In 2020, a group of pilgrims had an idea to bring a bit of light into the darkness that the pandemic brought on. Over a hundred thousand people died of covid in Spain alone. We spent months locked up in our homes, only allowed to go out to buy groceries or go to the doctor. 

It was a tough few months. 

So, when things started to slowly go back to normal, a group of pilgrims had the idea to do a pilgrimage from Porto, in Portugal, along the central route of the Camino Portugués, carrying a backpack with a light on.

Listen to the podcast in Spanish or keep reading in English.

 

This was done in July 2020, timed so that the backpack would enter Santiago  July 24, the day before the festivity of st. James.

The  purpose of this pilgrimage was to remember and honour all those people who had died of covid-19. The idea was for the backpack to be carried in relays, by different pilgrims, all the way to Santiago.

I was asked if I wanted to take part and said yes, for several reasons. I carried the backpack from Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis. You can read about it in this article I wrote at the time. 

 

Fast forward to 2021. The Mochila de la Luz went out again. Same route. I walked with it from Pontevedra to Caldas again.  Very different experience. You can read about it here

 

I couldn’t make it in 2022 & 2023, but the project kept going. From 2021 there was an added element, apart from remembering the deceased: la mochila started collaborating with day-care centres for elderly people along the route.

When la mochila is on the Camino the elderly from these centres go out and meet the pilgrims carrying it, maybe walk for a  bit. They paint scallop shells too.

 

This year, July 13 there will be a blessing ceremony in Porto. From there, la mochila will start making its way to Santiago. It’s expected to arrive in Tui July 17, and start meeting the elderly from 5 different day-care centres.

If you’re going to be walking the Portuguese route around that time, look out for the Mochila de la Luz, and maybe carry it for a while. 

 

All the things you see hanging from it are gifts from pilgrims. If you’re not walking in July, it’s OK. You can see the Mochila in the office of the Association. It’s in Pontevedra (calle Javier Puig Llamas, 1). Make sure to message me or Susi beforehand, to make sure there will be someone there.

And you can also receive a certificate and get your credencial stamped.

You can contact Susi through the Mochila de la Luz Facebook page.

Mochila de la Luz certificate
Mochila de la luz office
Mochila de la luz gifts

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Buen Camino