“Keep the Camino Alive”
If you find yourself wishing there was something concrete you could do to help support albergues and other pilgrim businesses along the Camino that are struggling because of COVID-19….We have a suggestion for you!
Building on the spectacularly successful campaign led by our Victoria Chapter that raised over $20,000 last summer and fall, the Canadian Company of Pilgrims is launching a new fundraising effort to support albergues and small businesses on the Camino routes in Spain, Portugal and France that lead to Santiago de Compostela.
What will the funds be used for?
Many albergues and small businesses that rely on pilgrims are struggling financially and are fighting to survive. Even those that have closed temporarily, continue to incur ongoing expenses. These businesses have been devastated by the drastic drop in pilgrim numbers for almost all of 2020, and by the uncertainty of 2021 and beyond. When they do reopen, they will have to invest in sterilization of everything, new mattress and pillow covers and often renovations of their space.
The much-needed money will be used to support individuals and businesses that mainly serve pilgrims along the Camino that have experienced a drastic drop in pilgrim traffic. Funds will also be directed to pay for the additional costs incurred by businesses in order to meet COVID-19 protocols.
How will the recipients be identified?
Our donation committee will rely on suggestions by our CCoP members and chapters, our contacts in Spain, forums, and communications with hosts on the Camino to identify those businesses that are in most need. Our constant communication with these contacts allows us to respond to any need very quickly. The committee will work together to review and quickly approve the donation requests and then will forward these funds immediately.
How much should I donate?
A typical day on the Camino generally costs about 35€ or $50 Canadian. Donate “A Day on the Camino” or a few days, or as much as you wish!
Will I get any recognition of my donation?
CCoP is not a registered charity; therefore we cannot issue a charitable tax receipt. However, for each $50 donation, you will receive a special CCoP Holy Years badge. If you are not interested in a badge, any amount is welcomed. As a volunteer organization our costs are minimal and we are able to donate almost every dollar received to support Camino related businesses.
Why are the dates 2021-2022?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Pope has declared that there will be two consecutive Holy Years. Double Holy Years are rare. The relics of St. James were hidden during Sir Francis Drake’s raids on the Spanish coasts and lost for several centuries. After their rediscovery in 1879 and papal validation in 1884, there was a special extra Holy Year added in 1885 before the regular one in 1886.
Another double Holy Year took place in 1937-1938 when Spain was in the middle of a devastating Civil War. Fascist general Francisco Franco and his Republican opponents engaged in what many historians now view as a dress rehearsal for World War II.
How can I donate?
Donating is easy. Simply click here and sign in as a member. Upon payment by credit card, you will receive a “Thank You” confirmation email. As a Canadian non-soliciting Not-for-profit Corporation, the CCoP can accept donations only from members. Sign up here to become a member.
We all desire to keep the Camino alive so that one day we will once again all have the opportunity to enjoy the pilgrim experience of a wonderful day’s walk, a delicious café con leche at a bar, a vino tinto with a pilgrim meal, and an overnight stay at our favourite albergue. Your donation is your gift back to the Camino and your generosity will be greatly appreciated.