Ruth's Art on the Camino

Hi! I’m Ruth Moffatt, a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts, with a major in Studio Art and a minor in Environmental Science and Studies. I have just been accepted to the most exciting opportunity to study abroad – UNC’s Art on the Camino de Santiago, where I will be enrolled in two art classes while trekking across 500 miles of Spain on a pilgrimage that is over 1,200 years old and is full of cultural, historical, and for many pilgrims, personal significance. I have been an artist with an inquisitive mind and an inclination for the outdoors and traveling ever since I was little. I can’t wait to be able to combine my passions for art, the outdoors, and new places into one exciting, month and a half long excursion. I leave on May 10th but first, I am asking for your help!


What I’m Doing

The first class I will take on the Camino is called Landscapes of the Camino de Santiago and the second one is called Arts, Rites, and Rituals. Landscapes of the Camino de Santiago consists of various forms of art-journaling specifically focused on the ever-changing landscape around us as we will walk across the different terrains of northern Spain. In this class we will create art along the way in such forms as watercolor and drawing based on our observations and experiences on the Camino. Arts, Rites, and Rituals focuses on the history and culture of the Camino de Santiago and its pilgrims, and utilizes performance and audio recordings of our observations as a way of learning about our surroundings and about the rich history and significance of our journey. These classes are taught over a course of 5 weeks as we are walking per day, an average of about 15 miles.

 28793448_15226084420_r.jpeg©Ruth Moffatt

The Costs

The two classes I will be taking have tuition fees that I will need to cover. Along with tuition, I had to buy a plane ticket to and from Spain, buy new backpacking gear (since this is my first backpacking trip – woo!) including things like a quality backpack, hiking boots, and a good rain jacket. I will need to pay for a hostel each night to sleep in, and will need to pay for a number of meals to keep me fueled for many long days of walking. More costs associated with the classes include museum entrance fees, art materials, and various other expenses. I have also planned to go a couple days early to stay in Barcelona and also after we reach Santiago de Compostela stay for a couple of days in Lisbon, Portugal. This is my very first time going out of the country so I want to make the most of it and see everything that I can see! But this requires a substantial amount of money. My parents have generously given me $5,000 to study abroad, which leaves $4,000, as the trip’s total cost is about $9,000. I will be contributing as much as I can, but any additional amount I raise will greatly help.

 28793448_15226084980_r.jpeg©Ruth Moffatt

How You Can Help

I am so excited to go abroad, and it would take so much worry off my shoulders to not stretch my finances too thinly to be able to go. Anything you can contribute to my trip, I would appreciate greatly – any amount of money, encouragement, words of advice, or other contributions are welcomed.


Thank you for taking the time to read about my trip! I have included some photos of my paintings as well as photos of where I will be going. This study abroad trip is exciting to me for so many reasons. It is my first trip abroad, and I feel like it is a huge learning opportunity for me as a person, student, and artist.


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Ruth Moffatt 
Chapel Hill, NC
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