Camino Peace Pilgrimage 2019

Do you have a special interest in multi-faith spirituality, environmentalism, or peace activism? Please apply to be a pilgrim on the Camino Santiago Compostela.

Religion is at the heart of some of the most conflicted places of violence and hatred in our world. Peace between us as nations and the healing of the earth will be served by peace and healing between us as religious traditions.

Photograph of students sitting together on the ground in a forest on a Camino pilgrimage


Dates: June 8 - 16, 2019

Location: Camino de Santiago, Spain

Application date: 5th April 2019 


Our 2019 Camino Peace Pilgrimage, a collaboration between Heartbeat and the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy, will consist of 14 people (intergenerational) from many religious traditions and spiritual backgrounds walking 100 miles/160 km of the ancient Spanish Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route together.

Each day will include various spiritual practices (yoga, meditation, and prayer), hearing each other’s stories, and about 10-18 mi/16-29 km of walking. There will also be short periods of time set aside for silence as we walk the Spanish countryside and northern coast. The group will eat breakfast and dinner at each hosting albergue and lunches will be in small-town marketplaces.


We are looking for people interested in the intersection of peace activism, religion and spirituality with a focus on multi-faith dialogue. Because the group will be traveling from the U.K. to Spain, a valid passport and relevant VISA are required.


June 8 – 16, 2019

We will begin in Edinburgh, Scotland with an evening meal together on June 8th at the home of John Philip and Ali Newell, flying to Spain on June 9th, then walking the Camino Del Norte for six days, from Santander to Ribadesella, and returning to Edinburgh on June 16th. Participants will need to arrange their own travel to Edinburgh for the beginning of the pilgrimage. 

Scholarship for University of Edinburgh Students

Successful applicants will pay a participant fee of £100 (*see extra costs below). Please complete the online application and have a teacher, mentor, spiritual leader, or advisor fill out the online reference form. All fees will be invoiced through PayPal.

Please note that the online form has some information that is not applicable to University of Edinburgh students. You do not need to pay a fee (this is only for Trans-atlantic air faires from the US). You may not apply for a travel stipend, but your airfare will be paid for, from Edinburgh to Spain (return). 

If you have any questions when filling out the form please contact Revd Ali Newell on

Successful applicants will receive the following:

  • Airfare from Edinburgh, Scotland to Santander, Spain (and return)
  • Sleeping accommodations for seven nights during the pilgrimage
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • Bus and train transportation in Spain
  • Admission to Tito Bustillo Caves Tour in Ribadesella and Gaudi House in Comillas
  • Guided navigation on the Camino del Norte (northern route of the Camino de Santiago)
  • A complimentary copy of Listening for the Heartbeat of God by John Philip Newell (to be read before the pilgrimage)

Extra Costs:

  • Individual travel insurance
  • Lunch each day: £5 per day for a total of £35 for the week
  • Equipment: each participant will be required to supply their own equipment (small backpack, sturdy hiking shoes, rain jacket, etc.). A packing list will be sent a few months before the pilgrimage


Photograph of Ben Lindwall

The Camino Peace Pilgrimage is a physically rigorous experience. Multiple days include walking up to 18 miles/29 kilometers in a day, often with challenging elevation changes and a lot of long and steep hills. Pilgrims are expected to train extensively to prevent pain or injury while on the walk. While some of the accommodations are very nice, some include a bunk bed in a simple hostel, and a few nights include a shared queen size bed with one other person. During group sharing time, participants are sometimes sitting on the ground or floor. All participants will be required to sign a waiver release.


Interfaith Leaders

The Pilgrimage will be co-led by Ben Lindwall, Executive Director of Heartbeat, and Estifa’a Zaid.

Ben lives in Portland, Oregon USA, where he and his family practice energy conservation in their tiny house. Ben has been leading group experiences for over a decade in various capacities. He has been mentored by John Philip and Ali Newell over the past few years and is a certified Spiritual Director.

Ben has been the Executive Director at Heartbeat since 2013, working with people from all over the world to advance a vision of healing, transformation, and peace. Coming from an evangelical Christian background, and now like many of his generation, Ben considers himself spiritual without any formal religious membership. He and his wife Jen have two young children.

“A pilgrimage is always an opportunity to be re-born. I’ve seen and experienced the power of leaving behind the safety and comfort of home on a quest for deeper understanding, awareness, and connection. The act of moving our bodies, moving our feet gently upon the earth in unison can be a kind of soul-march. It reminds us of our true identity, our oneness, and creates liminal space to hear and know our calling. In co-leading this pilgrimage, I hope to cultivate an environment for each of us to learn and grow.” 

Ben Lindwall


Photograph of Esti Ziad

Estifa’a is a final year masters student at Edinburgh University studying Physics. She spent last year in Vancouver conducting research in particle physics.  Estifa’a is an active member of the University Chaplaincy; she was president of the Islamic Society and remains a coordinator of the Syrian teenage tutoring program. She has been part of the widening effort to create support networks and representation for minorities in Edinburgh and more generally in the UK. Estifa’a is of Afro-Arab origins and identifies as a practicing Muslim.

“To go on a pilgrimage is to walk with strangers, yourself amongst them. Each rhythmic step is a chance for reflectance and self-acceptance, a journey to love all, including ourselves. As life has forced me to grow, the path to find light is ever changing and has often felt hopeless. When I’m tired of walking and want to stop, I remember the Camino and the friends who despite the long journey have chosen to walk it with me. ”

Estifa’a Zaid


Further information can be found on the Hearbeat Website 

If you have any questions please contact Revd Ali Newell on