The students entered a competition on the Follow The Camino, Facebook page and have been campaigning tirelessly to get their whole community behind them to share their class photo on Facebook and propel them in to the winning position and onward to the Camino in Galicia, norther-western Spain.
They came up trumps on the first part of the challenge; to win the competition. Next part is to walk over 100kms in to Santiago de Compostela to gain their coveted pilgrim certificate as a souvenir of their achievement. Teacher Laoise O’Boyle expresses pride in her girls “They worked so hard on this campaign and are deserved winners. They have managed to impress me with their team work and leadership skills, it’s clear they will grow up to be strong ladies.“
Both leadership and team work is what they’ll need out on the Camino de Santiago, walking over 20kms per day there is sure to be mood swings and tiredness. Students will have to pull together once again to help each other through the tough times and on to gain their prize of the Compostela (pilgrim certificate) in the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage from the Pyrenees in Southern France, all across the north of Spain to reach the tomb of St. James in the city of Santiago de Compostela. In medieval times pilgrims usually walked this as a form of penance or for Christian reasons. Nowadays it’s is undertaken for many reasons all different and all equally as important to the individual pilgrim.
Walking holidays in general are on the rise all over Europe, helping to combat obesity, depression and low self-esteem it seems many people are opting to get outdoors and active for their holiday moving away from lounging on beaches, sipping cocktails. Follow the Camino.com has been organising walking holidays on the Camino for over 10 years now and have seen a surge in the number of Irish pilgrims choosing to challenge themselves by walking the Camino. Founder of FTC Umberto di Venosa goes on record stating that “no one has ever regretted walking the Camino.”
Many charity groups use the Camino as their annual fund-raising efforts by organising a group to fund raise and then take on the challenge of the Camino proving that barriers can be over-come and nothing is impossible. In the last couple of years alone many Irish celebrities including Frances Black, Maria Walsh and Geraldine O’Callaghan have opted for this type of holiday instead of the usual glamorous resorts.
The Camino has been popular since around the year 800AD and is thriving in the 21st century which leaves one to believe that there must be a very magical reason it’s never gone out of fashion.