Third Letter from the Government of Spain

The third letter I received from the government of Spain arrived in early January. As before, my informal translation is below, followed by the letter itself. I offer some observations after that.

[Address]                                                                                            Jacobean Council

Ms. Julie Gianelloni Connor
[Address}

Madrid, January 7, 2019 [sic]

Dear Ms. Connor:

In relation to your letter of the 23 of October of last year, in the first place, please permit me to thank you for the interest that you have shown for the Camino de Santiago and for your comments related to it. As for the Spanish government, we are aware of the importance of an asset of such interest as is the Camino de Santiago and for that reason we invest great effort and resources in improving it.

The Camino de Santiago, already in 1962 designated by the State both as historic-artistic, is an asset of undoubted value, as much from a cultural and social as from an economic perspective, about which we are proud and for which we labor in a responsible and committed manner.

In that respect–paying attention to the multidisciplinary character of the Camino de Santiago and the division of responsibilities in regards to tourism and culture among the distinct public administrative organizations involved, the State, and the Autonomous Communities [of Spain]–the Jacobean Council was created in 1991 to facilitate communication among all these institutions, coordinate programming, and [promote] cooperation in activities. The Council consists of representatives of the departments of the General Administration of Spain with responsibility for culture, education, international cooperation, tourism, territorial cooperation, the economy and treasury, development and the environment, as well as similar representatives from the Autonomous Communities along the Camino de Santiago: Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, Aragon, Navarre, and Castile and Leon.

Moreover, this Council, with its inter-territorial character, regulated currently by Royal Decree 1431/2009 of September 11, can convoke meetings with religious, cultural, academic, and other institutions related to the functioning of the Jacobean Council. In that way, we can coordinate with civil society representatives also.

Each political institution, in accord with its responsibilities, maintains an up-to-date webpage with information about the Camino de Santiago. Specifically, the Minister of Cultural and Sports, as president of the Jacobean Council, gathers at the website below this information as well as links to the rest of the webpages of public institutions:

https://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/consejo-jacobeo/camino-de-santago.html.

On that webpage, one can also find, in diverse languages, information of interest for those persons who wish to travel the Camino de Santiago, from the signage [for pilgrims] to follow, to a guide to emergencies with information about the physical conditioning required to enjoy this authentic experience, including information about care for feet as in the case you presented in your letter.

All of that information is in addition to the information about the Camino available on the web at https://www.spain.info, on which one can also find greater details about the ample touristic offerings of our country, including references to our gastronomic and cultural patrimony.

I hope that this information will be of interest to you and will contribute to the improvement of your research for your future book.

With a cordial salute,

[Signed]
Adriana Moscoso de Prado Hernández
Secretary of the Plenary of the Jacobean Council and
Director General of Cultural and Cooperative Industries

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In this letter, Sra. Moscoso del Prado Hernández expands upon the previous letter, giving more details about the composition of the Jacobean Council. She also asserts that the Government of Spain and the various provinces invest “great efforts and resources in improving” the Camino.  She gives, however, no specific details of those efforts or resources, nor does she specifically respond to any of my suggestions or comments, other than explaining about the Jacobean Council.

This third letter is the last one I have received, and, frankly, it does not satisfy me.  So, my next step will be to draft a new series of letters, thanking those who wrote me but asking for specific responses to my various questions.

Author: Camino for Boomers

I am the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, Texas. As a Foreign Service Officer, I lived and traveled all over the world for 33 years. My new book is "Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It's the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike."

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