"TRAIN TO EUPILGRIMAGE", International pilgrimage project connects Europe

Meaningful, barrier-free and climate-friendly travel

Pilgrims have experienced a true renaissance since the 1990s. If you are looking for an accompanist, you need experienced pilgrimguides. In an international Erasmus + project, "the know-how of Austria, Spain, Italy and Slovenia is used and developed into an international pilgrim's guide curriculum", explains Ernst Sandriesser, project leader and managing director of the Forum of Catholic Adult Education, the objective of the project at an international project meeting in Kardinal König House in Vienna.

"There is currently no single training program for training courses. And the knowledge and skills taught vary considerably, "says Ernst Leitner, member of the pilgrimage association Via Sacra and project developer with the international pilgrim guide Christa Englinger, on the motives for the initiative. Pilgrimages often happen in difficult life situations such as life transitions or changing family circumstances - all this requires psychological and social skills and pedagogical skills.

The two-year project EUPilgrimage will also develop modules for people with special needs. "It is highly time to mark and offer pilgrim routes for people with wheelchairs. And that's why we are pleased that we have an experienced partner in this field with the education center St. Josef in Celje", says Roland Stadler, spokesman for the Pilgrims Network in Austria and emphasizes that "in the future, tour operators will be able to draw on high-quality pilgrim guides, which will strengthen spiritual tourism."

The aim of the project is an international pilgrim guide curriculum, which enables pilgrims to guide groups competently beyond regional and national borders. "These include topics such as dealing with older people, walking with mobile phone apps and language skills as well as the knowledge of legal provisions in the respective countries," says Christine Dittelbacher, training director for pilgrim guides, describing the content of the modules. The project results will serve as the basis for the establishment of an EU-wide recognized training program with a curriculum suitable for future generations of pilgrims across Europe and used by all partners and other training providers.

During the project, a network will be set up to enable international cooperation in the future. With the San Valero Group from Zaragoza and the Homo Viator Foundation from Vicenza are experienced partners on board to help raise awareness of pilgrims as a sustainable and educational journey.

For further information of the project in Spain: