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Just less then a year ago a few pilgrims got together to figure out a way we could help people connect with the Spirit of the Camino during a time when they couldn’t walk the actual Camino de Santiago in Spain. We decided to start a business that helped people virtually travel the Camino while staying active in their local areas. We also knew that many of the albergues on the Camino were hit hard by Covid travel restrictions. We agreed that a portion of what we made would go directly to relief funds for these generous and kind albergue owners, hopefully providing them what they need to make it through these times and re-open when pilgrims return.

Well, drum roll……We are proud to announce that Camino for Good has given a total of $74,604 USD in relief funds, helping a total of 28 different albergues along the Caminos of Spain. We want to thank everyone who has helped us achieve this. It’s been incredibly inspiring to hear these albergue owners’ stories and their expressions of gratitude.

Here are a few of the albergues we have been able to help:

Kim Narenkivicius
Stone Boat
Rabanal de Camino, Spain

This was Kim’s original message to us:

Hola Bill,

Thanks for your message. I was just listening to the podcast Follow the Camino with Kelly’s interview where she shared the story of how your project/mission came to be and I am touched by your efforts – for both people inspired to walk – and also for the help for the Wayshowers who are doing their best to hang in there. I am one of those running on faith here in The Stone Boat in Rabanal del Camino …

I am officially underwater and I really need help. Yep, The Stone Boat is officially underwater. Trying to keep my sense of humor but getting harder!

I feel like I would need help through June if possible. I am currently getting creative on ways to stay floating if we move into Fall. 

Thanks so much and looking forward to hearing from you,

Kim
The Stone Boat, Rabanal del Camino

We were able support Kim in her efforts to be ready and open when pilgrims return.

Lalo Alvarez
Albergue El Paso
Vega de Valcarce, Spain

Lalo and his Albergue El Paso were closed until the end of May 2020 by government order, afterwards, he really didn’t know what would happen.

From Lalo:

 My hospitalera hasn’t been able to collect all the salary and I would like to compensate her this difference from last year and official rates. Last year, the government allowed it to open in July and only at 50% capacity. I worked without pay, all for food, heating, and general expenses. This year we plan to open in May

After receiving the good news!:

I’d tell you many words but, I summarize them in “THANKS”.

For you, Bill; to all your team, Kelly, Susan, Shay, Veronica, Lindsay, Fabio; and to all people we don’t see, but collaborate in these projects; we’ve planted an apple tree in memory of “CAMINO FOR GOOD”.

Both Mary and me, we hope to meet you in our Albergue.

Big hug

Lalo planted an apple tree and made a stone carving of thanks to all of us. Hopefully one day you will be walking a Camino, meet Lalo and Mary, and see the stone carving and apple tree that you are so much a part of.

Albergue Maralotx
Juanma and Paloma
Cirauqui, Spain

This is Juanma’s original message to us.

Hello Bill, this is Juanma writing. Thank you so much for reaching back to us. We are a small, family owned business, with just my wife and myself working in it. We bought the albergue back in late 2018 and had a wonderful 2019 season; then, ever since November 2019, we haven’t opened again. We have three girls aged 11, 12 and 14.

Paloma and I have been looking for a job since mid 2020, but due to the crisis and with so many companies going out of business due to corona, and probably also due to our age (47 and 53), despite our education and experience, we haven’t had any success.

Right now we have just the money for opening the season (May 5th) and sustain ourselves until the end of May or so, and from that moment we will totally depend on whether the number of pilgrims this year allows us to make enough money to go on through the rest of the season and then through the Winter until March 2022. And honestly, we are not expecting this season to see many more pilgrims than last year’s. In forums and FB Camino pages we are mostly seeing foreign pilgrims plan their next Camino for 2022.

Thank you so much again Bill, and the rest of Camino for Good. Looking forward to your reply, thank you and best wishes.

After receiving the good news!

Hello Bill, Kelly, Susan, Shay, Veronica, Lindsay and Fabio: thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your generous help. We were very moved by your email when we read it last Friday, which by the way was the 11th birthday of Lidia, our youngest daughter. Our eyes got watery while reading it, and my voice broke twice at reading/translating it for Paloma.

Thank you for your offer, of course! Hopefully, with the about to start season 2021 and the pilgrims that do come to the Camino in it, we will be fine and hang in there for the next 10-12 months.

Albergue La Fuente – Ligonde Spain
Natan De Souza

From Natan:

Dear Camino for Good Team. Kelly, Susan, Shay, Veronica, Lindsay,
Fabio and Bill. I would like to mention your names and who knows, one day I will be able to thank you personally on the Camino.

Once again thank you so much for your generosity for to see possible the volunteering for serving pilgrims a long the Camino.

Your help is very important to cover the basic needs that we now have, we appreciate a lot, thank you.

Were we able to help ensure Albergue La Fuente will be there when pilgrims return.

As the uncertainty of reopening the Caminos still looms on the mind of every albergue owner, we are humbled by their sense of appreciation and believing that things will work out.

We will continue to reach out and help support as many of these amazing people and places that we can. They are true treasures along the Camino.

Until the day we are sharing a pilgrim meal with an albergue owner and a cold beer with another pilgrim….

 

Buen Camino

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