The Amigos Welcome Service 2013 is now up and running

Inma Tamayo

More pilgrims are arriving every day and are being greeted in the Pilgrims Office by this happy lot

We call the volunteers in this service “Amigos” – and that name defines what they do: they say Welcome and Congratulations in as many languages as they can to the pilgrims who arrive in Santiago. They answer questions, they shake hands, they hug pilgrims and receive many hugs in return. They listen to pilgrim stories both joyful and sad. They provide practical information and they help solve problems.

The Amigos Welcome Service is fully funded by the pilgrim associations who participate and by the volunteers themselves. The model is very simple. We provide an apartment in which the volunteers live, and training and support. The volunteers pay for their flights and all other costs. 

Last year we piloted the scheme and it was hugely successful – volunteers personally welcomed over 100,000 pilgrims.  The service was greatly appreciated by pilgrims, the volunteers themselves and the staff of the Pilgrims’ Office. Last year 26 volunteers took part.

Santiago should be very proud of the fact that this year 100 volunteers are taking part with 60 of them working in the Pilgrims Office and the rest in the associated "Albergue Fin Del Camino" in the Parish of San Antonio in Fontiñas.

Well done Amigos

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