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“El Camino de Santiago de Compostela”

As part of Spanish Heritage Month, TMLA invited guest speakers Mr. Matthew Raffa and Mr. Angelo Kouloufakos to describe their 2009 experiences walking the 500 miles of “El Camino de Santiago de Compostela” otherwise known as “The Way of St. James.”

Four classes (a Level 1 Spanish class, a Level III Spanish class, a Level 2 Religion and a Level 4 Religion class) came together in the auditorium on October 18.  The Spanish classes cover the walk as part of Spanish Culture;  the Religion classes had seen the Martin Sheen – Emilio Estevez movie called “The Way.”

The El Camino de Santiago is the third most important pilgrimage in the Christian World. Christians have been hiking from the French Pyrenees town of St. Jean Pied du Port to Santiago de Campostela for over 1000 years. The apostle St. James (Santiago) is buried in the church that bears his names in the Spanish town of Campostela in the Galicia Region.

Mr. Raffa, a former federal agent and retired Pfizer Chief of Security, and his friend Mr. Kouloufakos, an accounting firm executive, shared their experiences, observations, motivations, and feelings regarding their accomplishment. While they spoke various pictures of their journey were projected on a cinema size screen. They also had on hand for inspection the various documents associated with the various phases of the walk: the walk passport with the various stamps from checkpoints along the way, certificates of accomplishment issued by the church written in Latin as was done a thousand years ago.

Prior to the presentation, copies of the famous Shell of St. James were placed throughout the school allowing the students to do a mini-Campostela prayer walk.  Time was allotted after the presentation for questions and both gentlemen graciously answered. The students were treated to a drawing for three gifts that where brought back form Santiago.

In the photo above are TMLA Italian Teacher Mr. Nicholas Maurantonio, senior Gabby Molave, Mr. Angelo Kouloufakos and senior Elizabeth Mauter.