Mon Aug 20 10:07:00 CEST 2018

The Xunta (Regional Government) publishes an emergency guide for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago

  • The vice president of the Xunta, Alfonso Rueda, and the director of tourism in Galicia, Nava Castro, presented this publication today, available in three languages
  • It is part of the commitment of the Xunta of Galicia to maintaining safety on the Camino
  • The Galician Government allocates 100,000 euros to the Civil Protection volunteer groups of towns situated along the French and Portuguese Camino to provide better care for pilgrims.

Ribadiso, 17 August 2018

Today the vice president of the Xunta, Alfonso Rueda, and the director of tourism in Galicia, Nava Castro, presented the Emergency Guide for pilgrimages along the Camino de Santiago, which includes tips, self-protection measures and information in case of emergency. In doing so they were accompanied by the territorial delegate of the Xunta of Galicia in A Coruña, Ovid Rodeiro.

The guide - published in Spanish, Galician and English - includes a series of sections with useful tips for before and during the pilgrimage such as, for example, planning ideas before setting out along the Camino or information on the physical preparation needed to start the route and safety measures.

In addition, it provides information on the European telephone number for emergencies, 112, and also refers to the most frequent health problems, tips on how to avoid them and when medical assistance should be sought.

The publication also addresses the particularities of taking pilgrimages in a group, which are always more complex. For this reason the last point provides a check list to be filled in on the needs and minimum requirements that must be met in order to complete the route chosen without complications.

This guide is one of the commitments of the Master Plan of the Camino de Santiago, with which the Xacobeo 2021 is being prepared and, at the same time, the growth of the Xacobea route is being accompanied, which exceeded 200,000 pilgrims this week, close to 8% more than one year ago.

In fact, safety is one of the aspects most valued by the pilgrims, as reflected in the conclusions of the Study of the socio-economic impact of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route which, at the initiative of the Xunta, was carried out this year at the University of Santiago de Compostela. In this work, the key to better governance of this phenomenon, safety appears as the aspect most valued by those who go on a pilgrimage alone.

Collaboration with Civil Protection

This commitment to safety also includes another of the initiatives launched by the Galician Government on this matter: the agreement with the Civil Protection groups in towns situated along the Camino in order to provide better care to pilgrims, and to which the Xunta allocated a total of 100,000 euros.

Among other functions, these volunteers are responsible for carrying out safety-related tasks and supporting people who are travelling the Camino, such as providing information on adverse weather phenomena, upkeep of the road signs and the various branches, response to requests for assistance, or information on the Emergency 112 service where necessary.

This collaboration was already in progress along the French Camino with agreements reached with the groups of Sarria, Portomarín, Monterroso, Palas de Rei, Melide, Arzúa and Santiago de Compostela and this year was also extended to the Portuguese Camino with the groups of Ames, Teo, Padrón, Pontecesures, Valga, Caldas de Reis, Portas, Barro, Pontevedra, Vilaboa, Redondela, Mos and Porriño.