Marijn and Jessica are recipients of Camino for Good relief funds
They’ve graciously shared their story with the Camino for Good community
The Albergue Ecologico El Beso has been founded by Jessica (Italy) and Marijn (Dutch) after we met and fell in love on the Camino. We spent 7 months looking for a place where we could start an albergue. We found a ruin, but what kind of ruin! Surrounded by ancient chestnuts and views through the valley with a mountain range at the end.
We didn’t have any funds to buy or restore the house. Through a crowdfunding project and, later on, a bank loan we were able to start the restoration and eventually open the albergue. All the work we did ourselves, and as you might guess, with enthusiastic pilgrims. And till today, almost 10 years later, we still are working on the albergue. Due to Covid restrictions we are building an extension to the house to create an additional room for the pilgrims. This way we can separate family and pilgrims when needed. Normally, we share our spaces.
The house is very well positioned. This house was initially built 8 hundred years ago and has lived many lives and changes. It hadn’t been occupied for 40 years. There was a roof, leaking, walls and some windows and doors in a poor state.
All the food in the albergue is organic and vegan. This is due to our personal development and convictions as we were living the life of hospitaleros and parents. This has had a warm welcome from the pilgrims and gives them a special experience when staying with us.
Currently we hope to open in June 2021 and welcome pilgrims again.
The government has been minimal and we are depending on private savings and help from pilgrims. It is incredible that the latter is happening and we hope you know how important this has been for us.
Jessica and Marijn
Learn more about Jessica and Marijn’s albergue >> www.elbeso.org
Thank you Marijn and Jessica for all you do! We hope to share a vegan meal with you in the near future.