Alto Minho Inter-Municipal Community (CIM) has made good progress in the action plan implementation and monotoring, for the 'St James Way' Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in North Portugal

The CIM Alto Minho action plan implementation progressed in an extraordinary way, which allowed an excellent policy learning.   

The Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC) continues to be a successfully help with the stakeholders group due to its vast experience and initiatives linked to the “Caminhos de Santiago de Compostela” (Saint James Ways), and it’s a key partner for the implementation of Action Plan. In Phase 2 of the project this involvement was made more dynamic in terms of network through CIM Alto Minho and through the implementation of the activities planned for this period. 

The Local stakeholders continue to be involved in the learning process through their direct participation in the phase 2 and in the Pilot Action activities.

We are particularly proud of the extension of the network of stakeholders to: 

i) new international institutions linked to the Camino, resulting in 2 new projects that were submitted to European programs (we are waiting for the results). This new partnership between CIM Alto Minho, La Asociación de Municipios del Camino de Santiago (AMCS) and L’Agence de Cooperatión Interregionale Chemins de Compostelle (ACIR Compostelle), together with the Diputación de Leon, have submitted two new projects:

• JacobeoSudoe - “The Way of Saint James, a shared and self-managed European Way”, to the IV Call for Projects of the Territorial Europe Territorial Cooperation Program (Interreg Sudoe Program). Funding of around 1 million euros is expected and would take place in the years 2021 and 2022. The objective of this program is to improve the methods of natural and cultural heritage management through the implementation of networks and joint experimentation. The project aims to harmonize and improve the management of the Camino de Santiago in the southwest Europe with 400,000 pilgrims a year from 170 nationalities in 3 different countries. The objective is to solve environmental problems derived from the increase in the number of pilgrims and tourists, strengthen cultural exchanges between inhabitants and pilgrims. Also, among associative and institutional actors of the three countries, and supporting the local economy, especially the rural areas crossed by the Camino.

• Caminho de Santiago Solidarity – to the Europe Citizens Program – Cities Network. Funding of around 150.000€. The project will be developed from the exchange of experiences in 10 meetings/conferences scheduled in Spain, Portugal and France, during 2020

 ii) new regional institutions linked to the Camino, resulting in a new project that has approved and it’s being implemented. CIM Alto Minho, in co-promotion with CIM do Tâmega e Sousa (Lead Partner), CIM do Ave, CIM do Cávado and CIM do Douro, is implementing the project “Cultural and Touristic Valuation of the Camino de Santiago - Camino de Torres”, approved and co-financed by the Northern Regional Operational Program (North 2020), in the field of“ Cultural Heritage ”. 

Also CIM Alto Minho are particularly proud of: 

i) extension of the network of stakeholders to new international and regional institutions linked to the Camino, resulting in 3 new projects that were submitted to European programs (one hasn’t been approved and the other two are waiting for the results) and one new project that has approved and it’s being implemented (described above).

ii) the increasing involvement of stakeholders and their participation in the 2and phase implementation activities of the project and in the Pilot Action, reinforcing the network;

iii) the improvement of relations between all international partners;

iv) the improvement of relation and collaboration with de European and National Federation of Sta James Way.

v) The 30-minute documentary about St. James Path and CultRInG project, directed by Martin Dale and produced as part of the CultRing European Cooperation Project, won, on May 30, two awards at the 8th edition of the Finisterre Arrábida Film Art & Tourism Festival, held in Sesimbra: 1st prize in the “Religious Tourism” category, and the 2nd Prize in the category of “Best Documentary”. This documentary presents, besides the two routes of the Camino de Santiago that cross the Alto Minho territory, the result of the work developed over a year, both with the international partners, as well as with the regional and international stakeholders within the project.

During 2019 we have implemented the following Activities with the help of a new stakeholder that it’s in charge of the Pilot Action implementation – Cariátides – Produção de Projetos e Eventos Culturais Lda.