We have launched the new edition of #CaminosdeHospitalidad at full force. Several hundred people took part in four marches last weekend in different parts of the territory with a common cry: we want a Europe that defends the rights of migrants and refugees! As part of JRS Europe’s #ThePowerofVote campaign, we have defended the values of the European Union: protection, freedom, dignity, equality and cooperation as the basic pillars of a more just, pluralistic, welcoming and supportive society.
In Valencia, several activities have been part of #CaminosdeHospitalidad. The events began on Saturday, May 11th with the collection of waste at Malvarrosa Beach with the Miss Pachamama organization. The event, which corresponds to the initiative #MarSinPlastico (Sea without Plastic), brought together about twenty volunteers from the Arrupe Centre, the Jesuits Migrant Service in Valencia and the Entreculturas Foundation that, under a radiant sun, typical of the Mediterranean at this time, joined together to rid part of the Malvarrosa beach of plastics and garbage. This activity is part of the campaign Hospitality #CaminosdeHospitalidad, which we carried out in the month of May in order to bring visibility to the causes that result in the forced migration of millions of people each year. Some of the reasons for forced migration are armed conflicts and climate change that can cause natural disasters and are partially a product of our consumption models.
On the afternoon of Friday, May 17th, the second edition of the Walk for Hospitality was organised. A group of about 20 people left the Arrupe Center towards the Malvarrosa Beach, marching in demand of a Europe that respects the protection, freedom, dignity and equality of migrants and refugees. These people were volunteers from the JRS, Entreculturas, Women in Action and MAGIS, an organisation that proposes a Christian life based on Ignatian spirituality for young people aged 18-30.
On Saturday, May 18th, #CaminosdeHospitalidad marches have been organised for the second year in a row in Madrid. Thanks to the organisation of the Hospitality campaign in the PAL Madrid, Pueblos Unidos, Entreculturas Madrid and Comillas Pontifical University, more than 80 people have travelled the three kilometres that separate the Jesuit Centre Maldonado from Comillas Pontifical University on the street known as Alberto Aguilera.
The inauguration ceremony took place in the Padre Arrupe room in Maldonado. Iván Lendrino, Director of Pueblos Unidos, opened the ceremony by explaining the problem with how refugees are received in Madrid. Daniel Villanueva S.J, Executive Vice-President of Entreculturas and Alboan, spoke next and explained the apostolic and social significance of the Hospitality Campaign and the importance of international cooperation as a tool for the analysis of human mobility. The closing ceremony was conducted by Lina Amer Baker, a young Iraqi refugee who was welcomed by the Hospitality campaign, who spoke of her experience of integration in Spain and her dreams for the future.
Next, the march began, with the first stop being the headquarters of the European Parliament in Madrid at Paseo de la Castellana. This was where another passage from the #CaminosdeHospitalidad manifesto was read. After resuming the march, another stop in the Plaza de Santa Bárbara was the setting for the reading of another passage of the political petitions manifesto.
Finally, we arrived at Comillas Pontifical University, where more than 80 people were received by representatives of the University Institute of Studies on Migration (IUEM). After a shared meal, the morning ended with the streets of the centre of Madrid filled with hospitalit and demanding a Europe with a welcoming and inclusive culture for migrants and refugees.
On Sunday, May 19th, more than 50 people have returned to walk for Hospitality on the route from Pedroches to Santo Domingo in the Cordoba Mountain Ranges.
Thanks to the organisation of organizations such as SJM Claver, Entreculturas, the Loyola Andalusia University, the EMET-Arcoiris Foundation and the participation of asylum seekers who live with their families, 10 kilometres were travelled, which added to the total distance walked by a Europe that defends the rights of migrants. An EU that defends protection, freedom, dignity, solidarity and cooperation.
“With these roads of solidarity and trips to the countryside, we want to symbolise the path that thousands and thousands of migrants and refugees in the world have to take. To show solidarity with this difficult route, and with it we want to promote another Europe, in anticipation of the European elections. With these roads and the memories of those thousands of people who go through these hardships, we want to claim a Europe of solidarity and hospitality,” said Chema Castells, coordinator of the Hospitality campaign in Andalusia.
More than 200 people walked from Aizpurutxo (Azkoitia) to the Sanctuary of Loyola on Sunday 19 May. Arriving from all corners of the Basque Country and Navarre, the rain and low temperatures have not dampered the spirits of all the people who have joined together to walk for solidarity and hospitality.
After the march, which ran along 10 km of the Urola Greenway, the participants gathered in the esplanade of the Shrine of Loyola to participate in a symbolic vote in favour of a Europe without borders. On the ballot papers, one could read the demands aimed at creating a Europe of protection, solidarity, equality, freedom and dignity.
The entities of the Society of Jesus in the Basque Country and Navarre (PAT Loyola) have promoted the initiative for the second year, contributing to building a welcoming and inclusive Europe, and raising awareness of the importance of voting in European elections. We are thankful for the participation of the workers, volunteers, and users of Alboan, Ellacuría Foundation and its Tower of Babel project, the Loyola Etxea Association of Donosti, the Lasa Father Centre (Tudela), migrants, refugees, and many more people.
This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Daniel McLeod. Proofreader: Jessica Lopez.