Arno and Huberta, the founders of “L’Esprit du Chemin”, knew from the beginning that this would be a hostel for and by pilgrims. Their dream has come true. Since 2003, first in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and now in Le Chemin, other “hospitaleros” work beside them. A diverse company as varied as the Camino itself.
Everybody works as a volunteer; that is what makes this place special. Who else can better sense how exciting it is to take the pilgrim’s road for the first time? Or what it does to you when, you leave home to travel for weeks or even months towards Santiago.
“Coming home for a while”, that is what many guests say when they have stayed at “L’Esprit du Chemin”. The “making it home” is quite a job. The “hospitaleros” not only take care of receiving the guests and the cooking, but also the cleaning, shopping and upkeep of the hostel. Keep in mind also: the renovation of the hostel, the set up and upkeep of this website, the bookkeeping, etc.. As a pilgrim you are usually not aware of how much has to be done behind the scenes. All that common effort makes the hostel what it is.
Be a hospitalero
Many pilgrims like to do something in return for the hospitality they experienced on their own journey, for example, by working as a volunteer in a pilgrim office or in a hostel ("Albergue") somewhere along the Camino.
Would you be interested in volunteering as a host (in Spanish: "hospitalero") ?
- the Amis de Saint-Jacques de la voie de Vézelay administer several "gîtes" on this “historical way” and the pilgrim's office in Vézelay
- some "gîtes" work on a Christian basis: the "Haltes Chrétiennes".
- the Federación Española de Amigos del Camino de Santiago administers many "albergues" on several Caminos in Spain
- the Confraternity of Saint James administers “albergues” in Rabanal del Camino (Camino Francés) and Miraz (Camino del Norte)