Oakland, CA: Northern California Chapter, Welcome Home Celebration

Nov 19, 2022 10:00AM—3:30PM


St. Augustine Church: 400 Alcatraz Avenue off of College Avenue in Oakland.

Event Contact Guy Joaquin | Email


After three long, long years — we’re back! Please join us in-person to celebrate this year’s returning pilgrims at our Welcome Home Celebration potluck. We’ll be gathering once again at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oakland, near the border with Berkeley. To start us off, chapter member Emilio Escudero will lead a session on returning home that focuses on “unpacking” the psychological and spiritual aspects (the “intangibles”) of the Camino. He’ll share a strategy for reflecting on your experience and keeping those things you want in your life going forward. After lunch, we’ll take our Camino “Class of” photos and returnees will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and share a little about their experience.

Schedule: Doors open at 9:30 AM. If you can help with setting up, meet us at 9:00 AM. We will have lunch around Noon, followed by group photos and the returnee share time. We plan to finish up by 3:30 PM. We also need help with cleaning up afterwards. All are welcome to attend.

Advance online registration is required. Click the Register button below to sign up by Friday, November 18. We ask that you register if/when you are certain you can attend. Thank you!

Cancellation: If you are unable to attend, please email us as soon as possible at norcal@americanpilgrims.org so we can update our list.

Getting There

By Car: Use Google Maps or your favorite map app for directions. St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Avenue off of College Avenue in Oakland. The church is on the right side between Dana and Colby Streets when heading west towards the bay and the parking lot entrance is on the left side of the building. Meet us on the bottom floor of the gym/multi-use building across the courtyard on the right side of the church (follow our yellow arrows).

By BART/Bus/Foot: From Rockridge BART Station, take AC Transit bus 51B towards the Berkeley campus and offboard at College/Alcatraz (15 min). Walk west on Alcatraz to St. Augustine (0.3 mi). To walk from the station, head north along College towards campus and turn left on Alcatraz (0.7 mi).

What to Bring

Your favorite dish or drink to share. Extra points for something from the Camino. Wine counts, too! Here’s a request to cover our bases: If your last name begins with A-P, bring a food dish (main, side, salad with serving utensils). If it begins with Q-Z, bring a dessert or beverage (coffee will be provided). We’ll have 3×5 index cards on hand to make a label for your dish.

Be Green!

We encourage you to bring your own plates, cups and utensils to help us to minimize trash and reduce costs on disposable items. There is a kitchen to wash items after use.

El Gordo

El Gordo (the Grand Prize) is the nickname for the popular Spanish Christmas Lottery. Our version is technically a raffle of Camino-related and inspired items for prizes, but no less fun and exciting. Tickets can be purchased at the sign-in table and during the event ($5 each or $20 for 5). There’ll be books, stickers, clothing, maybe a map and more! If you can contribute a new/near new item(s), let us know in an email to NorCal@americanpilgrims.org. We’ll still have our donativo box available for a cash contribution. Your generosity helps us cover our event expenses (room, supplies) and allows us to devote more of our resources to our goals that include supporting the Camino infrastructure through our Grants Program.

El Rastro

El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid. Bring your excess gear, memorabilia, guidebooks and other good “junk” you thought you needed, but don’t anymore. There will be an area to display your items. This will be a “cash-free” zone. Bring it and forget it! See something you want? Take it.

Camino Mercado

We invite Camino authors, artists, creatives, and other vendors to display and sell your wares. There will be a table set aside for your use. Note: American Pilgrims does not endorse any of products. We are solely providing a space to connect sellers and buyers.

COVID Policy: We kindly request attendees to be fully vaccinated or have received a negative test result within 24 hours of attendance. Masks are optional.

The Ruff Stuff: For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.