Pilgrim Passport / Compostela:
While walking the camino you will carry a document called the Pilgrims passport. The Pilgrims Passport will authenticate your progress along The Way by obtaining sellos (stamps) at each stop. Your guide will assist you in obtaining your Pilgrim passport before you start your Camino. Sellos/stamps can be obtained at most places marked with a shell along your way, Hotels, restaurants, bars/cafes, churches, and city halls. You must collect at least 2 sellos/stamps a day in order to obtain your Compostela certificate.
The “Pilgrim Passport” is also referred to as your credential, which is a pass to give you access to many pilgrims places. It is also used by pilgrims to get accommodation in refugios along the trail, you will not need this as your accommodations are included in your tour package. The "pilgrim's passport"/ the credential, is stamped with the official St. James stamp in each town or refugio visited. It provides a record of where we as pilgrims ate, slept or stopped along the way. Your stamped credentials will also provide proof that you have walked at least 100 km so that when you arrive in Santiago de Compostela and visit the pilgrims office you will be provided with your Compostela. The Compostela is document given to pilgrims that certifies their completion of your pilgrimage.
The ‘Compostela’ is the original religious certificate written in Latin. The Compostella was intrucuced in the 13th century by the Church. The ‘Compostela’ was a valuable document: pilgrims used to travel to Santiago in pilgrimage, in many cases as a penance. By getting a certificate showing they had walked to Santiago they could get back home and show they had paid their penance; repented for their sins.