The Camino often starts with a pull, a prompt, a story or an awakening. This prompt comes back to visit often and can be seen as a push or prompt to “Go!… walk the Camino”. For me this waiting and preparation took place over ten years. Eventually my adult son and daughter walked with me on part of the Frances and the Portuguese route. The journey was both an inner journey and an outward revelation.
– Janice from New Brunswick
I walked my first Camino in February and March of 2005. I was very fortunate to meet two Mallorcan perergrinas who only teamed with me because I could discern the path in the daily snow and was carrying toilet paper which they lacked. Together, in walking to the sea over two months, we discovered the Focal Living Experience of the Camino as we walked in joy where our personalities, goals, skills and preferences aligned with the Camino experience transforming us into pilgrims.
– Tom from Ontario
The Camino is such an amazing experience challenging and fulfilling you mentally, spiritually and physically leaving you wanting more. Love the people and everything about it.
– Barb from Saskatchewan
I’ve walked 3 Caminos, from 1989 to 2018 (so far). To me, a Camino is an opportunity to really see a country, at a human pace. It provides space and time to connect with that which is beyond both. It provides deeper connections with loved ones and an opportunity to appreciate our similarities and differences around the world and across time.
– David from Ontario
The Camino links the sacred and ordinary; an ordinary walk becomes an extraordinary encounter of fellow pilgrims, hospitalero/a volunteers and local residents all in a sacred journey together. We come away from the Camino with a deeper appreciation for self, fellow human, nature and the divine and the world. The Camino opens up space within our hearts and generates an embrace of life “one step at a time.”
– Janice from New Brunswick
I walked a portion of the Camino Frances alone in 2022. I wanted to learn more about myself, to push my limits and to live a simplified life for a few weeks: sleep, walk, eat and repeat. My other goal was to spend time with God and to glory in the beauty of nature.
– Sandra from Ontario
The reasons for having walked a few Caminos over the years keeps evolving. It’s been a communion with nature, an immersion in the cultural, a flair for the exotic, a deepening of friendships and a call to live more simply. Presently it’s a journey of self discovery in the solitude of a quiet trail.
– Chuck from Alberta
I walked the Camino Frances on my first Camino in 2009, looking for some pretty specific answers to my life situation, as many do, perhaps, a lightning bolt. I didn’t receive that, which would’ve been quite short-sighted, but what I did receive was life lessons of putting one foot in front of the other and continuing forward, and trusting that what I needed would be provided. An unexpected gift was a community of wonderful people.
– Shirley from Ontario
I affectionately call walking the Camino de Santiago an amazing and profound ‘slowcation’ but it is so much more than that. Walking the Camino was a transformative experience for me – physically, mentally and spiritually.
– David from Nova Scotia
I never thought I would want to walk 800km anywhere – but when I finished my Camino, I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment – and couldn’t wait to walk another. In the meantime, I found I could get the sense of camaraderie and support that you feel on the Camino (the “Camino feeling”) by joining the Canadian Company of Pilgrims and helping others to prepare for their own Caminos. Buen Camino!
– Tim from Ontario
Ten years ago my husband and I fell under the spell of the Camino Frances. For us, it was a joy to experience the exhilaration of life stripped down to its simplest elements. Like the poet Wallace Stevens, we learned that all of life can “consist of three or four hills and a cloud.” Since then we’ve sought the magic of the Camino on many different routes. And it always delivers.
– Lea from Saskatchewan
At the outset my first Camino represented a goal to be reached and a challenge to be met. Once underway it soon became an adventure marked by unexpected turns, chance encounters, quiet moments of reflection, breathtaking scenes, stories told, struggles recounted, meals shared and much laughter, all contributing to a transformative personal experience and a strong yearning to return.
– Raymond from Winnipeg
Credenciales and Badges
The credencial is available to members of CCoP who are walking, cycling or riding (horseback) the Camino. It is not only your proof that you are a pilgrim, but it allows you entry to the albergues along …
The Camino de Santiago, aka The Way of St. James, refers to the pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
A Membership with Canadian Company of Pilgrims (CCoP) is open to anyone who has walked a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, or has an interest in, or curiosity about, such a journey. Membership includes some significant benefits. For further information please go to the members benefits section of the website.
The Mindful Pilgrim
What does it mean to walk as a Pilgrim?
To walk as a pilgrim means to journey mindfully, aware of our connection with the landscape, with our fellow pilgrims, and with the countless others whose footsteps we follow and who will follow behind us. It means leaving the people and places we visit better than we found them. It means being open to new experiences and ideas that will enrich our pilgrim journey.
It means walking with kindness, respect, openness and curiosity.
The Way of Kindness
- Be kind to your fellow pilgrims;
- Be kind to those who offer hospitality;
- Be kind to yourself.
The Way of Respect
- Respect the land you walk through;
- Respect the people and culture around you;
- Respect your fellow pilgrims and hosts.
The Way of Openness and Curiosity
- Be open to the road – keep an open heart and mind;
- Leave space for serendipity and surprise;
- Be present in the moment.
Who are the Canadian Company of Pilgrims?
The Canadian Company of Pilgrims (CCoP) is a non-denominational volunteer-run association that supports Canadians interested in the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. We share the Canadian representation with l’Association du Québec à Compostelle.
The CCoP provides information and generates awareness and interest in the Camino to Santiago de Compostela through a network of chapters across Canada and its website and Facebook page. Local Chapters provide a forum for the exchange of information about the Camino and also offer practical training and information sessions to the interested and to prospective pilgrims. The Company also issues Credencials (pilgrim passports) which are recognized by the pilgrimage authorities in Santiago.