Letter from the Chair – Autumn 2023

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Letter from the Chair – Autumn 2023

Dear Pilgrims, 

This is an exciting season in the life of American Pilgrims on the Camino. The popularity of the Camino continues to grow. By the end of September, the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago had welcomed almost 368,000 pilgrims, including 24,000 from the United States. Some months, Americans have outpaced Italians to claim second place among nationalities receiving Compostelas. That popularity is reflected in the membership of American Pilgrims on the Camino. At the end of July, we had almost 2,800 members, the most in our history.

We are pleased to partner with other associations around the world as we accommodate the growing interest in pilgrimage while staying true to our mission to “foster the enduring tradition of the Camino.” Our grants program helps those who maintain the various routes keep the donativo albergues and the pathways in good repair. We were invited to be part of a consortium that is working with the Associação de Peregrinos Via Lusitana in Lisbon to fulfill John Brierley’s desire to establish an albergue on the newly constructed pathway out of Lisbon. The association in La Rioja has invited us to engage in a cultural exchange like the one we did in May with the association in Estella. In 2025, we will have our first International Gathering with the Canadian Company of Pilgrims in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As information about the Camino proliferates, we are keeping up with new opportunities for communication. We are recruiting interns to enhance our social media presence that will add to our thriving Facebook community of more than 30,000 participants. The La Concha team stays on top of the latest technology to make sure this journal keeps up with the ever-changing ways that we access information.

The chapters team is continually improving ways to equip chapters with up-to-date technology for communicating with chapter participants. Chapter coaches bring coordinators together to share best practices and innovative ways to build local pilgrim communities. 

While embracing the opportunities of this new season, we want to stay in touch with the rich heritage of our organization and the work of those who have brought us to this point. Tom Coleman is spearheading a Legacy Project that is conducting interviews with our founding members and preserving important documents from our history.

Thanks to your membership and support, American Pilgrims on the Camino inspires all who seek the spirit of the community to connect with the global community of pilgrims in every season.

Buen Camino, 


Members Say:
“I walked my first Camino, the Primitivo, alone, with the goal of better understanding who I
was as I entered a new phase of life at age 60. By the time I reached Santiago, I knew. I was
able to plan my future goals based on a knowledge of who I was at that point, and what I
could and could not do physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. I’ve continued walking
Caminos because it’s such a great adventure and learning experience. Since my first Camion, I’ve taken friends and family, sharing this amazing adventure of discovery with them.”
– Alan, Renewing Member

Your MEMBERSHIP in American Pilgrims on the Camino makes it possible for everyone to make the pilgrimage that is best for them. Thanks, as always, for your support and if you aren’t already a member, you can become one here.

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