Associations of the Camino de Santiago

Find out about the typical activities carried out by one of the Association of Friends of the St. James Way.

By Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Open door of our associations (2021)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

What does an Association of Friends of the St. James Way do?

The Seville Association of Friends of the St. James Way is an organization located 620 miles (1,000 km) from the tomb of the Apostle at the start of the historic Silver Way (Via de la Plata). The things they do are representative of the activities of all the associations. Let's take a look at what they are.

Historical documents that were used (2021)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

1. Studying documentary evidence

By studying historic and modern maps of the regions and history books, visiting libraries, and exploring the areas they are researching on foot, they locate the paths the pilgrims traveled in the past as well as the places where they stayed.

Route signage - urban area (2021)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

2. Urban signposting

When a route is localized and involves crossing a town, they request permission from the local authority to signpost the way across the town, following a path approved by the local authority.

Signposting of the itinerary - interurban zone (2008)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

3. Intercity signposting

The signs through the countryside must provide maximum safety for the pilgrim following the Camino and avoid getting them lost. The signs must show the way and be visible. Nowadays, they must comply with the manual published by the Consejo Jacobeo (Council of Saint James).

Preparation of documentation to help the pilgrim (2021)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

4. Producing the Guide to the Camino

Once the itinerary of the Camino has been identified and its route has been signposted, they produce a Guide to the Camino which contains everything a pilgrim might need to set off along it.

Attention to the pilgrim and delivery of Credential (2017)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

5. Information and issuing credentials

The associations' most important tasks, which they inherited from the old confraternities of pilgrims, are welcoming the pilgrims, providing information, and issuing credentials. The associations are a meeting place for new and veteran walkers.

Preparation course for the Camino (2015)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

6. Organizing informative talks

The new pilgrims can attend talks on the adventure they are about to begin and learn the basic premises to delve into this fascinating world. The associations organize initiation talks for the new pilgrims.

Disclosure of the Way (2015)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

7. Organizing conferences

The most anxious walkers seek to immerse themselves in the history of the St. James Way, its symbols of identity, and its underlying spirit and philosophy. The associations give them the opportunity to satisfy their curiosity and widen their knowledge.

Organization of Congresses, Forums and Assemblies (2007)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

8. Organizing meetings

They organize meetings to discuss historical topics relating to the St. James Way, such as the national and international pilgrimage routes, inviting prominent figures on the subject of Saint James.

Assembly of Exhibitions on the Camino de Santiago (2017)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

9. Organizing exhibitions

The associations organize photography exhibitions and competitions to promote the Camino. They try to present images that inspire people to walk it or remind others of their experiences on the pilgrimage.

Relations with Institutions (2013)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

10. Relationships with other institutions

In order to achieve their goals, the organizations need to interact with the political, military, and religious authorities. They each have their own interests in sharing the Camino.

Signage maintenance (2020)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

11. Signposts and maintenance

Signposting the Camino is necessary so the pilgrims don't get lost. It provides security and points the way. The associations are responsible for this and routinely travel the Camino to review the signs.

Outings to the Camino (2008)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

12. … and much more!

Every year, the associations arrange a calendar of trips along the Camino. They mainly try to cover the stages of the Camino that are closest to them, maintaining the spirit of Saint James and the partnership between the associations.

Pilgrimage to visit the Apostle Santiago (2018)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

When a pilgrim arrives at the doors of the Cathedral, this is a joyful moment. It is the reward for several days of uncommon effort. It is here, in the Plaza in front of the Cathedral, where their tears become joy and happiness becomes euphoria.

Credits: Story

Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago  
www.caminosantiago.org
Pilar de Luis Domínguez
www.viaplata.org
Juan Ramos Plaza

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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