Young people of the world welcome Pope Francis to Panama
Panama is from this Tuesday the venue of the WYD, that will celebrate the occasion with an American touch
Thousands of young people, adults and children of at 150 countries from around the world welcome Pope Francis , who arrived this Wednesday afternoon to Panama to participate in the XXXIV version of the World Youth Day (WYD), that will be celebrated in the country for four days.
Pope Francis arrived to Panama at 4:16 p.m. After disembarking from the plane, he was received by President Juan Carlos Varela, his wife, Lorena Castillo, members of the National Government, the hierarchy of the Panamanian Catholic Church and Colegio La Primavera music band and folkloric dance troupe from the Veraguas province, located in the middle of the country.
Once the protocol greetings to the members of the Panamanian Cabinet Council were complete, the entourage accompanying him did the same to Panamanian Head of State, that is when Francis decided to break protocol.
While his security team instructed him to board the vehicle that was going to transport him, Francis decided to look the other way and went to the platform, where a group of devotees from various parishes were waving Panamanian and Vatican flags as a way to welcome him.
A few minutes before the Pope stopped to see the typical dance troupe and listen to the music interpreted by Colegio La Primavera band from Veragua, that was selected to welcome the Supreme Pontiff.
After greeting parishioners, holding and hugging some babies that were among the crew who were waiting for hours for his arrival, the Pope boarded the hybrid car, a Toyota sedan that was waiting for him to start the caravan that escorted him.
The first thing the Pope did after boarding the car was to lower the car windows so he can wave to the people who waiting for him alongside Via Tocumen, the first stage of his trip to the Apostolic Nunciature, located in the Clayton area about 30 kilometers from the Tocumen International Airport.
The thirty kilometers journey was made in two hours. Throughout the route there were young people and pilgrims from all over the world who waited for hours to be able to see up close the leader of the Catholics.
The first part of the route was made in a sedan car and then in the popemobile, which traveled along the Vía España, one of the main avenues of the city. Francis arrived at the Nunciature, where he will spend the night, a few minutes before nightfall.
In this way, Francis is getting ready for his five days participation in the WYD activities that concludes on Sunday with a field mass outside the city in an esplanade that has been called the Juan Pablo II Field.
Translation: Marijulia Pujol