The Camino del Hermano Pedro is a route preserved in cultural memory as well as a 20km environmental corridor from Vilaflor to the sea used several times a year by Hermano Pedro as he cared for his goat herd in the 17th century. Since 2005, thousands of people have taken part in the commemorative Ruta organized collaboratively by the ayuntamientos of Granadilla, Arico and San Miguel, a walk that sees participants gather for a Mass at Vilaflor at 6.30am to leave at 7am (with others who don’t want to attend Mass) to walk for five or six hours down to the Cueva del Santo near to the south airport.
Hermano Pedro was a Bethlehemite monk (Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem) originally called Pedro de San José de Betancur y Gonzáles. He was a missionary in Guatemala and is known as the St. Francis of Assisi of the Americas: he is, indeed, considered the first saint of Guatemala and Central America. He is also, more importantly for Tenerife’s purposes, the first native Canarian saint.
This year, the 13th edition of the event, the Ruta takes place on Saturday 21 April, starting as usual at the church of San Pedro Apóstol in Vilaflor, and going down through the municipalities of San Miguel and Granadilla until reaching the cave near TFS and the El Médano coast. Participants need to register in advance in a Granadilla municipality SAC and inscription is now open. Buses will be available to take walkers up to Vilaflor and there’s a minimal cost of €3 for transport which is paid when getting on the bus: those not getting to Vilaflor under their own steam will need to be at the saint’s cave before 5.30am when the bus will leave for Vilaflor. There are further details on the council’s website HERE.