Worried about walking the Camino without speaking Spanish?
Kelli didn’t speak Spanish at all when she walked her first Camino, and she found that Google Translate wasn’t her friend. It often garbled the meaning of what she wanted to say, and conversations frequently went astray. “There were days I felt lonely, and sometimes isolated,” Kelli told me. “Sometimes I got to a village and there was no one else but locals and I couldn’t communicate.”
Would you like to connect with the locals while on the Camino?
Imagine walking into a café or joining a local festival, and chatting with people, understanding what’s going on, feeling connected, sharing a café con leche together.
Learning Spanish helps you enjoy a more meaningful experience, and what’s more … you don’t need to worry about getting lost without being able to ask for directions.
Every little bit will enrich your experience and ease your struggles/worries.
Master the basics of Spanish… fast
Before you say you don’t have time to master the language in time for your next Camino, let me tell you something:
Even a week of learning Spanish can make a difference to your Camino.
A week? Really?
Lists of “useful phrases” are not that useful: they don’t tell you how to pronounce all those words. You won’t be understood if you try to use them. And you won’t understand people’s answers to your clumsily pronounced questions.
Generic books and apps also waste a lot of time teaching weird sentences you won’t be able to use in a real conversation.”My dog has a duck” or “a red shirt is not blue” are just a couple of examples I’ve come across.
They don’t know what you need to learn for the Camino. I do. I’ve been teaching Spanish for over 15 years . But, more importantly, I’ve walked the Camino (and I’m planning the next ones already).
So, don’t waste your time learning useless stuff. Focus instead on what you need. That’s exactly what you will find here. Let me guide you on a better way (pun intended). You can read the blog and search for the topics that are more relevant to you. But if you want to go beyond memorising a bunch of words and phrases, you’re in the right place too. Whether you prefer to learn on your own or with a little help I got you covered.
Hi, I’m María Seco
I love languages and I trained to be an English teacher. But then I won a scholarship to go to Ireland for a year to improve my English while teaching Spanish. I discovered I loved it and decided I had to teach Spanish. The look on the students’ faces the first time they can talk to a Spanish-speaking person, they are understood and understand the reply… that is priceless.
I taught Spanish in Ireland for 15 years. During those years, one of the motivations to join my classes was “I want to do the Camino”. These courses were not Camino-specific but I tried to make them as practical and useful as possible.
After 15 years in Ireland, I moved back to Spain. I now live on the Camino. The Camino was always there, in the background, but I never paid much attention. Then I started seeing pilgrims passing every day and I wanted to join them. So I walked. And I got the Camino bug, so I walked again and I know I’ll walk again… and again. When I’m not walking I like to greet pilgrims with a “Buen Camino” when they pass by, or help those who look lost find their way. On occasions, I even get to meet them and we spend a few hours together, sharing a cup of café con leche or walking around town.
When I travel, I like to learn about the local culture, history, customs… the Camino is the ideal opportunity to do that: you are walking across the country, away from the most touristy places, passing through some cities and a lot of smaller towns and villages.
You could simply walk inside your own bubble. But the Camino becomes a truly transforming experience when you embrace the local customs, talk to people (not fellow pilgrims exclusively), ask questions. And I give you exactly what you need to get the most out of your trip.
I make learning Spanish really simple and relaxed. So, even if you feel a little nervous or aren’t sure where to start, I’ll break it down for you. So, you’ll be able to learn the new words and phrases that you’ll need very easily.
I’d love to share my passion for the Camino and the Spanish language with you, so your Camino becomes a discovery of local customs, new friends, and Galician delicacies.
Want to know more about me, the Camino and my work?
Click on the images to watch or listen.
The Camino Cafe with Leigh Brennan
My interview with Leigh Brennan about growing up on the Camino and other things.
My Camino the podcast with Dan Mullins
My conversation with Dan Mullins about the importance of learning some Spanish to enhance your Camino experience.
Sacred Steps podcast with Kevin Donahue
In my chat with Kevin Donahue we discuss Spanish words, phrases, and cultural tips to make your Camino de Santiago pilgrimage more enjoyable!
You on the Camino de Santiago
Having trouble pronouncing place names along the Camino? Check my conversation with Nancy Reynolds.
Emociones en español
A conversation with Lourdes Soriano, about the experience of learning Spanish while walking the Camino.
El Camino De Santiago con María S.
Blanca de la Torre, host of the Blanca To Go podcast didn’t know much about the Camino, and I got to answer all her questions.
Spagnolo a 360º with Sara Castro
My interview with Sara Castro, a fellow Spanish teacher, for her podcast Spagnolo a 360º. In Spanish.
Sí comprendo, con Paloma García
My interview with Paloma García, a fellow Spanish teacher and pilgrim, for her podcast Sí Comprendo. In Spanish.
På spanska helt enkelt!
A chat about the Camino in Spanish with Ewa Bazarnicka, from På spanska helt enkelt! podcast.
Clearskies Camino with David Smith
My chat with David Smith, from Clearskies Camino, for his podcast.
Pasos del Camino with Guilherme Ribeiro
My chat (in Spanish) with Guilherme Ribeiro, from Pasos del Camino.
My conversations with pilgrim Kate Fisher, from Conversations with Kate:
…my collaboration with VideoEle in the creation of this video about the Camino,
and my interview with Ana Elisa Miranda about raising multilingual kids.