Habitat for Humanity and the Camino: Endings and Beginnings

Olá amigos. The flow of days continues to connect our Habitat work and the Caminho. Our volunteer team recently completed a part of the rehabilitation of two homes in Amarante, Portugal a beautiful town with a section of the Camino Portuguese running through it. I’ve included pictures from the two building sites, but since I was also working, I had limited time to photograph, so many of the volunteers aren’t in the individual photos, but all are in the group photo. Check out the Habitat website and Facebook pages for more information and photographs.

What competent and hard workers, from demolition to finish work! Our team leader Duane Hershberger, local Amarante teams Volunteer Coordinator, Jose Goncalo Granja and construction foreman Rogerio, led this group of dedicated and skilled group of volunteers. Many have been on multiple builds over the years. This was my first build and I worked harder than I ever imagined. There are jobs for everyone and at all skill levels. Our group was continuing the work of many previous volunteer groups and more will come after ours before the completion and final ceremonies.

Photos below are quick snapshots of the families, their homes in construction and the Habitat team at work. We all hope and I’m sure so do the families, to see their homes in the final stages of construction.

I walked the Senda Litoral seaside and the Central routes last year and fell in love with Portugal, adding to my admiration of the Caminhos and people of Spain. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity, the families and the volunteers.

Thank you all for your support in helping families live in decent housing at home and abroad. It’s a privilege to know the people who live where we walk.

Scallop Shells and Arrows

Imagine how exciting it is to find Camino scallop shells and arrows in the areas we worked. Our program director, Jose, walked the Caminho ten years ago and stopped at signs along the way to show me his route.

Amarante

The River Runs through Amarante, with small beach and swimming areas and walking trails.

Our hotel in the city was walking distance to the river, Cathedral and historical areas.

After the build learned more about the culture and sociopolitical situations in Portugal. We visited Guimarães, on the Central Caminho route, with Braga. Beautiful cities, in stages of historical reconstruction. And we explored Porto. Never enough time to see and do everything. I guess I’ll have to come back.

Porto

Stage Two: The Camino

Today I begin the next part of this journey. I rode the train from Porto to Caminha on the coast of Portugal.

In 2018 I walked the stages from Porto to Caminha to Valença in September. Earlier in the Summer, from Valença to Santiago and Leon to Ponferrada. In between walking to Muxia and Finisterre from Santiago de Compostela.

Reservations for Caminha and Oia are the first and only plans.

Since I’m walking solo and this is a continuation of last year’s walk, I’m open to different routes. I have less than two weeks to walk my Camino before I need to be in Astorga. If you walk with me, be ready for changes and surprises. Exploring Spain is part of this Camino. The unknown is always on the route, even if the Way is the one you walked before.

Now I’m in Spain. Buen Camino and gracias for walking with me.

Irene on the Way

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