The community will present a joint project with Madrid, Andalusia and Castilla La Mancha to obtain European funds and mark shorter stages
Extremadura, Madrid, Andalusia and Castilla La Mancha are going to present a joint cooperation project to signpost the pilgrimage routes to Guadalupe, with the aim of obtaining European funds to promote this dozen of trails of which, currently, only the well-known one is signposted such as Camino Real, which runs from Madrid to the Monastery of Guadalupe, a World Heritage Site.
Thus, the Cooperation Network of the Historic Pilgrimage Routes to Guadeloupe is going to present this project “in the next few days” to the Secretary of State for Tourism, through the local action groups of the counties involved, to apply for funds of the European Union and finance a project to recover these paths and a new pilgrimage experience to Guadalupe
The project aims not only at a physical signaling of the itineraries, but also an intelligent access to the offer of the paths through applications for mobile devices (Apps), geolocation and other initiatives related to new technologies, as explained by the mayor of Guadeloupe Felipe Sanchez.
“These are sustainable initiatives that generate little carbon footprint,” said the councilor, who pointed out that a network of hostels will also be worked on to provide accommodation for pilgrims along the route, since there are establishments in some towns but not in all of those that are part of the twelve recovered paths.
These paths are: Camino Real, Camino de los Montes de Toledo, Camino de la Jara, Camino de Cabañeros, Camino de Levante, Camino de los Mineros, Camino Mozárabe, Camino Romano, Camino Visigodo, Camino de los Descubridores, Camino de Monfragüe and Jeronimos road.
Currently, the only signposted path is the Camino Real that runs from Madrid, but the rest have insufficient signage that was installed in 2010, so it is pending review and updating. In this itinerary there are hostels in Talavera, Oropesa and Villar del Pedroso and they are being built in Navatrasierra and Carrascalejo.
The final destination, Guadalupe, has a sufficient hotel offer but the mayor has announced that the construction of a hostel for pilgrims is also being planned.
Path of the Discoverers
Regarding the Path of the Discoverers, which runs between Cáceres and Guadalupe, the mayor of Guadalupe has recognized that “it is in a complicated situation”, because it has very long stages, some of more than 40 kilometers, and there are some sections that run through farms private.
To solve the excessive length of the stages, a study is being carried out to include other municipalities and make shorter stages, and in terms of the privacy of the farms that it crosses, work is also being done so that there are no problems when traveling through them and that pilgrims can pass through them “in complete safety”.
Sánchez has participated this Monday in the presentation of a solidarity initiative that consists of the participation of 50 workers from the Adecco company who will travel one of the twelve roads to Guadalupe in the coming months. The company will donate an amount for the kilometers traveled to the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) for research.
It should be remembered that at the end of the 13th century or the beginning of the 14th century, Gil Cordero, a cowherd from Cáceres, found the image of the Black Virgin hidden somewhere in the mountains of the Las Villuercas region.
From there, a sanctuary is established that begins to receive pilgrims from its closest environment. In 1330 King Alfonso XI of Castile and León (1311-1350) visited the area, and promoted the initial construction of the Monastery of Guadalupe, in 1337, which led to more pilgrims arriving at the sanctuary.
This historical projection of the monastery went beyond its enclosure and a network of paths, cultural and natural corridors was created that gave rise to a set of intangible architectural heritage and oral tradition, which can still be located.
All of this on a privileged territory with great landscape and natural wealth, since the Caminos a Guadalupe cross protected natural spaces such as national parks, natural parks, bird protection zones and the Villuercas-Iboes-Jara World Geopark.
The Itinere1337 inter-territorial cooperation project made up of 17 local action groups has now managed to recover 12 pilgrimage routes to the Monastery of Guadalupe, and has valued eco-cultural corridors, axes of territorial planning and motors for the development of the rural regions that connect.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.