In previous posts on this blog, I published the letter I wrote last autumn to three ministries of the Government of Spain (Development; Culture and Sport; Industry, Trade and Tourism) concerning the Camino de Santiago. Over the next few months following my letter, I received three replies from Spanish government officials. I also posted copies of those three letters, as well as a translation of each of them.
To recap, the first letter, from Ricardo Mar Rupérez, an advisor to the Minister of Development, simply acknowledged receipt of my letter and let me know that he was passing it to an official in another office within the ministry.
The second letter, from Amparo Hernamperez Martin, also with the Ministry of Development, answered a question I had posed in my letter: which ministry was the responsible entity for the Camino de Santiago? Ms. Hernamperez Martin let me know that a coordinating committee called the Consejo Jacobeo (Jacobean Council)—composed of representatives of several ministries plus provincial representatives and chaired by the Minister of Culture—was the entity I was seeking. The purpose of the Consejo was “to facilitate communication” about the Camino among all of the federal and provincial governmental bodies represented on the Jacobean Council.
The third letter came directly from the Jacobean Council and was penned by Adriana Moscoso del Prado Hernández, who is the Secretary for the Council’s Plenary and also the Director General for Cultural Industries and Cooperation. In that letter, Ms. Moscoso del Prado Hernández explained the Jacobean Council more fully and added the information that the Council can also request the participation of civil entities, such as religious, cultural, and academic leaders. She also cited two websites with information about the Camino.
While all three letters were cordial, none of them answered my series of questions except in regard to the question of which entity is in charge of the Camino. That answer did let me know to which entity I should have addressed my letter, the Consejo Jacobeo, but it did not really answer the question of which entity is responsible for the various issues I had raised. While designating a coordinating council is a great idea, who ultimately is responsible? The Consejo coordinates, but which governmental body, for example, is responsible for the signage along the Camino? Who approves the design of the signs? Who decides where to place those signs? Who decides if additional signs are needed, and where? Who goes out and plants those signs in the designated spots?
In response to the first two letters I received from Spanish officials, I recently sent individual replies thanking the senders for their letters and enclosing a copy of my book, Savoring the Camino de Santiago. In response to the third letter, in addition to thanking the sender and enclosing a book, I asked for a further response to four of the questions from my first letter.
Here is my most recent letter.