Collecting stories and images that demonstrate the values that make the Camino de Santiago special and unique. For this purpose, on a day like today exactly one year ago, we launched the Values of the Camino in 12 Months initiative from the Camino con Correos and iPeregrinos. 365 days later we remember some of the experiences that you have shared with us after travelling your Route.
The spirit of overcoming and the pilgrim always go hand in hand. That's why we in February 2017 we talked about strength on the Camino. And we learned how the magic of nature, the landscape, the towns and the peoples who keep you moving forward. And for inner strength, the spiritual force of life itself is your companion on this exciting journey through the Jacobean Routes.
Peace on the Camino also has been the protagonist of these Values of the Camino in 12 Months. Searching for our inner self we met Mony Dojeiji, author of the book Walking for Peace, an inner path, which tells us how the pilgrimage changed their spirit and character. Peace as spiritual growth and personal development was also the experience of Dulcina Gómez, organizer of the The Voice of the Camino expedition, a journey towards meditation through four stages of the Vía de la Plata. Contributing to the pilgrim experience, from someone who knows the Camino very well, we spoke with Noelia Ramos, alma mater of Woman to Santiago, who confessed that his experiences were not born around the search for peace, although she found it "accepting what the Camino offers.”
Stephen Marriott is a British writer and pilgrim for whom the Camino de Santiago changed his life. With him we discovered sensitivity on the Jacobean Route. A sensitivity that led him to abandon everything -- including a job in the world of finance -- to develop as a writer. Because, as he explained to us: "The Camino taught me to stop and look around. Life is not a race. It is more important to experience life and enjoy all its wonders."
May was the month of solidarity. And this allowed us to get to know Ionut Preda, Paralympic athlete and travelling pilgrim who help young people with mobility problems who, due to lack of funds, cannot get an orthopaedic limb. The Camino is a perfect showcase for his objective and his experiences of solidarity serve to finance a good part of his activities.
Sustainability on the Camino is addressed through different initiatives such as the Life Stars project, which promotes reduction of energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gasses on the Route. Or A Clean Step, a cleaning campaign on the Camino de Santiago promoted by the Association of the Camino de Santiago in Japan, Correos and Camino Xacobeo.
Diversity is personified by Diego Davila, a Brazilian pilgrim in love with the Camino who has managed charm many people with his blog and YouTube channel Meu Caminho de Santiago, where he gives advice to new travellers.
The Camino is the great equalizer, with integration as a representative value of the Camino. In this context, we’re sharing the Proyecto Jacob@ccess, created in 2016 with the aim of guaranteeing accessibility for people with physical disabilities to the heritage and culture of the territories that the Camino de Santiago crosses from the French region of Aquitaine to Navarra, passing through Aragon. And we spoke with Doctor Josep Barrachina, one of the people responsible for a very special Camino: from Astorga to Leon by a team of 5 people with functional diversity and 6 patient and professional companions from the Asepeyo Hospital in Sant Cugat.
If there is a value that we want or that we didn't experience on the Camino it is friendship. And what better way to represent this than through Mocho, creator of symbolic hands that have become a true symbol of friendship on the Camino over the years.
The Camino de Santiago is more than a spiritual route to the tomb of the Apostle. Throughout the centuries it has become a civilizing route transmitting cultural heritage. That’s why we wanted to highlight this value celebrating 30 years of the Camino de Santiago as European Cultural Itinerary. José Antonio Ortiz, director of the magazine Peregrino, helped us analyse the evolution of the route over three decades. And with Marcelino Oreja we remember a declaration that gave the Camino definite momentum.
For every self-respecting pilgrim, spirituality is present on his or her Camino. And we spoke with Don Segundo Pérez, dean of the Cathedral of Santiago, for whom "the meaning of the pilgrimage to Santiago has not been lost since the Middle Ages: conversion, a life change, rethinking of one's existence." But also with Nekane Vita, who explained how the Camino becomes the perfect setting to work on personal development.
Thus, we come to January, in which hospitality was featured on the Camino. First is someone who has lived intensely since travelling the Camino since the late 80s: photographer Manuel G. Vicente. And finally with one of the figures without whom the Camino de Santiago would not be possible: hospitality workers.
Here ends The Values of the Camino in 12 Months, an initiative with which we wanted to discover new faces, other characters and other stories on the Route. And we encourage you to continue participating, sharing your Camino experiences through this blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Safe travels!
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¡Buen Camino! This is our wish at Correos! – that pilgrims can fully enjoy their Camino and discover new places, histories, people and experiences through our postcards.