Our first goal was the founding of a hostel on the pilgrims’ trail to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain.
In order to organize something with a certain amount of legal validity it is necessary to establish an association or foundation. With this in mind, the foundation Oasis Trails was organized in 1997, a small organization with the kitchen table as desk, and as the most important tasks: finding a suitable location, recruiting volunteers to keep the organization going, and planning the schedules and maintaining the necessary administration. Even in the first year volunteers signed up, people who were willing to take care of some of these elementary tasks.
The hostel in Villamajor de Monjardin, in addition to being a nice guest-house where volunteers and guests can enjoy a great time is, in a certain sense, a “test case”. People can gain the needed experience there and become familiar with the work. Through practical experience they can discover first-hand whether or not this mission becomes a calling for a longer period of time.
During the past years more centres are added. But Oasis Trails is not supposed to become a big NGO. The purpose is that new projects are initiated and facilitated by the foundation in the first instance and that they will become self supporting and independent in time or that they will be adopted by other organisations.
The foundation has a small governing body which meets on an average of once per quarter. A coordinator is responsible for recruiting and selecting volunteers. The facility management and logistics involved, partly due to the distance from The Netherlands, is not easy. Furthermore, the traffic on the “Camino” increases each year. Volunteers who wish to serve God in this work for a whole season or longer have become invaluable.