In 2018, the Roman Catholic “Oficina de Acogida al Peregrino” issued completion certificates to over 327 thousand pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Newer records aren’t available yet, but I know that Covid quarantines did not completely end this. These folks came from more than 170 countries, on at least ten different routes. The most popular route, the “Camino Francés,” gets about 57% of the pilgrims.
Not all of them go for religious reasons. Some just like hiking; some think there is some sort of “spiritual energy” in the path itself; some needed to get away and think after a life crisis and; some do it for a family bonding event; and so on.
Several times since my retirement, I worked with a group that has been serving pilgrims on the Camino Francés that stop at their albergue for food, lodging, advice, etc. Here are a couple of excerpts from their latest newsletter:
“For more than over 20 years Oasis Trails has had the focus of running an albergue and sharing the gospel with pilgrims. Over this past year we have seen how our vision for discipleship has finally taken root, and how our ministry is growing to include relationship with local people.”
We are grateful for all the volunteers that are coming this season! We still have a big need for volunteers in the month of April and May, and there is also some space left in October. If you interested in volunteering check OasisTrails.org, send us an email: email@example.com”
You can also visit OasisTrails.org for more info on the activities of the group.