All Locations

Iowa Chapter


Des Moines, IA 50309

Contact Email

The Iowa Chapter of American Pilgrims serves pilgrims and pilgrims-to-be across the state of Iowa. The chapter was started in 2016.

The purpose of our local Iowa chapter is to keep participants connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the phenomenon. We accomplish this through engagement with the community by organizing informational meetings, social events and hikes. We welcome the opportunity to mentor future pilgrims by sharing our wisdom and experience, and we serve returning pilgrims as they recount their journey.

To be added to the chapter's email list, for more information about the chapter and its activities or about membership in American Pilgrims, contact us at

We encourage you to join our Facebook group (Iowa Chapter – American Pilgrims on the Camino) and be informed of our upcoming events.

Contact chapter coordinators Dawn Bratch-Prince and Laurie Ihry via email for more information.


• You've arrived! You have your compostela, you've attended the Pilgrims' Mass and you've hugged the Saint. Now what? You need to read this blog entry by the venerable Johnnie Walker 20 Things to See and Do in Santiago de Compostela and learn what to do next!

• There are a thousand and one packing lists out there but this packing list is our take on the topic.


Monthly Chapter Charla, first Thursday of the month, 7-8 PM CT.  These virtual “chats” serve as an informational session for pilgrims-to-be, a sharing session for recent returnees, and a forum for sharing on topics relevant to the Camino.  There is always plenty to discuss!

Monthly Chapter Hikes, April through October, second or third Saturday of the month, 10 AM CT.  We post our schedule on the Local Chapter Events Calendar and share via Facebook as well.

July Hike to Santiago (Iowa):  Each July in recognition of St. James Day, our Saturday hike runs from the Chichaqua Trailhead to the little church of Santiago, Iowa (approximately 7 miles round trip).  We hold a Shell Ceremony at the Church of Santiago midway through our hike.

Shell Ceremony: we host two to three brief Shell Ceremonies each year, typically at the conclusion of a group hike.

To see what we’re doing, please visit the Local Chapter Events Calendar and select our chapter name in the "All Events Category" pull-down menu. This will filter to display only our chapter's events.

Follow this link to view the Local Chapters video on YouTube.

Are you interested in learning more about the Camino?

Consider joining the American Pilgrims on the Camino Facebook group for great dialogue, Q&A, photos and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims.

Mentor Program

The Iowa Camino Mentor Program can pair individuals who have questions about their upcoming Camino with a nearby veteran who can answer questions. Contact for details. Experienced Camino walkers and cyclists who would like to serve as mentors should contact us so that you can be added to our resource list. Potential mentors should provide us with your name, zip code and a brief rundown of your experience including walking or cycling, which route and when.

Rev 12/31/2023