The Camino de Santiago is a thousand-year-old tradition, transmitted for generations, that cries out for a small commitment on our part in return for returning unforgettable moments
The Camino de Santiago is a gift for pilgrims, a tradition that our ancestors have left us to enjoy, but also to take care of. Each year we are thousands and thousands of pilgrims who join the experience and without a minimum of civility and awareness, it is impossible for the tradition and legacy of the Camino to be enjoyed by subsequent generations. For this to be possible and your children can live the same Camino de Santiago that you enjoyed it is vital that you follow some advice, to minimize your impact on the Camino and to empathize with the Jacobean tradition, with the objective that you do not miss .
The Camino de Santiago, the oldest pilgrimage route in Europe, is the heritage of all of us: of those who walked it, of those who are on pilgrimage today and of those who are to come. That is why it is fundamental that we understand that our passage through the Jacobean routes is temporary and that with more than 300,000 pilgrims passing through each year, it is untenable that we all leave "record" of our passage. We refer to all those brands, graffiti, offerings, ties, locks, stickers and everything that floods the Camino de Santiago, spoiling walls, trees, signs and landmarks.
To make the pilgrimage to Santiago sustainable, it is necessary that the trail of our passage be marked only in our memory and hearts and for this it is also essential that we be especially sensitive with our waste: no food, plastics, packaging, packaging or garbage in general should contaminate the roads, spoiling the experience of those who come behind. To avoid this, always keep your waste in a bag and attach it to your backpack to deposit it where they should at the end of your stage; If you find garbage on your pilgrimage, we will all be grateful if you take all your good heart and remove it from the road. Nobody is asking you to invest your pilgrimage in leaving the Camino free of garbage, only that you contribute your bit.
Currently the Camino is in a process of transformation as a result of the great increase in popularity throughout the world that has been living in recent years. With the Year Xacobeo 2021 just around the corner, the Jacobean routes do not stop to break records of pilgrims every season and as in all processes of change, the roots and traditions that define the Camino de Santiago are in danger if we are part of we do not take care of them and understand them. To preserve its millenarian identity, it is necessary to understand several key concepts:
1. The Camino de Santiago is a huge network of routesEvery year, tens of thousands of pilgrims congregate in the last 100 km of the main Jacobean routes, especially from Holy Week until the end of September and especially on the French Way. Many pilgrims are looking for a Camino de Santiago express from Sarria, Tui or other places that mark the minimum distance to get the compostela in Santiago, but the truth is that there is much more to know and it would be a pity if we stayed there. If your time is limited and you do not have many days to travel the Camino, remember that you can always travel the different routes (there are more than 10 officially recognized) by sections in different attempts. In this way you can complete returning later and continue where you left until you reach Santiago.
Traveling alone or in small groups of pilgrims, that is the best possible combination to enjoy all the details, the people and the corners of the Camino de Santiago, although this is only our recommendation; each one travels the Camino as he can and wants. What must be non-negotiable is to walk it on foot or by bicycle (some brave people go horseback riding), leaving behind support cars or coach trips from point to point, a phenomenon unfortunately more and more frequent in recent years. It is no better pilgrim who has more compostelas, if not the one who knows more Camino.
In order to be a good pilgrim it is essential to know the fundamental role played by the voluntary hospitaleros and the public hostels of the Camino de Santiago in the equation. They give us shelter without asking for anything in return, they give us food, they guide and recommend us and they keep everything tidy and clean by the time we arrive. Your commitment to the Camino de Santiago phenomenon is total and therefore your work must be recognized, so when giving a donation in payment for the services you have enjoyed, do not skimp; your generosity will contribute to the fact that the phenomenon can continue to be sustainable and the wheel
To be a pilgrim also means to be always ready to reach out to the one next to us, despite not knowing him at all. On the Camino all pilgrims are twinned and it should be our obligation to care for one another. If you have a minimum of experience or seniority, your advice, help and guidance will be of great help to those who start, as well as a strong reason so that when new ones become veterans follow your good example. In the same way, if you are new to the Camino de Santiago, you should show respect and always listen to those who know more than you, collecting their experience with gratitude.
The historical figure of the pilgrim has always enjoyed a halo of protection from the authorities and the towns crossed by the Camino de Santiago. Traditionally, the pilgrims have always been supported, giving them shelter, protecting them from the assailants and guiding them, understanding their pilgrimage to Santiago as a feat. Nowadays, with the Camino packed with pilgrims each season, the role of the walker has changed drastically and more than rights, the pilgrim must think about his obligations so that the Camino de Santiago is sustainable and can continue to return every year.
To be a pilgrim, you should not just look like it if you do not act like one, that's why it's so important that you follow the advice we gave you above. You expect good education, disinterest, a lot of civility, respect for your fellow travelers, empathy for those who work so that everything is perfect in the hostels and patience, a lot of patience: on the Camino de Santiago the rush is not good companions. If you follow these tips, surely your experience as a pilgrim will go smoothly.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649