Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

Links to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimages are on the navigation links to the right of the web page.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

White noise - July 16

Most people talk about the enormous surge of pilgrims that walk from Sarria. The walk takes less than a week from here so it’s a great and popular Camino. And it’s well known that the increased noise and crowds mentally disrupt those who started earlier.


The Camino is precious, a privilege, and a process. It’s a gift to be appreciated because not everyone can find the time to do it. I’m acutely aware that I am unusual for doing it multiple times.


The Camino is overwhelmingly a white person’s journey.

Most people walking are Europeans or Americans. The surge of people that appear in Sarria are mostly American and Spaniards. That surge just makes the racial disparity even larger.

The folks who come from Africa are predominantly white people from South Africa. The few from Asia are predominantly Korean Christians, yet I’ve noticed that whatever meager number shows up has been held up as an example of how Koreans are flooding the Camino. 

I’m not saying what should change here. I’m merely observing something that often makes me feel uncomfortable. I am a rare pilgrim here, one that is rarer after Sarria. Nothing in my theology around pilgrimage supports this outcome. So why must it be so?

Why aren’t there scholarships to those who cannot afford to do this pilgrimage? Why isn’t there more desire to find God in everyone? Or am I just a clanging cymbal loudly?

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