Thu Oct 04 01:00:00 CEST 2018

With the 2018 Camino de Santiago awards, the Regional Government recognises the outstanding performance of seven entities in favour of the Jacobean phenomenon

  • The Head of the Department of Culture and Tourism stressed that the awards "make visible and recognise" the contributions of excellence made from all social fields
  • The award was received by the Tourism and Congress Consortium of A Coruña, the City Council of O Grove, the Galician Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago and the Association of Friends of the Camino de Tokyo, the Association for the Protection of Animals of the Camino, the Compostela Group of Universities and the Rural School of Caldas de Reis.
  • Tourism of Galicia promotes with these awards the improvement, protection, awareness and knowledge of the Camino de Santiago following that provided in its Master Plan

Santiago de Compostela, 4 October 2018


The seven winners of the 2018 Camino de Santiago Awards received their awards this afternoon at the Pilgrimage Museum, with which the Regional Government of Galicia "recognises and makes visible the contributions of excellence—in the words of the Head of the Department of Culture and Tourism—in the preservation of Jacobean values. With this recognition, Tourism of Galicia promotes the improvement, protection, awareness and knowledge of the different routes following the provisions contained in its Master Plan.

The Tourism and Congress Consortium of A Coruña, the City Council of O Grove, the Galician Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago, the Association of Friends of the Camino de Tokyo, the Association for the Protection of Animals of the Camino (APACA), the Compostela Group of Universities and the Rural School of Caldas de Reis were chosen on this occasion by the jury for their merits in their assistance to pilgrims and for a suitable management and dissemination of the resources linked to the Camino de Santiago from different fields.

Xacobeo 21, a strategic objective

Roman Rodriguez recalled that with the Camino "we received a legacy that needs to be managed responsibly and effectively" and stressed that the preparation of Xacobeo 2021 is being "one of the strategic objectives of the Government" for which it is necessary to have the collaboration and effort of all. He also highlighted the exemplary nature of the different institutions and entities awarded.

He ended his speech by explaining that during this year important organisational steps have been taken, such as the merging into a single department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism or the incorporation of the commissioner of the event, Cecilia Pereira Marimón, whom he described as "an exceptional professional", so that Xacobeo 2021 is the best in history.

In addition to the Head of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, the following persons participated in the event: the Director of Tourism of Galicia, Nava Castro, the Commissioner of Xacobeo 2021, Cecilia Pereira Marimón, the Director General of Cultural Heritage, Mª Carmen Martínez Insua, the Manager of the Xacobeo, Rafael Sánchez Bargiela, the Vice President of Fegamp and Mayor of Oroso, Manuel Mirás, and the Director of the Museum of Pilgrimage, Esperanza Gigirey.

From Galicia to Japan

In the first category, corresponding to local city councils and entities, the award went to the Tourism and Congress Consortium of A Coruña, for its work of dissemination, promotion and outreach of the Camino Inglés through the training to the local sector. The second award went to the Municipality of O Grove for the improvement and enhancement of a section of the Route Xacobea del Mar de Arousa y Río Ulla, the only official sea route in our Autonomous Community.

In the field of the Jacobean collectives, to whom the second category is addressed, the first prize recognised the Galician Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago, which for almost three decades has carried maintenance tasks, dissemination and attention to pilgrims. The second prize went to Asia, with the Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago in Tokyo, which since 2009 has been working with on-site hosts, advocating actions in favour of the sustainability of the route.

Integration and diversity

The Association for the Protection of Animals of the Camino (APACA) is the winner of the Camino de Santiago Awards in the third category, for its care and protection of animals lost or abandoned on the Jacobean route.

Finally, the fourth category honoured the Compostela Group of Universities, which over the last quarter century has contributed to the study of the Camino de Santiago from a multidisciplinary, academic and social point of view, also including the gender perspective, and favouring the mobility of researchers. Likewise, the Carracedo Early Childhood Education School, of the Rural School of Caldas de Reis, was recognised for its project An Open Window to the World, which takes advantage of the passage of pilgrims in front of its classrooms to instil in the students respect for diversity and contact with other cultures.

With these awards, the Government of the Autonomous Community is making progress in improving the Camino de Santiago, especially its itineraries, its landscapes, and in its architectural and environmental areas, and in its general protection and development. Furthermore, the aim is to increase citizens' awareness of Jacobean values, stimulate knowledge of their heritage and encourage collaboration between society in coordination with public administrations.

Challenges and opportunities

These are precisely the objectives of the Master Plan for the Camino de Santiago, the road map begun in 2015 with the view on Xacobeo 2021 and which responds to the current needs of the pilgrimage and preserves its traditional values. It is endowed with a budget of 56 million euros and has eight strategic lines that work simultaneously to promote and integrate the diversification of flows through the different official itineraries, the deseasonalisation with the distribution of pilgrims and their internationalisation, with nearly 170 nationalities.