The Pilgrim Project

In April, 2015, I had this idea “wouldn’t it be great to capture some real local Pilgrims pre and post Camino” to see how this journey impacts their lives. I put out the word to our Portlandia chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino via our Facebook page and at our walks we do each month. Folks were VERY generous with offering to share their stories, so I set out to interview each of them pre and post Camino. I asked them all the same handful of questions and I videotaped one of their pre-Camino answers and all of their post-Camino responses.


Lisa Swallow post-Camino

Earlier in the year I had thought all my various interests that I enjoy blogging about (decluttering, raw cleansing, the Camino, etc.). I had seen them each in unique buckets and wondered if there was any relationship between them. Soon it became clear to me how all of my interests do have a single unifying theme…and that is TRANSFORMATION! They each are actions which have the capacity to make BIG changes in one’s life. It all starts with one small step…but it can lead to a different life…if one is open to that.


Some of the trees at dawn along the Camino

So I set out to do The Pilgrim Project to see if I could capture the transformation that occurs on such a journey via images and words.

A BIG thanks to the following people who participated in my project:

  • Joyce and Patrick Dougherty
  • Mira Vowles and Jose Perez
  • Michael Ciraulo and Gilda Pecararo Ciraulo
  • Bruce and Diane Tarbet
  • Laura Collins
  • Lisa Swallow
  • Merka Martin

Let the editing begin, November 2015!


Here are the questions that get answered by our pilgrims in the video:

  • Pre-Camino – What is your main reason for walking?
  • Post-Camino – How was your Camino?
  • Was it what you expected?
  • What was the hardest part?
  • What was the most rewarding part?
  • What would you want others to know about the Camino?
  • What did you learn from your walk?

I thought I’d just lay the various interviews out and zip them together. Boy, did I have a lot to learn! Editing took way more time than I expected, but as of April 2016, I can say it’s done! Think more “home movie” than big screen film.

I think that telling their stories and being heard has been useful to the Pilgrims as well. It certainly has been enriching for me to bear witness to each person’s unique journey and lessons. Our pilgrims provided some pretty juicy clips and a lot of valuable insights. I can’t wait to share them with you!




Here’s wishing each of you, who choose to walk, a buen Camino! A BIG thanks to the pilgrims who so generously shared their stories. May we each be mindful of “what we choose to carry.”

1 Comment

  1. Looking forward to reading more about your Camino Project.


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