Serving on the Camino
I met hundreds of pilgrims from all over the world. I swept floors, cleaned bathrooms, and coordinated meals. I listened to amazing pilgrims’ stories. I worked sixteen hours a day, was exhausted at the end of it all, and I’d do it again in a minute! ~ E. Green
Those who have gone from walking the Camino to serving as hospitaleros say this experience is in every sense a Camino of its own.
Watch this YouTube video where our members talk about the training and the impact it has had.
How Can I Train as an Hospitalero Through American Pilgrims?
Albergues are open, pilgrims are walking and hospitaleros are needed! Train as a hospitalero with American Pilgrims and serve your fellow pilgrims along the Camino.
Upcoming hospitalero training sessions
- March 5-7, 2024: Hunt, TX, (session is full)
- May 31-June 2, 2024: Saco, ME (click for more information)
- Sept 13 -15, 2024: Hiawatha, IA
Our members always receive email notifications when session registration is open.
Hospitalero training is open only to current members of American Pilgrims and by application.
Our hospitalero training program follows the curriculum developed by the Spanish Federation of Camino Associations, which entitles our trainees to be placed by the Federation in one of its donativo albergues. In order to be placed, the Federation requires that trainees meet specific requirements.
To be eligible for training as a hospitalero, applicants must:
- have walked at least 100 kilometers (or biked any 200 kilometers) on the Camino;
- be at least 21 years old at the time of training;
- have spent the night in at least one non-private (municipal, parochial or association-run) albergue on the Camino; and
- be a current member of American Pilgrims. Follow this link to verify your membership.
Why I Trained as an Hospitalero
Hospitalero training provided practical tools, knowledge, and insight to return to the Way and be of service. Our instructors are experienced pilgrims and hospitaleras who guided us through our training materials, provided a notebook of resources to use in class and to keep for future reference. If you have any interest in returning to Spain, Portugal, or France to serve other pilgrims I strongly recommend Hospitalero Training.
~John K. Davidson, NC
In the few hours since I left, I already feel a wave of nostalgia wash over me, yearning to get back to training. I was transported back on the Camino-making friends, swapping stories, breaking bread, laughing hysterically one minute and moved to tears the next; 48 hours of encapsulated Camino-essence- shielded from everyday woes. Sheer magic!
~Sushila A., Vienna, VA
The Camino has made a huge impact on my life. The evenings in the handful of donativo albergues I’ve stayed in were some of the most memorable of my life. By becoming an hospitalero, I hope to help others walking the Camino create such special moments.
~Mike B., Zion, IL
The path to Hospitalero is a new adventure in Camino life wherein one can give back in thanks for all its gifts. The training course is thoughtful and thorough, but no one realized it could be so much fun!
~Janice F., New York, NY
The training was an enriching experience. It was heartwarming to rekindle the Camino with fellow pilgrims. Only a pilgrim understands another pilgrim! The exercises were thought-provoking; nothing I anticipated. Thank you for all your efforts in providing the tools to ensure our success as an " hospitalera"! Lucky me to have met all of you! Let's keep connected.
~Darlynne G., Lincoln, CA.
Thank you, Carmen and Daniel! Your insight and knowledge of all things ALBERGUE ON THE CAMINO made for a fantastic weekend. Role-playing and sharing those insights gave us valuable awareness of the needs of the Pilgrims, the Albergue and the community that will surround us as we give back to those who helped our journey. Loved It!!
~Teresa Graham, Santa Barbara, CA
Most memorable for me were the discussions and exercises on creating hospitality - we learned that true hospitality is not only about creating a safe physical space where strangers can enter to take shelter and rest. It’s also about nurturing a safe emotional space, that encourages discovery and openness among the albergue pilgrims. For me personally, hospitality embodies the spirit and beauty of the Camino. With this training, I’m better prepared and even more excited to volunteer and help support the traditions of hospitality on the Camino.
~Martin Pena, Kenwood, CA
What a pleasure it was to attend an American Pilgrims Hospitalero Training session and get a big dose of Camino Spirit here at home. Not only did we get tons of practical information, but the program prompted meaningful personal reflection about what it means to be a good citizen of the world. All that, and it was incredibly fun!
~Carrie P., Salt Lake City, UT
We just completed the Hospitalero training in Palo Verdes, CA. The days were perfectly paced and Daniel, Carmen and Emilio made everything fun but also informative and realistic. Spending time with the other pilgrims, sharing stories (& realizing that we had met a classmate on the Camino!), and preparing a communal dinner only made the whole experience that much richer! Since our first Camino in 2016, we’ve been hoping to give back by serving as hospitaleros and now we both feel so much better equipped to do that successfully. We can’t wait for our first assignment!
~Penny D. & Thom S., New York, NY
Volunteering at Bercianos in 2024 was truly one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.
~ Lori L.
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