american pilgrims  

Portlandia (Portland, Oregon) Chapter

The regional chapter of American PIlgrims for the western Oregon area is centered on Portland. Broadly stated, the purpose of this local chapter is to keep members connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the phenomenon.  We plan to accomplish this in a number of ways, such as social events, walks, mentoring future pilgrims and serving as a venue for hospitalero training through American Pilgrims.

  • To offer opportunities for local pilgrims to gather and hold events related to the Camino.
  • To mentor future pilgrims, promote the pilgrimage and American Pilgrims through social gatherings.
  • To serve as a venue for hospitalero training in the Pacific Northwest.                                  

The chapter will be scheduling walks, talks, potlucks and much more! These will be listed here but you may also want to check the Local and Regional Events page for other events that may be of interest. Contact chapter coordinator John Pigott at for more information or to be added to the chapter e-mail list.


We offer a shell ceremony that includes a pilgrim blessing, with your own personalized copy, and a scallop shell, to all pilgrims departing in any given month who request it. Please e-mail your shell ceremony requests to our chapter e-mail ( early enough so we can have everything ready by the following Third Sunday Stroll.


Scheduled Events

Feast of St James Mass
Friday, July 25, 2014, 5:30 pm

St Mary's Cathedral
1716 NW Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209

You are invited to our 3rd annual celebration of the Feast Day of St James Mass. You will receive a pilgrim blessing before the conclusion of the Mass.

It is our tradition that there will also be a wine and torta de Santiago (St James tart) tasting following the Mass. It is not required, but if you are able, please bring a bottle of wine to share with fellow pilgrims. We will have plenty of torta de Santiago for your enjoyment.

Please RSVP your attendance at the wine tasting to Robin Pigott through and if you will be bringing wine to share, by Monday, July 21st. Please include the names of all attendees.

Recent Events

Fort Vancouver Sunday Stroll
The happy shell recipients

• Sunday, July 20, 2014: Third Sunday Stroll and Shell Ceremony. Fourty-seven of the Portlandia chapter's pilgrims met for our regular third Sunday stroll along the Fanno Creek trail. The weather was cooler, and when combined with the tree cover along the trail, made for a very pleasant walk. Our group has been steadily growing, and the turnout for this Sunday's walk confirmed that interest in the camino, and our chapter is still high. As always, we had a mix of Camino veterans, and those who are preparing to set out. Our walks give everyone a chance to share stories, ask questions and generally become more comfortable in their own Camino planning. There is also a keen sense of community that is nice to see developing as kindred spirits come together both to remember past Caminos, and to share the excitement of those anticipating future ones. Our shell ceremony was held right after our walk. We offered our pilgrim blessing to ten departing pilgrims, and presented each with a scallop shell, the sign of a pilgrim on the way to Santiago. It was a fun afternoon that was capped off by drinks and food at the Old Market Pub that luckily had plenty of space for all of us. Another wonderful afternoon with a great group of folks. Thanks to all who were able to join us, and a very special thank you to all who helped plan, and manage this event.


• Sunday, April 27, 2014: The chapter held its April Sunday Stroll and Shell Ceremony at the Mary S. Young State Parkin West Linn, Oregon.

Fort Vancouver Sunday Stroll
Fort Vancouver Historic Reserve

• Sunday, March 16, 2014: Third Sunday Stroll, Fort Vancouver Historic Reserve: Well you did it again! Our merry band of Portlandia pilgrims continues to set new records for turnout at our monthly Sunday strolls. Yesterday was another record as 52 smiling faces gathered with backs turned to a blustery SE'ly wind, laced with the threat of rain. We met at McMenamin's on the Columbia, a local restaurant situated right on the north bank of the Columbia River, and set out for a four mile walk along the river and up through the Fort Vancouver Historic Reserve (think Hudson Bay Company), then circled back to McMenamins. The rain held off for most of our walk, but eventually caught up with us as we neared the finish. The really serious rain set in later that night so we were spared the worst of it. As our group gathered at the restaurant for our usual social hour, it became evident that the restaurant was not going to be able to handle a crowd of our size. We wanted to hold a Shell Ceremony for our six departing pilgrims so we improvised a bit and offered our blessing and presented them with their shells in a makeshift lee in front of the building. It wasn't perfect, but we managed to send them all off with blessings and shells. The socializing piece suffered as we were not able to gather as a group. Simply no room at the inn. I apologize for that as it has become a great way to end our walks and strengthen our fledgling pilgrim community. We will have to give this part of our walks some more thought. My thanks again to all who attended yesterday's walk, and who continue to support our growing group of hearty souls who are called to the camino. A tip of the hat to all.


• Saturday, March 1, 2014: Screening of the film Wayfaring - A Jaunt along the Camino de Santiago


Third Sunday Strolls
Third Sunday of every month excluding November and December
Location to be determined each month

Join us on the third Sunday of each month (excluding November and December) at 2: 00 pm at a Portland/Vancouver area park for a 2 to 4 mile stroll with fellow pilgrims. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow pilkgrims, try out new gear, talk with camino veterans, get a bit of fresh air, strech those muscles and get answers to all your camino related questions. We typically gather after the stroll at a nearby bar/restaurant for refreshments and socializing. An e-mail notice goes out early each month to everyone on our chapter contact list giving the details of that month's walk and the location of the meeting place. This is a rain or shine event. You do not need to RSVP. Just show up ready for some fun. To have your e-mail address addded to our list, simply contact us at We also offer a shell ceremony that includes a pilgrim blessing, with your own personalized copy, and a scallop shell, to all pilgrims departing in any given month who request it. Please e-mail your shell ceremony request to our chapter e-mail early enough so we can have everything ready by the following Third Sunday Stroll.


Local Resources
For Training and Preparation, we are working at compiling a list of local Portland-area (really, anywhere in Western Oregon north of Eugene) resources for pilgrims preparing for walking the Camino. Places to buy gear, favorite trails or walking routes, etc. If you have a recommendation, please send us an email and we'll add it to the list. This information will be put into a Google Doc that everyone can access when it is completed.

Camino mentoring
Some of you may have questions about planning your Camino and some of you may be interested in sharing your Camino knowledge with others. If you are interested in serving as a mentor to a future pilgrim, please send us an email ( with your contact information (email, phone and what route/when you walked). If you are a future pilgrim would like to be mentored, please send us an email with your contact information (email, phone and what route you are thinking about walking). If we have some matches, we'll put you in contact with one another. As always, Kathy and I are always willing and able to get together with anyone planning their Camino walk to answer questions and give advice.

Rev 07/23/14

American Pilgrims on the Camino
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