Volunteering and solidarity on the Camino de Santiago
In another blog post, we explained that there are many reasons to do the Camino, one of them and that was not mentioned is solidarity on the Camino de Santiago. Today, we want to talk to you about those people who have voluntarily taken advantage of their experience on the Camino de Santiago to work for good causes: diseases, disadvantaged groups, etc.
We have already told you on other occasions about people who with their actions have gone into the history of the Camino de Santiago. Some examples are Zapatones or Lourdes Lluc, a Catalan pilgrim who created the Network of Volunteer Hostel Owners.
This time we’ll talk to you about totally anonymous people. People who have taken advantage of their stay on the Camino de Santiago to show their solidarity with some social causes. We hope you’re as excited about these stories as they have made us.
Cleaning the Camino Portugues
Mike and Rochelle of A Greener Future, walked 650 km from Portugal to Spain and collected almost 6,000 pieces of rubbish on the journey. During their stay on the Camino Portugues they shared daily updates with their followers on Facebook and Twitter, to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of the environment.
In parallel, they organized local rubbish collection events in the cities along the Camino de Santiago, involving both locals, pilgrims and visitors. Thanks to them, the Camino Portugues is now a little cleaner.
Camino sin límites (The Camino without limits)
The Camino without limits is a solidarity initiative carried out by two brothers, in 2016. Their goal was to cope with the limits of cerebral palsy and 96% disability suffered by one of them. Together they completed the entire Camino Frances from Roncesvalles.
If you are interested in knowing this route, you can complete the Camino de Santiago from Sarria, which includes the last 100 km of the Camino Frances. Give us details about the trip you would like to take and we will arrange your adventure.
Despite all the difficulties they had to overcome to achieve their goal, they achieved it. In addition, through a crowdfunding campaign, they managed to raise 10,000 euros, which they donated to the Asociación La Ciudad Accesible (Accessible City Project).
His story had a strong social impact and important awareness-raising work that reached the whole world, through social media. Here you can see the official video of his exciting adventure:
The Revuélcate 2017 initative gathered that year a group of pilgrims who travelled on the Camino de Santiago, from France to Santiago de Compostela, for a good cause. The solidarity of these pilgrims consisted of rolling a huge wheel weighing almost 100 kg for 17 days on the Camino de Santiago to raise funds to fight cancer and cystic fibrosis.
Camino de la Diversidad
Camino de la Diversidad (The Camino for Diversity) is a project in support of the founding of the Galician Institute for the Deficit of Care and Associated Disorders. It’s been going on for several years now. Various solidarity initiatives are framed within this project. One of them is the one made by Luis Montero who will complete the Camino de Santiago by bicycle to raise funds for the Asperger Salamanca Association.
A professor’s huge grain of sand
The cause of this history of solidarity on the Camino de Santiago surprised many people. Juan Jesús Muñoz made a 1,000-kilometre pilgrimage to raise funds to hire a special education teacher at the centre where he worked. Here you can read the news story.
Another step towards equality for girls
This project is part of the global movement “Por ser niña” (“Being a girl”). The aim of this good cause on the Camino de Santiago is to fight against gender discrimination suffered by many girls.
In 2017, the managers of this project signed an agreement with the Xunta de Galicia, to make the defence of equality, the social cause of the Camino de Santiago that year. The hostels and many other establishments along the way were transformed into points of information that sought to raise awareness of this social problem.
The magnificent work of Mario Rossi
The work of Mario Rossi in the recovery of the Camino de Santiago is recognized by all lovers of the pilgrim routes. Among the many contributions he has made has been the recovery Camino de Uclés.
Hospitaleros Sin Fronteras
Another show of solidarity of the Camino de Santiago is to be found in Hospitaleros Sin Fronteras. This initiative is the work of José Mejías, a Catalan pilgrim who made the route more than two decades ago and, who, to return to the Camino de Santiago everything that it had given him, decided to become a hostel owner in Sarria.
After a trip to Senegal, he decided to share some of the solidarity that is shared on the Camino de Santiago with the neediest children in rural Senegal. To this end, an NGO called Hospitaleros Sin Fronteras was launched, which twice a year sends medical and school supplies to Senegal.
The Camino de Santiago from Rome
Another of the good causes that have been performed on the Camino de Santiago is that of Albert Palacio. This pilgrim pedalled for more than 100 days, travelling about 3,000 kilometres to raise funds for the fight against childhood brain stem glioma, a disease that is incurable at present.
Pedalling against cancer
Sergio, a psychologist at the Spanish Association Against Cancer in Jaén, also decided to launch himself on the Camino de Santiago to raise funds for cancer research. His goal was to raise one euro for each of the kilometres on the Camino Frances, from Roncesvalles.
Solidarios Non Stop
Since 2017, BBVA has organised Solidarity Non-Stop, an initiative involving more than 150 people related to this bank. The goal is to complete the Camino Frances by bike in a single weekend.
The route is done in relays, including night stages. Its initiative raised 4,200 euros in its last event. The amount was donated to Asdegal, Fundación Lukas, Down Galicia and Down Castilla y León.
Yo quiero caminar
Ionet Preda is another show of solidarity on the Camino de Santiago. It is due to him that four solidarity initiatives on the Camino de Santiago aimed at raising funds that make it possible for children who need prosthetics to acquire them have taken place.
Fundación Deporte y Desafío
The Sport and Challenge Foundation organized Xacobeo Solidario del Seguro 2010, a solidarity initiative that enabled 17 people with disabilities to complete the Camino de Santiago. More than 20 volunteers were involved in this activity.
Kike Ramos and little Lola
Kike Ramos and his young daughter Lola, just 5 years old, completed the Camino Frances to raise awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a disease suffered by another of Kike’s daughters. Its main objective was to raise funds for the Fundame Foundation, which works with people affected by the condition.
The equestrian world against breast cancer
Two young riders from the Carmona Riding Club, Manuel Bautista Benítez and Antonio Luis Martín Prado, decided to complete the Camino de Santiago from Seville to raise awareness of breast cancer. To do this they shared the whole journey on social networks and wore fuchsia T-shirts throughout their pilgrimage on horseback.
As you can see, every year more solidarity associations join the experience of completing the Camino de Santiago for a good cause. Most of them direct their efforts to make people aware of some form of illness or social problem, raise awareness of their cause as much as possible, and raise funds to improve the lives of those affected.
All of them are stories of solidarity, overcoming situations and love of those who venture to make the Camino de Santiago for a good cause. We all find them incredibly inspiring and show that something very beautiful happens on the routes of the Camino de Santiago that awakens the most human side of people.
The Santiago Ways Solidarity Fund
In Santiago Ways, we didn’t want to stop contributing our grain of sand and that’s why we decided to create the Santiago Ways Solidarity Fund. If you have a social project that has any of the following purposes, check our fund requirements and send us your project. We can collaborate!
- Conserve and promote the natural world that surrounds the Camino de Santiago.
- Improve the living conditions in some of the communities through which the pilgrim route passes.
- Help overcome a personal challenge to help someone for which the Camino de Santiago might be impossible.
- Or other charitable projects. Send them to us and we’ll study them.
To all the people who work every year to make this world a better place, thank you! For today we say goodbye, we hope that these solidarity stories about the Camino de Santiago have inspired you and that you take advantage of your visit to develop your own good cause.
We would appreciate it that if you know any other stories about solidarity on the Camino de Santiago, share them with us in the comments section. Similarly, we invite you to share this article with your friends on Facebook, in this way we help to recognize the work that many volunteers carry out related to social causes on the Camino de Santiago.