In recent years the Camino de Santiago has acquired an important educational dimension becoming a great learning space. A formative, vital and experiential itinerary whose teachings have a great value for the students, making them grow both in their personal and spiritual dimension throughout the length and breadth of all its different routes. Learning that makes even more sense in a time as full of conflicts as adolescence, making the Camino de Santiago one of the most recommended school trips.

One of the elements that give this trip such a high formative power is the great number of values that are combined throughout the pilgrimage. It could be considered a school of humanism, citizenship and solidarity .

Valuing effort and sacrifice

Each student will approach the Camino in a different way, walking at a pace that is comfortable for them. In many cases it is difficult to maintain a steady pace and unforeseen events can arise (blisters, chafing, tendinitis, too much heat, cold, rain, etc.) In this context the famous phrase “The Camino makes us all equal” takes on its full meaning. We all get tired, sweaty, sore feet or blisters. Personal effort makes us all equal. And this is extremely important especially at ages when they tend to compare themselves with each other.

Row of backpacks in Obradoiro Square

Improves confidence and self-esteem

Confidence in themselves and in their efforts is another of the great lessons of the Camino and is what will help them to move forward. Along the Way, you will feel that you will falter many times. If this happens, you will simply need to look back and become aware of how far you have come step by step. That the important thing is not to arrive, but the Camino itself, and that everything they have done is already a great achievement. This positive attitude of confidence can be extrapolated to many other aspects of your daily life.

Learning to live with little

Becoming aware of how little we need to live and how we complicate our existence in our daily lives with often absurd needs is one of the most useful lessons that the Camino de Santiago can provide to students.

We live in a world of comfort and abundance of everything. Having a plate of food on the table or a comfortable bed, for example, are “privileges” that many of our young people do not consider as such, since they are given to them without any effort. On the Camino de Santiago, effort and sacrifice are essential to be able to finish the stage and gain access to these “privileges”. The personal effort to reach them helps to give them meaning.

In addition to this, the Camino de Santiago is a window to encourage attitudes of rejection of mass consumerism that invades them. Throughout the pilgrimage you will realize that the lighter you walk, the easier it will be to face the daily kilometers. Understand that four clothes, some toiletries and a bottle of water is more than enough to enjoy an incredible experience.

Coexistence and social relations

It is possible that for a large part of the students the Camino de Santiago is the first great experience of living together with their classmates outside the school. Students will learn to respect basic rules of coexistence, they will have the opportunity to establish much closer links between them, interacting with other groups and discovering new friendships.

If there is one thing about the Camino de Santiago is that socializing is extremely easy. The simple fact of walking for so many hours a day makes us much more receptive to dialogue. And this is something of great importance, especially for teachers, as it allows them to get to know their students in a much closer and more informal way.

One of our groups at Obradoiro Square

Reject competitiveness and value companionship.

The Camino de Santiago teaches us that competitiveness or competition can be costly. Running today and winning – whatever it is you think you win – will probably be paid for tomorrow with injury. Although the truth is that, on these trips, these behaviors are always the least among the schoolchildren. The solidarity that is experienced on the road among the young people is truly moving. From the student who offers to carry her classmate’s backpack, to the group that waits for and accompanies a student who is injured, to those who encourage and congratulate the last one who arrives, melting into a warm embrace.

Two pilgrims helping each other

In short, all these values, and surely many others that we have not mentioned, are part of the experiences and learning that can be experienced on the Camino de Santiago. This is the reason why more and more Secondary Schools are deciding to include this pilgrimage as part of the school trips for their students.

In 2018 and 2019, different Amigonian Schools have trusted us to organize trips for more than 120 students from different parts of Spain and the experience has been really fantastic for both schoolchildren, teachers and our guides. Discover his experience here.