Serving as a Hospitalero/a
Many pilgrims look for ways to give back to the Camino, even as we are trying to figure out what the Camino has given us. The difference in the greeting of the hospitalero at the albergue can turn a grim day into one of the most memorable. Mary Virtue and Tom Friesen are the Canadian trainers, preparing past pilgrims to take on an entirely different camino for 15 days. They provide the same training that is offered in Spain and they have shared their materials with the Americans, Australians and South Africans. The training takes place over a weekend, usually in the spring and again in the fall in cities across Canada. Mary updates the blog Canadianhospitaleros.blogspot.ca and the latest dates for training, application forms and reports from past hospitaleros can be found there.
As of 2016, over 300 Canadians (and some Americans) have been trained and each year, approximately 35 Canadians go to Spain and/or France to serve their fellow pilgrims. Without exception they have found this to be a most rewarding experience.