Guemes Island Celebrates Güemes, Spain
Many of us fondly remember a special visit to Guemes Island in April 2018 from a very special group of travelers (https://myguemes.org/2018/05/03/a-very-guemes-adventure-4/). In a recent note, Father Ernesto says, “It was an honor to visit the beautiful island of Guemes and share rich experiences with people of the island - a trip filled with unforgettable days that are remembered with great affection and gratitude.”
The 4 “pilgrims to America” (Ernesto, Francisco, Miguel, and Marina) from Güemes, Spain were led by Father Ernesto Bustio, who “keeps a young spirit” and still works as a priest in the town of Güemes, where he was born some 80 years ago.
Ernesto says, “I’ve spent all my life trying to create links between people, especially international bottom-up ties among cultures, races, beliefs, and nations.” Being actively engaged in the daily management of a pilgrim’s shelter (La Cabaña del Tío Peuto) on the North Camino de Santiago allows Ernesto and his team of volunteers to connect with people from hundreds of countries, to create a platform for social & cultural exchange, and to share their love of humanity while embracing the richness of the diversity of all who pass through. Ernesto’s shelter has become known as one of the best on the Camino.
In his recent note, Ernesto shared that his pilgrim’s shelter recently celebrated a significant milestone - hosting its 100,000th pilgrim! This was a major news story in the area and included recognition by the Minister of Education and Tourism. During a ceremony to celebrate the milestone, which also included the mayor and a senator amongst other guests and neighbors, the Minister noted that Ernesto’s pilgrim’s shelter was “more than a meeting place for pilgrims; it was valued above all for its hospitality, love, and solidarity." He congratulated the “extended family” that, for 20 years, has been making its operation possible. Ernesto and his team of volunteers were given “special recognition.”
The honored pilgrim, 28-year-old Marianne Drews, is from a small town near Frankfurt, Germany. Drews decided to make the journey on the Camino after finishing her master's degree in Graphic Design with the intention of “taking stock of what I’ve done so far and reflecting on what I want to do in the future.” Drews says, “Every day on the road is a surprise.” She was, indeed, very surprised by all of the celebration and honor surrounding her visit to Ernesto’s shelter – perhaps the most unexpected and biggest surprise of all!
We celebrate you, Ernesto, and your extended family of volunteers and also the pilgrim, Marianne Drews! We wish you all continued success. May your inclusive, loving, and adventurous spirit live on!
A number of Guemes islanders have recently visited Ernesto's shelter in Güemes and can attest to the love and hospitality extended. To read more:
Ernesto also gifted a couple of books to the Guemes Island Library with beautiful pictures of Güemes, Spain as well as photos of some of the many places Ernesto has traveled: