Since 2013, I have lived in Brewster, Mass full time, crossing the bridge to the “mainland” for consulting and higher education work. As a university administrator, I became exposed to theories of multiculturalism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Over the course of my career, I sought to understand the systems I was a part of and to change them for the better. I continued training to become a certified coach, organizational consultant and explored how history impacts current issues. For more information on my coaching and professional backgrounds, please check out Jablonski Consulting Group.
Camino Way Beginnings
“Pilgrim has its roots in the Latin per agrum, ‘through the field.’ This ancient image suggests a curious soul who walks beyond known boundaries, crosses fields, touching the earth with a destination in mind and a purpose in heart.” -Phil Cousineau, Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred
In the summer of 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing coincided with the murder of George Floyd and months of social and racial unrest across the U.S. Our country struggled through the most divisive political dynamic period since the Civil War.
Here on Cape Cod, the historical, political, and social context mirrored that of the country: divisiveness; complacency and complicity in perpetuating a system of economic and racial injustice; an aging population with a strained health care system; and a sense of isolation from the “mainland.”
The Camino de Santiago, better known as the Camino Way, is a UNESCO World Heritage site in northwest Spain dating to Medieval times. Today, hundreds of thousands of people walk the routes as a personal spiritual journey.
I decided to walk the towns of Cape Cod as a pilgrimage in the spirit of the Camino Way, to understand all these issues in the local context. Hence, the Cape Cod Camino Way was created.
An Idea Becomes a Reality
Over time I became more curious — and more agitated — about what was happening all around me. Out of this period of incubation the kernel of an idea was born: instead of traveling to another country to experience their culture, history, and social condition, I could walk the full peninsula of Cape Cod—all 15 towns—and learn about the local peoples and their stories, especially those largely unknown to me. I decided to undertake a walking pilgrimage through every town on Cape Cod to better understand issues of racial and social justice locally.
I consider myself a perpetual learner, always seeking deeper knowledge. I questioned my own understanding of my world. What do I know? How do I know this? Where did this understanding come from? What influenced me? What do I not know? Where can I seek a wider understanding of an opinion or belief different than the one I hold? How can I share this experience and knowledge I’ve gained with others?
All of these questions spun in my head, and I began to conceptualize the series of walks that I eventually titled the Cape Cod Camino Way.