Camino de Santiago

„It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” (Ernest Hemingway)

 (Edition: Travel as a metaphor of life, workshop 2/4)

Main objectives:

Discussing the Camino de Santiago experience and asking each other meaningful questions

During the workshops participants will:




Pens, paper (preferably recycled / reusable), projector, computer and speakers

To print:


1. Warm up (15 min)

Start with participants introducing themselves (if they don’t know each other yet). Then, divide participants into small groups of 3-4 people. Give them 5-7 minutes to discuss everything they heard so far about Camino de Santiago. If they actually know nothing about it, they can use their imagination and try to guess. After 5-7 minutes come back to the circle and ask each group to share their thoughts with others. If needed, at the end you can summarize saying that Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage way, or rather ways, which start in different points and finish in Santiago de Compostela in the north-west of Spain. The most famous Camino starts in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, near the Spanish border, and it goes for about 800 km. Every year thousands of people follow the yellow arrows, which indicate the road toward Santiago. All along the way there are many facilities – albergues (hostels), bars, etc. which serve pilgrims. Although there are still some who go to Camino for religious reasons, many people today have different motivations – some look for a spiritual experience, some are in a moment of change and look for answers to important questions, some simply  seek adventure. 

2. Listening and speaking: what is Camino? (10 min)

Watch a short movie about Camino. You can choose the trailer of the famous movie The Way. If you have access to the full movie, the best is to show participants the fragment from minute 10.30 till minute 12.15, when a policeman explains to the main character what Camino is. You can also choose any other short movie from Youtube which speaks about Camino and it’s meaning. Discuss what you learn from that movie about Camino and about the reasons for people to go for it. Show on the map where the main Camino passes, you can also use this picture.

3. Reading and speaking: experiences (20 min)

Let’s have a look at different experiences of those who went to Camino and reasons why they decided to do so. Put on the walls in different corners of the room 4 texts (Appendix 1-4) written by pilgrims who went through the Camino (they have different forms and different levels of difficulty in terms of language). Ask participants to go around the room and read the different texts, choosing the one which speaks to them the most. They can also take pen or pencil and underline in the text directly words which they don’t know. After they finish reading, discuss which text they liked the most and why. Explain also the underlined words.

Sticking the texts on the walls allows for a bit of movement and mixing up participants. However, you could also consider other options, like providing them to the participants to read individually or let them take photos and read from their phones. Remember to print them out with a font big enough to be readable and prepare alternatives (for example an audio version or assistance) if you expect visually impaired participants. 

4. Speaking and writing: ask the question (20 min)

Divide participants in small groups of 3-4 people. Ask them to discuss and write down a few questions they would like to ask to a person who walked through the Camino. Let them try to write down the questions in the correct way, both from a grammar and vocabulary point of view. After a few minutes, check the questions together, correcting them if necessary. Of course it would be great if somebody could answer their questions. If you as trainer didn’t experience the pilgrimage, you can consider the following options:

As mentioned, there are many groups which gather Camino enthusiasts, so if nobody among your friends has this experience, certainly somebody from these groups will be happy to share. You can try for example here.

5. Speaking: Camino cards (40 min)

Camino cards are cards prepared by L’Esprit du Chemin – a hostel for and by pilgrims, which offers hospitality and accommodation, in a tradition of simplicity, quality and inspiration. Camino cards are used by pilgrims along the way to deepen their experience.

Divide participants into pairs. Let every person pick one of the Camino cards. Let them read the card and choose one question from it they would like to ask to the person they are going to speak with. Give 2 minutes for reading and choosing the question, then 3 minutes to talk about each question (so 8 minutes in total, as each person in the pair picked up a card). After that, change pairs and invite participants to choose a new person to speak with and a new card. Change pairs 3-4 times, so participants have a real chance to discover cards and speak with different people from the group. Finally, come back to the circle and discuss their experience. 

Questions to ask to participants after the exercise:

6. Summarizing (15 min)

Use a few white A4 papers or a rope to create a road (camino) image in the middle of the room. Ask each participant to pick a personal object (keys, bracelet, pen, etc) and put it on the way, depending on their satisfaction from the workshop – beginning of the way means low satisfaction, end of the way means maximum satisfaction. Invite participants to share why they placed their object in the particular point of the camino and what they take from the workshop. At the end, invite participants to fill the evaluation form.

After the workshop you can share with participants the additional material (Appendix 5) and glossary (Appendix 6).

Do you want to prepare and conduct a sayBabel workshop on your own on this or other topics? Do you need to know more about how to do that? You can find all sayBabel rules on sayBabel or just contact us.