About 'American Pilgrims on the Camino'
American Pilgrims on the Camino has three principal goals: to support the Camino, to gather pilgrims together and to provide information. To support the Camino, APOC collects and disburses funds and trains Hospitaleros (hosts) for the Camino albergues (pilgrim refuges). The funds are used for the maintenance and enhancement of the Camino infrastructure, going to specific albergues being built or repaired, to associations providing services along the Camino and to other entities directly involved with the Camino.
APOC HOSPITALERO TRAINING PROGRAM.
'American Pilgrims' hospitaleros serving in Camino albergues are trained in conformity with the training that Spanish hospitaleros receive, so that they are prepared to step in as full partners. The goal is to promote a positive American presence on the Camino and to support this physical and spiritual journey that has been meaningful and life-transforming to innumerable people for over a thousand years. (Ref.: APOC Grants page and the Hospitaleros page.)
ANNUAL & REGIONAL MEETINGS.
To gather pilgrims, APOC holds a large annual Gathering in the spring which is open to members and nonmembers, walkers and non-walkers, pilgrims who have been and pilgrims who are yet to be—this so that the enthusiasm for the Camino can be shared. In order to make the event as widely accessible as possible, the location changes every year: recent sites have been New Mexico, California, Virginia, Colorado, Missouri and Ontario. A number of smaller regional Gatherings have also taken place, where people relive the companionship of the albergues, create a meal from the simple ingredients they bring to share, take a walk together and explore some facet of the Camino’s history and tradition.The Local Chapters page and the Nationial Gatherings page provide detailed information.
INFORMATION VENUES - website, newsletter and Facebook. To provide information, APOC maintains a website, which offers up-to-date reviews of Camino literature, travel suggestions, practical advice, announcements, historical commentary, answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Through its website, and an active Facebook page, APOC constantly seeks to expand ways of encouraging greater knowledge of the Camino. APOC also publishes a newsletter, 'La Concha' , with articles of generalinterest about all aspects of the Camino as well as information about the organization.