Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Story of One House

The Pilgrim´s Fountain or Fuente del Peregrino opened its doors in June, allowing an endless flow of stories to flood in. Stories of pilgrims, of workers, of neighbors, of reunions, of memories, of hospitality...

A total of 160 volunteers have cleaned, cooked, prepared and accomodated in this house each day. These volunteers have received, welcomed and served each person that passed by the door and entered therein with dedication and love. These work teams arrived from all over the country to use their vacatino time and serve with nothing in return. Thanks to all of those that have made it possible for the Fuente del Peregrino to be an authentic refuge for the bodies and for the souls of many people. A very sincere thanks to them because so many of them dedicated their vacation time to be working in the house.

While the number of volunteers we can count, it is almost impossible to say the hundreds and hundreds of pilgrims that have had some coffee, filled their water bottles, stopped to chat, to rest, to have lunch, to have dinner, to sleep and to share their Camino stories with us. Thanks to these as well because they have given meaning to all the effort, the work and the dedication. The guest book is full of thanks through written words that show the impact that the Fuente del Peregrino is having. The kindness they have received during their time with us has affected their lives.

In these fotos to the left, one can read two notes that were left this summer by two different pilgrims.

Without a doubt, all that pass through the doors of the Fuente del Peregrino remember her. At the beginning of August a German woman who was walking the Camino for the second time in her life arrived at the pilgrim house. The first time she walked was four years ago and she slept at the pilgrim house. This year she said she just "had to stay" and also slept in the pilgrim house when she passed by. When she arrived and started talking with the work teams she told them, "I had to stop in Ligonde and stay at Jesus´hostal." She herself named the pilgrim house this way because she said that it was the only place that she had visited where she was truly treated as Jesus would treat her.

In addition to receiving work teams and pilgrims, the Fuente del Peregrino also hosted a group of 25 people for the "Encaminar" Training from August 12-26. "Encaminar" (to guide or to orient) is a training that Agape offers each year to its staff, partners and volunteers who want to grow in their relationship with God and in their commitment to help others.

We could say that all good things must come to an end, but that is not always true. This year, the Fuente del Peregrino will close its doors in September, but as of now, the house will continue to receive visitors this winter. Natán de Souza and Tere Alvarez, together with their family, have just moved to Lugo to be close to the refuge and to be able to continue working on its maintenance, and in some way, continue to serve the pilgrims even though the house will not be open all year long.

You can follow the stories from the Fuente del Peregrino here.

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