Applying to be a hospitalero/a

C\RÚAVIEJA, 3  26001
Tel. 941 245 674
Fax. 941 247 571

    Dear Friend/s:

    As you have expressed an interest in becoming a voluntary host in the Camino, we at the Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Camino of Santiago), write to you in order to explain what the organization stands for and how it operates.

    For more than 25 years people of all ages and contexts have dedicated themselves to maintaining the traditional hospitality of the Camino of Santiago. These people are the voluntary and cultural hosts of the Camino. With their voluntary work they take care of the pilgrims in the hostels of the Camino and work together in the variety of artistic, cultural and spiritual contents of the Camino.

We, the voluntary hosts, are former pilgrims who have decided to dedicate part of our free time, without any economical compensation, to welcoming the pilgrims. In other words: it is not a job, we pay our own costs for everything (travel and expenses) during our time as hosts when we serve the pilgrims in the hostels. We don’t charge the pilgrims, although we do accept voluntary donations.

There are two requirements on a host of the Federation: you must have made the pilgrimage to Santiago and also attend a short course of preparation for new hosts. We find it very important, in order to be a good host, to participate in one of those short courses, because it helps the volunteers to understand our way of welcoming the pilgrims. It also gives them an opportunity to know what it is like to be on "the other side of the Camino".

The normal duration of a stay in a hostel is 15 days, the first or second fortnight of every month. It is important that you book this full biweekly period; and it is important that you book this time in advance, and that you are sure about the dates you give us. If you have any changes, it is vital that you tell us immediately, so that we can replace you and not to have to leave hostels without the attention of a host. If you wish, the stay could be longer, but we don’t advise you to stay longer than a month, and never in the same shelter. Please understand that the dates you solicit are a commitment you take on, which it is necessary to fulfill. Also we must say clearly that this commitment is individual; if you wish that your partner or a friend accompanies you during the fifteen days of hospitality you must tell us since we must notify the insurance agency and the people in charge of the hostels.

Between February and May of every year, the “Hospitaleros Voluntarios” (Voluntary Hosts) organizes a series of preparatory short courses for everyone who has contacted us about being hosts during the year. These short courses are mandatory and run from Friday afternoon until Sunday after lunch. Under exceptional circumstances, for those who cannot take part in a course for practical reasons, for example those who reside outside Spain, we could offer to stay three days in a hostel to become familiar with our way of hospitality before going on to the hostel assigned to them.
The hospitaleros we met every year to mark the way of work of the following year. We have been called these guidelines "Conclusions" and for 2010 they are the following ones:

Volunteering includes the promise of availability and also carries with it the acceptance of the rules which we have freely agreed upon:
        We reaffirm the volunteer (i.e., non-paid) character of the job of hospitalero performed in locations where there is no charge for the hospitality afforded to pilgrims. We are committed to the provisions and requirements set forth in the “letter questionnaire,” independent of the refuge where our work is performed. We will help to promote within pilgrims a sense of the spiritual nature of the Camino. As hospitaleros, we will make every effort to integrate ourselves into the locality where we are working. Hospitality will be provided to pilgrims without discrimination of any type. We will continue our training courses: initial preparation, continuing education for veteran hospitaleros, workshops, etc. We will publish our work principles in the refuges where we are assigned.
In conclusion, therefore, the job of the hospitalero is, above all, to respond to the needs of the pilgrims.
If by any unforeseeable reason you can’t be at your hostel as planned, please notify us as soon as you possibly can, so that we can find someone else to fill in for you. Please contact either the office or the co-ordinator. If you need any information you can ask for it in the office of Logroño where Maite and Marta will help you, they work mornings: The person in charge of the organization of Hosts is Ana I Barreda, who is also at your service:

When we first heard from you we took your personal data to be able to send you this letter. Below you will find a series of further questions. Please fill out the form and return it to us. We would like to know more about you, in order to be able to assign you to the hostel that suits you best, as well as for establishing a basis for better relations between all the hosts. The answer to these questions and your sending parcel means that you accept Hospitaleros Voluntarios's conditions

Best wishes, until next time we’ll be in touch.


Full name:
Mail address:
Postal code and city:
Date of birth:
Cell phone:
Telephone work:
E-mail (please tell us how often you check it):
Photocopy (or photo) of identity card or passport:
Languages that you speak:
Dates when you would like to be a host:
Do you have any previous experience as a host? When and where?
Have you made the pilgrimage to Santiago?
Do you have any physical or mental problem to be considered?

In some shelters the host can arrange an oration and/or reflection with the pilgrims or invite them to participate in the oration of a monastery or community (please mark one of the following choices):
•    I would like to go to one of these shelters:
•    It would not matter to me to go to one of these shelters:
•    I prefer not to go to one of these shelters:

In some shelters the host is in charge of preparing the supper for the pilgrims (please mark one of the following choices):
•    I would like to go to one of these shelters:
•    It would not matter to me to go to one of these shelters:
•    I prefer not to go to one of these shelters:

It is customary that the hosts help with maintenance work in the shelters (cleaning, re-painting, plumbing, carpentry etc...) in work groups led by experts in the area:
•    I would be willing to help out with this work:
•    I have some ability in this kind of work (please state which):
•    I will not be able to help with this work:

The Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago, by our own decision, taken in different meetings where we revise our work, only go to those refuges and hostels where the pilgrims are not charged for their stay, although there may be a box for where they could leave a voluntary donation. However, would you mind being a host in a hostel where they charge the pilgrims for their stay?

In order to be able to go to certain isolated refuges, you would need a vehicle to be able to handle matters like purchases and emergencies. Will you bring your car to the hostel?

The “SAPO”s are veteran hosts who go to solve or to cover urgent situations when the assigned host cannot be there as planned. These are not stays of complete fortnights but rather of 2 or 3 days or a weekend. Normally, we would call you and say: "We need a host the day after tomorrow in the hostel of..."
If this would be the case, how would you respond?

You can call to me at any time (please mark one of the following choices):
•    I need to know it in advance:
•    I could leave immediately:
•    I could help during.... days (number of days):

I could help only during the summer (please mark one of the following choices):
•    I need to know it in advance:
•    I could leave immediately:
•    I could help during.... days (number of days):

I could help during weekends or for a few days:
•    I need to know it in advance:
•    I could leave immediately:

Please tell us about your situation:

If you cannot do one of the scheduled short courses, could you come a few days earlier to study the work at another hostel?

Please tell us why you want to be a voluntary host, how you came to know of us and what you expect from this experience?