Maria is one of the many relief fund recipients grateful to every single member of the Camino for Good community!
This past month, thanks to all of you, Camino for Good was able to give over $21,000 USD to albergues in need. This brings the total amount we have been able to give this year to over $57,000 USD. One of the most recent albergues to have become part of our Camino for Good family thanks to your support is Casa Licerio in Samos, Spain.
Samos is magical. A pilgrim first views this charmed town from afar as they descend from a mountain and see it nestled in the valley below. It is home to the amazing Samos Monastery (San Xulian). In John Brierley’s wonderful Guide to the Camino Frances, passing through Samos is an alternate route and although a bit longer is one very much worth taking. Hopefully when you take your Camino you’re not in a rush. When CfG co-founder Bill Austin first arrived in Samos, he says he strung his hammock along the beautiful Sarria (Oribio) River. From there, as he gazed upon the Monastery perched across the water, he laid peacefully for a while, thinking how lucky and grateful he was to have come across such a magical place.
Casa Licerio is a beautiful old slate house, built as a family home in 1910 in a typical Galician countryside style. It is run by hospitalera Maria Cecilia but unfortunately has been closed since the end of the 2019 season. The owner of the house where the albergue is located kindly postponed the rent for 2020, but let Maria know that as of March 2021 she would have to start paying again if she wants to stay and be there for pilgrims.
Having only 4 rooms to rent and still getting reservations cancelled due to COVID-19 Maria had gone through all her savings just to stay afloat.
This quote from Maria when she first reached out to Camino for Good sums up her situation: “All of my savings are gone! I know I will not have enough income to cover all the expenses so your help is fundamental and really very much appreciated!”
We were able to help Maria and this is the lovely message she sent afterwards.
“I have all my hope on pilgrims being able to walk, bookings increasing closer to the summer and me getting enough revenue to survive and continue giving all my best to pilgrims and anyone who needs me on the Camino in Samos. More than grateful to you and to all my Camino for Good guardian angels, I would not be able to have Casa Licerio open in 2021 without you!
I also want to thank you for your encouraging words about not giving up. They get straight to my heart. I would not change what I do on the Camino and in Casa Licerio for anything in the world. Being an alberguera has totally changed my life. Even if it is lots of work, the spiritual reward I have gotten has no price! So thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you again, in my own name and on behalf of many other albergues and albergueras whom you so kindly have helped and continue helping overcome this crisis and survive.”
Maria is a wonderful example of how the Camino spirit lives in all the albergues along the way. It’s this amazing spirit of giving and service that has kept the Camino alive for over a 1000 years and will surely keep the Camino alive for the next 1000 years no matter what comes its way.