at the pilgrim office from Monday, 20 July to Monday 17 August 2020. Now I can start to look for good airfares... earlier is always better...

As regards specifics, and relating to the thread, ACC informed me yesterday that:

1. They shifted off-season (from now on) volunteers out to the rooms at the Xunta albergue in San Lazaro. The reason was definitely because the convento does NOT have central heat. With regular use, those plug-in electric space heaters would likely have started a fire anyway. So, this is a net good thing.

2. Presently, they are considering using San Lazaro into the future, including next Spring when the weather improves. This is a mixed bag. The GOOD part is that the facilities are nicer. The individual rooms used shared bathrooms that are separate from those used by the pilgrims in the regular albergue. The BAD part is that you need to take the #6 bus to get into the old town.

3. OTOH, knowing the area as I do, this place is central to everything you might need off duty.
  • The Compostela FC (Football Club) home pitch is across the street for soccer fans.
  • You are almost equal distance - in the middle - between Decathlon and several big box hardware and supermarket stores at Costa Vella, using the #LC6 bus that makes a turn at the corner about a block west of the albergue. Decathlon is literally at the end of the circular bus line. A large DIY store Leroy Martin is across the street. A mercadona supermarket is less than a five-minute walk down the hill, across from Burger King.
  • Also, walking about 15 minutes to the northwest, takes you to the large As Cancelas shopping mall. There is a Hyper-Carrefour there, as well as a lot of standard mall shops and several restaurants, and a multi-screen cinema.
  • The bus ride into the old historic center of Santiago is maybe 10 -15 minutes.
4. IMHO the biggest downside to being out in San Lazaro is that you are relatively farther from the pilgrim office, and everything I / you / we are used to doing to occupy ourselves when working. In the past, when I have stayed anywhere in the old town, at the convent, near the railroad station, or at San Martin Pinario, for example, I am close to my favorite restaurants, cafes, shops, lavanderia, the Cathedral, and most all of my friends living there.

But, this too shall pass. According to ACC, work on the 20 NEW rooms to be developed on the upper floors of the large building at the rear of the PIlgrim Office campus, upstairs from the new Pilgrim Waiting Area, has been mothballed pending finding more funding. This happens.

As the Pilgrim Office is part of the Cathedral administration, the Cathedral renovation necessarily has a much higher priority. So, last year, funds had to be shifted to help finish the Cathedral project. Once additional funds are found, the new "habitaciones con banos para voluntarios" will be completed. I am informed reliably that these rooms are patterned after the pilgrim rooms at San Martin Pinario, so they will be suitable to purpose...eventually... My crystal ball suggests not before 2021, but likely in 2022... Just prognosticating...

Hope this helps.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Using the bus is no problem. You buy a card, tarjeta verde, for €3.01. You put ten trips on it for €6. You add trips when you want more. You walk on the bus and tap the machine, which beeps. You can pay for more than one person by tapping more times if you want, best to make this obvious to the driver. When you hand it back you get €3 returned to you. The app BUSCQ tells you when the buses are coming and you can favourite your usual stop to see how long you have to get there. It's a brilliant system. If you CBA to do this, each journey is €1 and the main stops have electronic boards telling you when the next big is arriving and where it's going. Honestly we found the buses no problem at all. And we turned the heating off sometimes because the place was too warm.
 

leonar7

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
As an update to mmmmartin's excellent information in this thread, I have been in contact with the ACC office to firm up my 2020 summer volunteer dates. FYI and BTW, they have confirmed that I will be working at the pilgrim office from Monday, 20 July to Monday 17 August 2020. Now I can start to look for good airfares... earlier is always better...

As regards specifics, and relating to the thread, ACC informed me yesterday that:

1. They shifted off-season (from now on) volunteers out to the rooms at the Xunta albergue in San Lazaro. The reason was definitely because the convento does NOT have central heat. With regular use, those plug-in electric space heaters would likely have started a fire anyway. So, this is a net good thing.

2. Presently, they are considering using San Lazaro into the future, including next Spring when the weather improves. This is a mixed bag. The GOOD part is that the facilities are nicer. The individual rooms used shared bathrooms that are separate from those used by the pilgrims in the regular albergue. The BAD part is that you need to take the #6 bus to get into the old town.

3. OTOH, knowing the area as I do, this place is central to everything you might need off duty.
  • The Compostela FC (Football Club) home pitch is across the street for soccer fans.
  • You are almost equal distance - in the middle - between Decathlon and several big box hardware and supermarket stores at Costa Vella, using the #LC6 bus that makes a turn at the corner about a block west of the albergue. Decathlon is literally at the end of the circular bus line. A large DIY store Leroy Martin is across the street. A mercadona supermarket is less than a five-minute walk down the hill, across from Burger King.
  • Also, walking about 15 minutes to the northwest, takes you to the large As Cancelas shopping mall. There is a Hyper-Carrefour there, as well as a lot of standard mall shops and several restaurants, and a multi-screen cinema.
  • The bus ride into the old historic center of Santiago is maybe 10 -15 minutes.
4. IMHO the biggest downside to being out in San Lazaro is that you are relatively farther from the pilgrim office, and everything I / you / we are used to doing to occupy ourselves when working. In the past, when I have stayed anywhere in the old town, at the convent, near the railroad station, or at San Martin Pinario, for example, I am close to my favorite restaurants, cafes, shops, lavanderia, the Cathedral, and most all of my friends living there.

But, this too shall pass. According to ACC, work on the 20 NEW rooms to be developed on the upper floors of the large building at the rear of the PIlgrim Office campus, upstairs from the new Pilgrim Waiting Area, has been mothballed pending finding more funding. This happens.

As the Pilgrim Office is part of the Cathedral administration, the Cathedral renovation necessarily has a much higher priority. So, last year, funds had to be shifted to help finish the Cathedral project. Once additional funds are found, the new "habitaciones con banos para voluntarios" will be completed. I am informed reliably that these rooms are patterned after the pilgrim rooms at San Martin Pinario, so they will be suitable to purpose...eventually... My crystal ball suggests not before 2021, but likely in 2022... Just prognosticating...

Hope this helps.
Hi Tom,

Quick question- are the new dates for 2020 confirmed? I sent in my request and Sra. Montse mentioned that I had to wait a bit until the dates were finalized. Just wondering. Thanks for all of your help!
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
I've had an email with dates on, I can't commit yet, but some thinking is going on.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Hi Tom,

Quick question- are the new dates for 2020 confirmed? I sent in my request and Sra. Montse mentioned that I had to wait a bit until the dates were finalized. Just wondering. Thanks for all of your help!
The ACC are receiving requests now. The official rota and calendar FOR 2020 volunteers will not be determined until after New Years.

if you have not yet applied - DO IT NOW! If you have applied, please be patient.

I was able to nail my situation down early because I am a repeat volunteer, well known to the permanent staff.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Am thinking of arranginga short escape from the madness of the UK in the dark days of January by offering to do a fortnight then. May also go for mid October, as this year. Am also wondering if there is a Spanish language school in Santiago - any thoughts?
 

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