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Photo by: Brooke Mazac

Taylor Linder, Logan Dougerty and Brooke Mazac during the Camino de Santiago.

Nicholls students completed the Camino de Santiago

September 6, 2017

During the summer of 2017, three Nicholls students traveled to Spain to participate in the
Camino de Santiago walk. This walk consists of several pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and
ending at the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela in Northwest Spain.

“One of the things I believe is so unique about this walk is the history,” Todd Kennedy, professor
of language and literature, said. “You get the nature and the hiking aspects as well as cultural,
architecture and historical artifacts as well as a sense of community.” Kennedy completed the walk
several years back with his mother, wife and child. It took them thirty-one days to complete the walk.

“Dr. Kennedy taught a course that incorporated the Camino and that is when I first learned
about it,” Logan Dougerty, a senior English major from Ponchatoula, said. “This summer I knew I
wanted to go on some hiking trail or long walk and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I decided on the
Camino. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

One of the pilgrim routes begins on the French border and encompasses five hundred miles.
Participants walk for nearly six hours a day to make it to the next town where the designated places of
rest are located.

“Once we arrived, we had to receive our Pilgrims Passport,” Brooke Mazac, a senior education
major from Houma, said. “We also had to get stamps along the way to prove that we had actually
walked the entire thing. You get to meet so many amazing people along the walk, that you get to
experience this journey with.”

In total, the Camino de Santiago encompasses twelve different routes all beginning in various
locations throughout Europe but all ending in the same location. Each route also varies in length from
the longest being five hundred miles to the shortest being only eighty-seven kilometers.

“My favorite part was the last day,” Mazac said. “You’re walking into Santiago wondering when
this is going to end and then you turn a corner and it opens to reveal the plaza. You just see all the
pilgrims throw their bags down and everyone is crying and hugging. It was incredible, you’re standing at
the end, looking up at the Cathedral thinking it’s over. It was one of the most amazing moments in my
life.”

The Camino de Santiago can be walked anytime throughout the year and on any of its several
routes. It has been used as a pilgrimage for over one thousand years and continues to grow in
popularity.

“I think that this is a really great learning experience,” Taylor Linder, a senior history major from
Thibodaux, said. “You can come to Nicholls and sit in the classroom and learn these facts and things
from books. It is completely different whenever you can get out there and meet these people from
different countries and cultures. It gives you a whole different perspective on not only life, but the world
and the people in it. One that you wouldn’t get from being here in Thibodaux.”

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