Camino Hospitaleros

Posted by on Sep 8, 2013

 [Part 2 in  mini series about El Camino de Santiago. To read from the beginning click here.]


Long I even reached Santiago on my walk, I knew that one day I wanted to return to the camino and be a hospitalero. Hospitaleros are the people who volunteer to work in auberge/refugio and serve the pilgrims who are on their walk.


Their personality and stories of each hospitalero are as varied as the terrain along the camino. Yet they all share a commitment to the camino and a desire to serve. Here are a few hospitaleros who left a lasting impression on me.


James, Marianne, Fynn & Poppy 


James & Marianne were past pilgrims themselves who met on the camino, fell in love, and started a family. The moved to Spain and they were in the process of building their own albergue when I met them. They had a yurt next to the albergue whey they offered to me (along with a moped) if I wanted to help for a few days. And I did.




Tomas is a hospitalero in Manjarin. Completely committed to the welfare of the pilgrims, he once went on a hunger strike when the government threatened to cut his electricity. He won, and continues to serve pilgrims today offering an evening meal and Gregorian chants in a high, desolate spot along the camino.





Marianne was a Swiss hospitalera at Eunate, an 11th century octogonal church said to be built by the Knights of Templar. I was fortunate to be one of a handful of pilgrims who spent the night there. When I arrived at Eunate, I was in a place of deep grief. I have carried the comforting and loving words she spoke to me to this day:

“Never forget we are coming from God, we have a glimpse of God on earth, and we are going back to the love. When you are not well, try to find the hole where you can connect to this enormous love. You can find it when youa re in stillness. Somtimes it is hard. Don’t give up.”


Hospitaleros… wow.


Coming Soon- Part 3: Impossible Dreams.







  1. Thinking of you today … hoping your travels yesterday were safe.



    • Thanks Lauren! It amazes me how one can fall asleep in NY and wake up a few hours later on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean!
      And my pre-trip stress has vanished yay!

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