The post was:
Over the years I had many conversations, both as a hospitalera and as a pilgrim about this question:
How much should be my donativo?
The easy answer is: As much as you can afford! But things are a bit more layered, so please allow me to digress 😉
Donativo albergues rely on many things:
- Somebody donated the building or sold it for a nominal price or somebody bought it from their own money without any intention ever to make a profit of it.
- Volunteers renovated it and staff it and they all not only pay their own travel to the place, they very often even pay for their own food during their stay!
- Nothing what is on offer has a price tag on it – it is priceless, the smiles, the welcome, the food, the hot water, the good-bye hug in the morning – none of it can be bought.
Donativo albergues don’t make a distinction between those who have and those who haven’t – everybody is treated the same – the same food, the same welcome, the same hot shower (ok, depending on time of the day 😉
So, how much should you give – like the Galicians say “It depends!”
– The least what you should give is a smile, a hug and a Thank You
– There is no upper limit to how much you can leave in the Donativo box.
If you are a pilgrim on an average budget, here some pointers:
What did you pay in the last commercial albergue that offered the same – Shower, Dinner, Breakfast etc?
Put the same amount into the Donativo box!
Follow the 5er rule (taught to me by a pilgrim friend).
Leave five Euros (if you can afford it!) for each of the following: shower, bed, dinner, breakfast (or in the case of the last two, for food in the kitchen put there for you to prepare your own meals).
And if you are able to afford a night at the Parador at the end of your pilgrimage in Santiago, why not leave the same amount in a Donativo albergue that you really liked – always if you can afford it, obviously!
A smile should always be the minimum Donativo left and there is no upper limit of Euros you are allowed to put in the box!
Read the full conversation here on Donativo – How much is enough/too much? in the forum.