Donativo – How much is enough/too much?

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!

In short:

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!

Buen Camino!

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