Travelers from Guemes, Spain

Travelers from Guemes, Spain


Ernesto Bustio Crespo
Born in Guemes, I am a Catholic priest who practices with an ecumenical approach to faith. I have traveled the world all my life developing humanitarian projects; the most fascinating of which lasted for 27 months through Africa and Latin America on a Land-Rover. Five others joined me, in turns, throughout an amazing trip that we titled "Journey into Life's University." All the collected material helped us to give, in return, many conferences in schools, universities, high schools, and churches (this was the "pre-TED" era).  Our one simple goal was to establish solidarity ties between the different communities here in Spain and those, often very unknown, places we had visited.
I am 80 yrs-old but I keep a young spirit. I am still working as a priest in the town where I was born, Güemes. The work I am most actively engaged in is the daily management of a Pilgrim's shelter on the North Camino de Santiago where, just last year, we accommodated over 11.000 pilgrims from 80 different countries. This is a fascinating place. From USA we have quite a big number of visitors.
During our visit, we are more than happy to explain everything you might want to know about our hometown, the pilgrimage, our shelter, our different projects and any other matters that might interest you.

A personal note from Ernesto:
Guemes, Spain is a little town on the north coast of Spain very close to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by hills and farmhouses. Most people here live from breeding cows. I was born in Güemes myself, 80 years ago. Here I run a big shelter for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela that also provides a platform for social & cultural activities. Over the past 20 years over 70,000 pilgrims have stayed in our shelter.

I have spent all my life trying to create links between people, especially international bottom-up ties among cultures, races, beliefs, and nations.


This trip is inspired by the same idea: cultivating friendship ties between four different places sharing one same name, in the conviction that, somehow, all 3 called-Guemes places in America share the original name of our little Güemes here in Spain and, somehow, keep a distant root here.


Moreover, our little research has shown us that Guemes Island, in particular, is of about the same extension as our municipality. Demographically, both Güemes and Guemes Island are two similar places: we are around 500 neighbors here scattered in little farm houses over green fields, hills covered by eucalyptus forests and cows. We seem to share a similar rural environment.


We would, therefore, love to use those days on your island to start a friendship partnership or somehow promote a stable and lasting contact between both communities, ours and yours, that remains after our trip.

Francisco Gonzalez-Sainz Güemes
Francisco is 60 yrs-old and a permanent member of the Shelter's managing team. He has also traveled a lot but, above all, he has led a very intense activity with juvenile movements and neighborhood communities in Santander (the biggest city around here and the capital of our province, Cantabria). He has worked as a fireman for over 40 years and just recently retired.
Francisco likes photography and is a member of BREZO,  a small NGO established in the Albergue to raise awareness over poverty and social problems through conferences and trips.
Alfredo Mazas Crespo
Alfredo is 68 yrs-old and is my cousin. He is a volunteer in the Shelter, also a fellow neighbor from Güemes and likes traveling a lot.
Marina Hervás Muños
Marina is 28 yrs-old and is my niece. She is currently finishing a PhD in Berlin and will join us in the last chapter of our trip: Guemes Island, in order to help us as a translator. She is a musician and graduated in Philosophy and Musicology.
Julio Ceballos Rodríguez
Julio comes from a place a few kilometers away from Güemes, Spain but now lives in Shanghai. He has been most helpful in email communications in English (on behalf of Ernesto and team) - thank you, Julio!
Julio hopes to join the travelers on Guemes Island, if possible (TBD). We hope so as well!