I am happy to share a special guest post by Camino angel and bestselling author Karin Kiser.
Support Camino Cleanup
During my first Camino in 2011, I was disheartened by the amount of trash I saw along the route. I was determined to play a part in leaving the Camino in better condition than when I found it. Unfortunately, for all my good intentions, the last thing I wanted to do while walking all day fully loaded with a backpack and trekking poles was stop and collect some rubbish. Bending down with a full pack seemed a Herculean task. So my cleanup efforts were limited to areas where I was already resting without the load of backpack.
Last year when I was volunteering in Galicia, I was finally free of the backpack and could begin to pick up trash in earnest. During those two-weeks I took responsibility for the 3 km stretch on either side of the albergue and rounded up a dozen bags of waste.
The experience was not without its surprises. More than one passing pilgrim snapped a photo of me collecting trash. Another shot a video. And then there was the pilgrim who, upon seeing me in a ditch on the opposite side of the path, picked up an empty can from his side – with his backpack on – and approached me with a huge smile as he deposited the can in my bag. Not a word was spoken between us. It was a moment in equal parts touching and humbling. It inspired me to continue.
Rather than hike the northern routes as planned, I returned to Roncesvalles to resume my cleanup effort, collecting 65 bags of trash along the Camino Francés. The experience was transformative. It added a new dimension to my work. I decided then that part of the proceeds from my new books, Your Inner Camino and After the Camino, would be used to support cleanup efforts along the Camino.
But I didn’t stop there. This year, I’m taking my cleanup efforts to the next level. In September a few people will join me in Spain as part of my new “Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat.” Together we will take care of ourselves and the planet, first online as we identify cleanup areas in our own lives and prepare our bodies and minds for the journey, and then together in Spain as we pick up trash and recyclables along a section of the Camino Francés. Want to be a part of it? Email support@KarinKiser.com for program details.
Download and share the PDF flyer Support Camino Cleanup.
Here’s how you can make a difference too
BUY A BOOK
Your Inner Camino Your Pocket Guide to Inspiration and Transformation Along the Camino de Santiago
Some walk the Camino as an adventure or physical challenge. To make it a pilgrimage requires
something more – the inner journey. With Your Inner Camino, you’ll discover how to let go of the
thoughts and behaviors that limit your growth and happiness. Use it to inspire you along the way. You’ll
discover how walking the Camino is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to clean the slate and start anew.
After the Camino Your Pocket Guide to Integrating the Camino de Santiago into Your Daily Life
The real Camino begins after you arrive in Santiago, when you take your experience home with you. How will you keep the spirit of the Camino alive in your daily life? After the Camino will help you avoid returning to the old habits and routines of your pre-Camino life. You’ll discover how to simplify your life and live the pilgrim way at home.
The books are also available in Spanish!